Declan Walsh in the Guardian:
Rarely has a Birkin brought so much attention. When Pakistan's new foreign minister, 34-year-old Hina Rabbani Khar, landed in India for talks this week, a media frenzy erupted around her style: the pearl necklaces, elegant costumes, Cavalli sunglasses and a stylish Hermes-made Birkin bag worth at least $9,000 (£5,500)...
On a flight to Islamabad on Friday, Khar flicked through a stack of newspapers filled with her picture. "You don't want the attention to focus on the frivolous," she said. "A guy in my place would never get such attention; nobody would be talking about his suit. I refuse to be apologetic about it; I will continue to be who I am."
According to reports emanating from Pakistan, the country’s Foreign Minister is upset that she was treated as a style icon in India. I’m sorry that the lady should feel this way so let me try and make her feel better by telling her what we all know: Relax! Nobody thinks you are a style icon. We just think you sport very expensive accessories. And that’s not the same thing at all.
In other words, we think you are extravagant. But you ain’t no icon...
...the fact that the Pakistani Foreign Minister should think that kitty-party style dressing is appropriate for a bilateral summit meeting tells us something about how far apart our two countries have traveled since 1947. No Indian minister would dress like that. And yet, Pakistanis seem to think it is entirely normal.
So, are we really “just the same people” as the peaceniks claim?
Or does the distance in attitudes grow with each passing year?