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Archive for category NAYA PAKISTAN

Pakistan Day 23 March, 2017

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Pakistan Day

23 March 2017

Mubarak to Global Pakistanis:

Under Protection of الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ:

Be Warned All Enemies

No Earthly Power Can Harm it

Pakistan Day Demands National Unity

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Although the Pakistan day is being celebrated every year on March 23, yet this time, this very day has come at a time when Pakistan stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing internal and external challenges and threats to the national security of the country, which demands selfless national unity among all the segments of society.

 

The 23rd of March 1940 was a watershed in the history of the Sub Continent when All India Muslim League passed the Resolution in Lahore for the creation of an independent state. Now, it is popularly called as Pakistan Resolution. Earlier, in his address to the Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930, the idea of a homeland for Muslims in their majority areas had been envisioned by the poet Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal and had become the aspiration of Indian Muslims.

 

In fact, the British colonialists in connivance with majority Hindu population had manipulated and targeted Muslims through every possible way. In that background, Muslims started the struggle for a separate state.

 

Prior to the Lahore session of Muslim League, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had specified to this historical congregation of the Muslims, the watch-words of ‘Faith, Unity and Discipline’ which were not only necessary for waging the battle for an independent homeland, but also for present Pakistan. So, while struggling against the enemies, the essence of these watch-words is the unity which is the real spirit of the Pakistan Resolution.

 

However, it was due to the selfless practical unity among the Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam that Pakistan became a tangible reality. But that unity started declining after passing through various crises, and the result was the separation of East Pakistan in 1971, as the India manipulated differences between East Pakistan and the West Pakistan.

 

However, the 23rd March which is celebrating by every Pakistani as the Pakistan Day, has come at a time when Pakistan is facing multiple threats of grave nature, which are not only worrying all the citizens but are also creating division between the rulers and the opposition parties including rival politicians, taking the country towards anarchy.

 

The Pakistan Day has come at a time when Pakistan’s security forces have been facing a different war, while the enemy is also different, which employs subversive activities of various kinds which also include internal and external challenges. In these terms, Pakistan is in the state of new war, being waged by the Armed Forces and intelligence agencies against terrorists. In this respect, our Armed Forces have almost obtained their objectives in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) through military operation Zarb-e-Azb against the terrorists who had challenged the writ of the state and had frightened the entire nation by their terror acts. In Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi and other parts of the country including tribal areas our security forces and law-enforcing agencies have broken the terror networks and restored peace by eliminating and capturing terrorists. Unlike the past, peace has, especially, been restored in Balochistan and Karachi.

Besides, Pakistan launched a nationwide military operation codenamed Radd-ul-Fasaad earlier this year, which includes broad-spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab and other cities of the country, while continuing the ongoing operations. The move came after a series of deadly bombings across the country all through February, which killed hundreds of civilians.

 

According to various news releases of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan’s security and law enforcement agencies have killed and arrested more than 600 suspects, terrorists and their facilitators, including capture of huge cache of arms and ammunition in a crackdown across the country, especially Punjab as part of the ongoing Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad. The ISPR disclosed that some suspected terrorists were killed during an exchange of fire with security personnel. It said some Afghan nationals and RAW agents were among the arrested suspects.

 

Nevertheless, during this very day, it is also of particular attention that since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of the reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province. However, civil, federal and provincial governments are making strenuous efforts to restore complete peace and order in the province. For this purpose, a paramilitary committee has also been formed by the ruling party to hold negotiations with the disgruntled elements. And the former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif also supports political settlement—general pardon to the insurgents in Balochistan, so that, development works including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which would bring unlimited benefits to the province and its people must be completed. Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa continues the same policy.

 

Unfortunately, it is because of lack of solidarity among our politicians, leaders, and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfill their secret agenda by destabilizing the country which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. In the past few years, nefarious designs of some foreign secret agencies like Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which have tactical support of American CIA can be gauged from a number of anti-Pakistan developments such as their support to insurgency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, separatism in Balochistan and targeted killings especially in Karachi coupled with subversive acts all over the country.

 

Pakistan which has become a special arena of this different war and has faced terror activities such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings, ruthless beheadings of the innocent people, assaults on security personnel and prominent religious figures. Besides blowing children schools and attacking the female teachers in order to deny education to girls, the terrorists, particularly of the Afghan-based Indian-backed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also targeted mosques, Imambargahs, mausoleums, temples, Churches and disgraced dead bodies. Their pitiless acts resulted into killings of several persons in Pakistan. Although terror attacks have been reduced, yet RAW, CIA, and Mossad which are based in Afghanistan and are in connivance with the terror outfits like TTP, Daesh and other similar militant groups—their affiliated outfits have again started these acts of sabotage in Pakistan.

And it is also due to lack of national unity that Pakistan is also facing multi-faceted crises such as load shedding of gas and electricity, soaring prices, unemployment, crimes, lack of health facilities, and dependence upon the US-led developed countries, IMF and World Bank for financial aid.

 

Externally, Pak Army and Rangers are, boldly, responding to India’s unprovoked firing at the Line of Control in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot and other sectors. While the fundamentalist party BJP led by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda. In this context, BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, a staunch promoter of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) stated on July 12, 2014, that India needed only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was war, as “there is no peaceful, democratic solution.

 

Meanwhile, in response to the new Indian Army Chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat’s statement of January 3, 2017 about the so-called “surgical strikes” in Pakistani side of Kashmir, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on January 5, 2016 rejected claims by his Indian counterpart Gen. Bipin Rawat about “so-called surgical strikes” and their possible recurrence. Gen. Qamar Bajwa made it clear that “Pakistan Armed Forces were fully geared to respond to any aggression by India.”

 

As regards the unity, no doubt, it was displayed among all segments of society, after the TTP massacred 132 school children at Army Public School and College in Peshawar on December 16, 2014—as the situation warranted bold and firm decisions to deal the menace of terrorism, especially the threat of the TTP and its banned affiliated groups which are still conducting subversive activities in Pakistan. In this regard, the government, encouraged by the resolve of public opinion responded prudently and lifted the moratorium on death penalty awarded to the criminals according to law. Taking note of the delicate moment, on January 2, 2015, political and military leaders agreed on a draft of legislative measures which paved the way for the establishment of special military trial courts. It was unanimously agreed that the 20 points (National Action Plan) enunciated in the All Parties Conference (APC) Resolution of December 24, 2014, shall be acted upon expeditiously—the bill as 22nd (Constitutional) Amendment has been enforced soon after its approval from the parliament. Now, special military courts have been established and the ruthless terrorists facing death penalty are rapidly being hanged. In this context, National Action plan must also be fully implemented to defeat the terrorists.

 

In fact, it is a war of every patriot Pakistani against terrorists, as the enemy is different, and it cannot leave the security forces alone to wage this different conflict of history. In this context, Pakistan Day demands the cooperation of every citizen, politician, and religious leader with the security forces and agencies to defeat these merciless terrorists.

 

While emphasizing national unity against terrorists, the former Army Chief and the present one Gen. Bajwa has stated the We will continue to go after the inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination.

 

Taking cognizance of the present critical situation, Pakistan Day demands selfless national unity which must be shown practically. This significant day demands that our political leaders must pledge that they will not manipulate their regional and provincial differences at the cost of the national interests so as to grab political power. In this connection, a blind dedication to one’s own race, tribe and creed should not be allowed to create hatred in one group against the other. They must avoid exploiting the ongoing thorny issues in order to increase their vote bank at the cost of the integration of the country. If any controversy arises, it can better be settled in consonance with the constitution. For this aim, in order to castigate the conspiracy of the external enemies against the integrity of the country, some of our political leaders, media houses and human rights groups must also stop manipulating any crisis against Pak Army and country’s primary secret agency, ISI whose image are deliberately being tarnished by the external plotters.

 

True and selfless unity against the foreign enemies requires that our rulers and leaders of other political parties and must create national cohesion among various segments of society. Particularly, our electronic media should give a matching response to the malicious propaganda of the US-led some western countries including India and Israel which are distorting the image of Pakistan, its army, and ISI.

 

Especially, on this very day, media must also project a soft image of Pakistan by highlighting national heroes and tourism sights of the county.

 

Nonetheless, at this crucial time, Pakistan’s survival lies in selfless national unity and strong cohesion as at present, even a layman can note that our country is in chaos and it seems as if there is a “war of all against all” in the sense of ‘Hobbesian state of nature.”

 

On the occasion of Pakistan Day, we must follow the essence of the Pakistan Resolution in real terms by displaying selfless unity in practical terms, which is not possible unless the government, the opposition leaders, civil societies and media owners including all other segments of society pledge to sign a charter of integration which is very necessary to pull the country out of the ongoing serious crises and threats.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: The US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

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China-Pakistan Energy Corridor By Brig (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

China-Pakistan Energy Corridor

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

 

 

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Establishment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was first proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Pakistan in May 2013. Li stated, Our two sides should focus on carrying out priority projects in connectivity, energy development and power generation”. At that time, Pak-China bilateral trade had reached $12 billion. The proposed project of linking Kashgar in northwest China with Gwadar Port on southwestern Arabian Sea coastline in Baluchistan was approved on July 5, 2013 during the visit of PM Nawaz Sharif to Beijing, which included construction of 200 km long tunnel. In December 2013, China committed $6.5 billion for the construction of a major nuclear power project in Karachi. In May 2014, another agreement was signed to start Orange Line metro train project in Lahore worth $1.27 billion. In November 2014, the two countries signed 19 agreements related to CPEC. In addition, Chinese firms started work on six mega power projects in Gilgit-Baltistan such as Dassu, Phandar, Bashu, Harpo, Yalbo to tackle Pakistan’s energy crisis.  

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Originally scheduled to come on September 14-16 last year, China’s President Xi Jinping’s visit was postponed in the wake of prolonged anti-government protests in Islamabad and security concerns, and the government not wanting anything untoward happening. Postponement of the visit was seen by the government as a big setback since it entailed investment of $26 billion in Pakistan. Onus of postponement was squarely put on the shoulders of those indulging in futile dharna politics. This setback was not an ordinary one when seen in the backdrop of worst ever energy crisis, economy in shambles, state corporations in decay and all economic indicators in negative – thanks to the inglorious five-year rule of PPP led coalition. Cash-strapped Pakistan struggling to finance energy projects from western donors couldn’t afford a single day delay.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb which started in mid June 2014 in North Waziristan after the brazen terror attack on Jinnah airport in Karachi and peace talks having fallen apart was put in top gear after the gruesome tragedy in Peshawar Army Public School on December 16, 2014. Its scope was spread all over the country and cooperation with Afghanistan was greatly improved. Rangers-Police intelligence based targeted operation in Karachi was also speeded up and so was Frontier Corps-Police operation in Baluchistan. These efforts were backed by National Security Policy, Counter Terrorism Policy, Joint Intelligence Directorate to coordinate efforts of 33 intelligence agencies, formation of Counter Terrorism Force at federal and provincial levels, lifting of moratorium on hanging of convicts, setting up of military courts and focussed 20-point National Action Plan, all in a bid to eliminate the scourge of terrorism.

Brilliant successes against terrorism and extremism, which raised the stature of Pak Army backed by air force very high among the international comity, helped in further enhancing the confidence of China’s leadership in Pakistan. Well aware of Indo-US encirclement plan and shifting of Ameica’s pivot to Asia-Pacific to contain China, the latter wanted an early opening into world market to become an unchallenged economic giant as well as the super power. Mindful of the under developemnt of its western province which is its soft belly and ongoing Uighur movement, China wants speedy modernisation of Xingjiang to bring it at par with eastern provinces. For the accomplishment of these dreams, China needs access to warm waters in Arabian Sea through Gwadar since this route is the shortest and the cheapest. This access was never granted to Russia. With this objective in view, President Xi Jinping undertook a visit to Islamabad and pleasantly surprised the Pakistanis by raising the level of investment from $ 26 billion to $ 45 Billion in Pakistan.

Pakistanis opened their hearts to welcome the worthy guest. During his two-day historic visit (April 20-21, 2015), President Xi signed 51 agreements/MoUs worth $28 billion, with $17 billion in pipeline spread over 15 years. His visit achieved the milestone of the groundbreaking of historic 3,000 km-long strategic China-Pakistan-Energy-Corridor (CPEC). It includes $ 18 billion worth energy projects such as coal, solar, hydroelectric power projects which will inject 10,400 MW electricity in the national grid by 2017/18, laying down fibre optic cable from Xingjiang to Rawalpindi, 1240 km long Karachi-Lahore motorway, metro and bus service in six major cities, up gradation of 1300 km long Karakorum Highway (first opened in 1978), oil/gas pipelines, commercial sea-lanes and host of other projects.

The CPEC project will include building new roads, a 1,800-km railway line and a network of oil pipelines to connect Kashgar in China’s western Xinjiang region to the seaport of Gwadar. It includes a string of energy projects, special economic zones, dry ports and other infrastructure. China is helping Pakistan in producing plutonium at Chinese built Khushab reactor and will also sell 8 submarines worth $5 billion, which will give a quantum jump to Pak Navy’s sea capability.

Gwadar, once a part of Oman before it was sold to Pakistan in 1958, is one of the least developed districts in Balochistan province. It sits strategically near the Persian Gulf and close to the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 per cent of the world’s oil passes. Work on Gwadar deep-seaport had started in 2002 with China’s investment. In 2013, management of the seaport which was in the sloppy hands of Singapore PSA International was handed over to China’s Port Holdings. It is planned to develop Gwadar into free trade zone with a modern airport on the model of Singapore or Hong Kong and a gateway to CPEC. Some analysts perceive Gwadar port turning into China’s naval base in the Indian Ocean, enabling Beijing to monitor Indian and American naval activities and thus frustrating their ambition to convert the ocean into exclusive Indian lake. Modernization of Pak Navy by China is seen as a step in that direction.

 

 

Energy-poor Pakistan certainly seems to have found a saviour in China, which has promised to stand by the country in its dark hour (parts of the country suffer power cuts for up to 18 hours a day). Jubilant President Mamnoon Hussain predicted that the economic corridor will be a “monument of the century” benefitting “billions of people” in the region. Analysts believe that the CPEC has the potential to radically alter the regional dynamics of trade, development and politics. They say the projects conceived under CPEC will ease Pakistan’s energy shortages and make a substantial difference in the long term with both generation and transmission covered. Some experts opine this initiative can bring greater cohesion in South Asia, one of the world’s least economically integrated regions. Adil Najam, Dean of the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies, believes anything that binds the region together is “a good idea” since countries tend to focus on “zero-sum geostrategic posturing” rather than recognising the benefits of integration. MNA Ahsan Iqbal says “CPEC is a game changer for the entire region and will uplift the lives of about 3 billion people across China, Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.

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While the CPEC may be ‘monumental’ for Pakistan, for China it is part of more ambitious plans to beef up the country’s global economic muscle. Chinese officials describe the corridor as the “flagship project” of a broader policy — “One Belt, One Road” — which seeks to physically connect China to its markets in Asia, Europe and beyond. This initiative includes the New Silk Road which will link China with Europe through Central Asia and the Maritime Silk Road to ensure a safe passage of China’s shipping through the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. China is not building the corridor as an act of charity for Pakistan. It will happily fund and build any structure that plays into this goal – whether we’re talking about roads or ports”,  says Michael Kugelman, a senior associate at the Washington DC based Woodrow Wilson Centre. Access to Indian Ocean via Gwadar will enable China’s naval warships and merchant ships to bypass Malacca Strait.    

 

 

 

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At the same time, the new silk roads are bound to intensify ongoing competition between India and China –and to a lesser extent between China and the US – to invest in and cultivate influence in the broader Central Asian region. Kugelman stated, India has long had its eyes on energy assets in Central Asia and Afghanistan, even as China has gobbled many of these up in recent years. The US has announced its own Silk Road initiative in the broader region. India is concerned about China’s huge investment in Pakistan, particularly its recent decision to fund a new batch of nuclear reactors. Pakistan plans to add four new nuclear plants by 2023, funded by China, with four more reactors in the pipeline (adding up to a total power capacity of 7,930 MW by 2030). India and other detractors of Pakistan are propagating that China is supplying nuclear technology to Pakistan in defiance of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines, which forbid nuclear transfer to Pakistan as it has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. China argues that these projects were agreed with Pakistan before it became a member of NSG in 2004.

Pakistan has remained under a dark star for a long period; it has bravely sailed past the period of trials and tribulations but at a very heavy cost. Pakistan has acted as the frontline state against the Soviets and against global terrorism and suffered enormously, but in the process it allowed China 35 free years to develop and prosper. Landmark CPEC has further cemented Pak-China relations and made them natural allies. China’s liberal investment which surpasses all foreign investments in Pakistan in the past are based on trust, confidence and convergence of interests and both are in a win-win cooperation. The all-weather, time-tested friends share common vision and seek peace and not confrontation. They have entered into a new era of geo-economic relationship and plan to boost two-way trade to $20 billion.

The Silk Road Economic Belt will not only connect and develop China and Pakistan but also the regional countries for the first time and promote peace. It has opened vista of great opportunities for Pakistan and will greatly help in poverty alleviation, overcome unemployment, remove inequities of smaller provinces and help Pakistan in becoming the next Asian tiger. Strategic economic moment for Pakistan has arrived and interesting part is that Pakistan has assumed the position of economic pivot for the whole region. This paradigm shift in circumstances is a cause of great worry for the enemies of Pakistan both within and outside. They have put their heads together to work out new strategies how to block the forward march, but time and tide is not in their favor.  

The writer is a retired Brig/defence analyst/columnist/author of five books, Member Executive Council PESS, Director Measac Research Centre, Director Board of Governors TFP. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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Media can make Naya Pakistan By Asad Khan Betini

Media can make Naya Pakistan  

By Asad Khan Betini 

 

Even if your intellect is a replica of “Plato”, The Mainstream Newspapers won’t allow your ideas reach millions of readers unless an elite bureaucrat or a leader intends to make news headline or contribute. What can you expect from such Mediums those are not the voice of general masses but a platform of particular contributors who have wrapped themselves in the cloak of patriotism, human rights or both to overawe and undermine the real ideology of Pakistan.  Do you have any idea how poor survive when cold or the warm weather is on its zenith? We must not forget IDPs, who are craving for medical aid; their loved ones are dying in vain, The Thar which is not being covered properly, and Balochistan an abyss of problems due to unnoticed corruption.  Mainstream Newspapers will only try to make headlines of The “President” or the “Opposition” or waiting for a “Mishap” to be happened, but won’t bother question local people of their snags. Our common crowds have turned into sacrificial animals and sole edibles of our failed democracy. The ignored people of FATA and Balochistan are strongly in dissonance, agitation and discomfort and their cities are on the verge of backwardness. Those representatives who are continuously elected must be brought into account if we want Naya Pakistan. Particularly, In Balochistan, one representative is elected again and again with a simple trick of aiding “needy people” during election campaigns.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We must remind these politicians their real purpose, we ought to enforce “The Success of Democracy”, and it is possible through engaging common citizen taking part in opinions at grass-root levels. Due to unawareness, illiteracy, blind fundamentalism, these people fall prey to political tactics and their long convincing speeches especially by Mullas or by other wealthy factions. There should be honesty without the thought of heaven or hell.  There are other high profile politicians too who can be named here, and I openly mention here honorable Asif Ali Zardari who has turned his back to Garhi Khuda Baksh Where people are starving to death, and the lack of many basic facilities, and the other so called heros of Sindh Who disregard Thar. Similarly Maulana Fazal ur Rehman has not done a single development work for the people of Dera Ismail Khan and not to speak of Balochistan because Corruption is still an instance of white ant in the province. The Media must enforce popular will, instead encouraging terrorist attacks with live coverage and front page stories, there should be minor amendments in our minds. I think the greatest Jihad is spreading educational awareness, through letting people know the practical means of popular sovereignty. These things are possible if an integrated effort is done by mainstream Media through the opinion polls with title of “Kia aap apnay muntakhib numainday say mutmaeen hayn?” At least there ought to be a soft corner for general masses of the parishes, towns and districts where they could share the progress report of their elected representatives and administration.If this concept is officially applied, it is not less than a grand proposal, through database or NADRA type organization can manage application to engage citizen in official public opinion programmes.  Media has to assume its real purpose and forget being pawn. 

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Pakistan’s Daughters: Pakistan Air Force Officers

 

 

 Pakistan’s Daughters: Pakistan Air Force Officers

 

 

Pakistani female fighter pilot is ‘war ready’

Ayesha Farooq, first to pass qualifying tests for combat, says she will do “same activities” as male colleagues.

Jun 2013 10:53

Ayesha Farooq said she does not feel different from her male colleagues at Mushaf base [Reuters]
Pakistan’s first war-ready female fighter pilot has said she is ready to defend her country, and sees no difference between herself and her male colleagues when it comes to “precision bombing”.

Ayesha Farooq, from Punjab province’s city of Bahawalpur, is one of 25 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the last decade.

Out of the 25, there are five other female fighter pilots who have yet to take the final tests to qualify for combat, news agencies said on Thursday. Non-fighter pilots fly slower aircraft, ferrying troops and equipment around the country.

“I don’t feel any different. We do the same activities, the same precision bombing,” the 26-year-old said of her male colleagues at Mushaf base in north Pakistan.

Because of terrorism and our geographical location it’s very important that we stay on our toes

– Ayesha Farooq, Pakistan’s first female fighter pilot

A growing number of women have joined Pakistan’s defence forces in recent years as attitudes towards women change.

“Because of terrorism and our geographical location it’s very important that we stay on our toes,” said Farooq, referring to Taliban fighting and a sharp rise in sectarian violence.

Deteriorating security in neighbouring Afghanistan, where US-led troops are preparing to leave by the end of next year, and an uneasy relationship with India, add to the mix.

Farooq was at loggerheads with her widowed mother seven years ago when she said she wanted to join the air force.

“In our society most girls don’t even think about doing such things as flying an aircraft,” she said.

Family pressure against the traditionally male-dominated armed forces dissuaded other women from taking the next step to become combat ready, air force officials said.

 

‘Less of a taboo’

“More and more ladies are joining [the force] now,” said Nasim Abbas, Wing Commander of Squadron 20, made up of 25 pilots, including Farooq, who fly Chinese-made F-7PG fighter jets.

Farooq, 26, told her mother she wanted to join the air force seven years ago

“It’s seen as less of a taboo. There’s been a shift in the nation’s, the society’s, way of thinking,” Abbas told Reuters news agency on the base in Punjab’s Sargodha district.

There are now about 4,000 women in Pakistan’s armed forces, largely confined to desk jobs and medical work.

But over the last decade, women have become sky marshals, defending Pakistan’s commercial liners against insurgent attacks, and a select few are serving in the elite anti-terrorist force.

Like most female soldiers in the world, Pakistani women are still banned from ground combat.

Pakistan now has 316 women in the air force compared to around 100 five years ago, Abbas said.

“In Pakistan, it’s very important to defend our front lines because of terrorism and it’s very important for everyone to be part of it,” said avionics engineer Anam Hassan, 24, as she set out for work on an F-16 fighter aircraft.

“It just took a while for the air force to accept this.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Shukriya Pakistan – 30 November Islamabad

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