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    Pakistani Women who make us proud.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4533367.stm
    Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May, 2005, 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
    Pakistan's first women fighter pilots
    By Zaffar Abbas
    BBC News, Islamabad
    The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) academy has been all-male for more than 55 years - but now it is going through major change.
    Women are now allowed to enrol on its aerospace engineering and fighter pilot programmes and are doing rather well.
    To the great surprise of many men, some of the female recruits will soon start flying jet-engine planes.
    Male cadets are having to come to terms with the fact that masculinity itself is no longer a condition for reaching this prestigious institute.
    There are 10 women in two batches in the flying wing of the academy. Many more are competing with men in the engineering and aerospace wing.
    These trailblazers may still be few in number, but many instructors and even some male cadets admit their presence is already being felt.

    'Lifelong dream'
    Until recently, most women in this conservative Muslim society would more likely have imagined marrying a dashing fighter pilot than being encouraged to become one.
    "I always wanted to be a fighter pilot, and eventually with Allah's wish and the full support of my parents, I made it this far
    Cadet Saba Khan
    But this was not true for Saba Khan, one of four female cadets to make it through the gruelling first stages of training.
    Coming from an enlightened Pathan family in Quetta, capital of otherwise conservative Balochistan Province, Saba was initially inspired by one of her uncles who had been in the air force.
    And she says the first newspaper advertisement seeking female cadets was like a dream come true.
    "I always wanted to be a fighter pilot, and eventually with Allah's wish and the full support of my parents, I made it this far," she said.
    Women must achieve the same levels of performance as men
    And Saba believes the first batch of women could provide much-needed inspiration for many other girls, who may follow suit.
    Beaming with excitement, another aviation cadet, Ambreen Gill, said it was impossible for her to explain how she felt when she flew a propeller plane.
    She said she hopes soon to fly the jets on her own, and perhaps at some stage even state-of-the-art combat aircraft like F-16s.

    'Equals'
    The air force academy is still male-dominated, and it's not clear what the real feelings of the male cadets have been to the induction of women onto the fighter pilot programme.
    Officially, most have welcomed the move.
    But when one male cadet said the women should be shown compassion, female cadet Saman Ahmed was swift to say they were there to compete on equal terms.
    "We don't expect compassion, we don't get compassion, and we don't want compassion," she said.
    And this confidence is not without reason for Cadet Ahmed has already won praise in her engineering studies, beating both men and women.
    Her excellence is not confined to the classroom, either.
    During a rifle exercise, I watched as she shot all five bullets right in the bull's eye.

    Segregation
    Many senior air force officials point out that bringing women into armed forces combat units has been a difficult decision in many countries.
    In Pakistan the challenges of doing so were even bigger.
    It's not just about size or strength - cultural and religious matters were also to be taken into account.

    It's quite important that we maintain this level of segregation, mainly because we are a Muslim society
    Squadron leader Shazia Ahmed
    the head of the PAF academy, Air Vice Marshal Inam Ullah Khan, admits they had to take certain cultural sensitivities into account.

    But he says allowing women to enrol has been a good experience, and some of the female cadets have done better than expected.
    The academy maintains a degree of segregation between genders.
    Although women march should-to-shoulder with their male counterparts during early-morning parade, some parts of the training, particularly physical exercises, are carried out separately.
    "It's quite important that we maintain this level of segregation, mainly because we are a Muslim society," says squadron leader Shazia Ahmed.
    A psychologist by training, and in charge of the female cadets, she says "in some ways it also gives these girls the much required confidence before they take up the bigger challenges".
    But there is no compromise on standards - the women must achieve the same levels of performance as the men, or face being dropped from the programme. For the moment it seems the few who have joined the ranks are doing extremely well. And if that continues, when the current batch passes out in a year these cadets will become the first-ever women fighter pilots in Pakistan's history.
    - I swear to drunk I am not God :-/

    #2
    Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

    a small step but its a start. all the best wishes to them
    - I swear to drunk I am not God :-/

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      #3
      Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

        awww that reminds me how I always wanted to become a pilot but as they say boht nikle mere armaN lakin phir bhi kam nikle.. I hope it keeps improving and doesn't raise issues like always!

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          #5
          Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

          yah!!! i was watching thier march parade thing. n it kinda pissed me off cus there were no women..

          gemini- are you a girl?? thats cool. what kinda pilot did u wanna be??

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            #6
            Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

            i was a pilot wannabe
            Wonder this time where she's gone,wonder if she's gone to stay
            Ain't no sunshine when she's gone,and this house just ain't no home
            anytime she goes away.

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              #7
              Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

              females need to learn to drive first before they think about flying fighter jets.
              “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

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                #8
                Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

                ^^ Yeah one sonic boom and they are all gonna duck with "hai Allah mujhe bichao"

                P.S Girls dont open the window of the cockpit to dry your nail polish. The cockpit is pressurized.
                Can you Hear me Now!! Good

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                  #9
                  Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

                  ^ i had this driver instructor who spent the entire lesson making jokes about women drivers. it was actually pretty funny. he was also complaining about how guys' insurance is so high while girls' is low when he said women are the ones that create situations for accidents that results in men getting into them.

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                    #10
                    Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

                    There are hundreds of thousands of Pak women who are an inspiration , not because they are pilots but because in there roles as mother, wives, sisters theyve been through severe adversity and survived....
                    May your every wish be granted...
                    Ancient chinese curse

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                      #11
                      Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

                      ^ awwww...how about doctors, lawyers, engineers...being a mother, daughter adn sister...is not a matter of choice for desi women. Selecting a career and achieving something like this woman has and breaking free of religious and social shackles is what is more impressive. Good for these women...they are indeed something each young girl in Pakistan should aspire to be.
                      Now repeat after me...."Jeter is the prophet and Rivera is the savior"

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                        #12
                        Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

                        ^^^ its a very difficult thing for some to do, generally in Paks...those women who do become all of those things its because they have the support of their family( I do concede that there are a number that have fought for it too) ... and well done to them... but for a 13 year old village girl who is not allowed out of her house in a rural area with out the permission of her father or uncle etc , saying she wants to go to school and then leaving to go to school..... coming back home isnt an option.... (unless she wants a good beating, or a kalashnikov thrust in her face)

                        Its very frightening, do they leave in order to learn... bearing in mind the slim chance there is of passing or do they submit to papa's wishes and stay at home

                        These girls have been brought up (programmed if you wish) to do as teh family says...

                        it is very easy for me or for you to say "they should do this" but very difficult for a girl who is brought up very differently and in a different society with HUGE phyical and social boundries to do these things.
                        May your every wish be granted...
                        Ancient chinese curse

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

                          ^ It is not just there, it is here in the US. I see it first hand. Girls being afforded secondary priorities in education by sihthead parents, girls being sent off to their village back in Pakistan to get married when they are 19. (much better than when they are 12 though-thankyou America) I was just wondering about yur statement regarding lauding mothers, daughters and sisters as accomplishments. These are accomplishments without choice in Desiland.
                          Now repeat after me...."Jeter is the prophet and Rivera is the savior"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

                            I meant those going through hardship and coping, like those with druggie hubbies who use up the householkd money, sons who beat up their mothers and sister and take things to sell to feed their drug habit, women who dont have sons and are sent back to their fathers homes, hubsbands who get married to a younger model... send their wife back to papa
                            Widows...

                            not having a ( acceptable) partner to to share the hardship.. in a male dominated society

                            They would have a huge variety of help in the uk... and probably end up in therapy too!
                            May your every wish be granted...
                            Ancient chinese curse

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Pakistani Women who make us proud.

                              ^ and yet there are ghettos of Pakis in the UK. As if the village moved intact with all the social idiocies of back home.

                              Th epoint LD is that what this woman is doing is a much better role model for girls than anything else that is out there. When Kalpana Chawla died in the space shuttle disaster, the impact of her death and the news of it, permeated through the fabric of Indian society. Girls who hadn't heard of her before that, got interested in sciences and mathematics..girls here in the US as well. While it took a tragedy to get these girls to dream a little higher in Kalpana's case, this young Pakistani woman's achievement is something that can change lives, only if we recognize and laud this as something remarkable.
                              Now repeat after me...."Jeter is the prophet and Rivera is the savior"

                              Comment

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