GHQ has recently issued instructions for changes in dress regulation with a view to bringing the soldier’s uniform at a standard practised by modern armies like in the UK and the US.
Alas! There has been no change in the uniform of women soldiers like lady doctors, nurses, or those serving on administrative jobs.
These women either wear sari or shalwar-qameez as official uniform which may suit a housewife but not the one pursuing the roughest of the profession.
A Pakistani soldier’s physical robustness and agility is his hallmark that is recognised and acknowledged all over the world. At their induction into the army both officers and other ranks undergo gruelling physical training: the momentum is kept in motion throughout his service tenure.
Shockingly, women employees that mostly include doctors, nurses or those working on administrative assignments present physical antithesis of their brethren-in-arm.
Although these women officers wear the khaki proudly, physically they are so delicate they cannot dare jump a ditch two feet wide neither can muster courage to press the trigger of a toy-gun.
They live a cotton-wool baby’s life in an environment where excelling in physical prowess is a professional requirement.
First, the uniform, the sari or the shalwar-qameez is the attire of an ease-loving housewife who is confined to the kitchen or housekeeping, is not even remotely related to the dashing profession of soldiering.
At the initial induction, the woman officer neither receives hardcore physical activity nor handles a weapon.
On the other hand, in foreign armies, including our neighbour India, women have been inducted into combatant arms like the infantry, some receive training as dare-devil commandos.
To bring our women military officers somewhere near the soldier’s form, it is suggested that the present uniform be changed to trousers, bush-shirt and beret cap. Besides, Oxford shoes should be used indoors and hefty boots for outdoor activity.
This uniform is gladly worn by Pakistani women staff when employed on UN peace missions abroad.
Must attend PT in the morning and games in the evening like a soldier’s routine.
Must participate in firing weapons at the range once a month.
SAYED G.B. SHAH BOKHARI Peshawar