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First woman to win Sword of Honour

September 23, 2006


ATTOCK, Sept 22: Aviation cadet Saira Amin on Friday became the first woman cadet in the history of the country’s defence forces to win the Sword of Honour at a passing-out parade at the Pakistan Air Force Academy in Risalpur.

The Sword of Honour is awarded on the basis of overall performance in three disciplines – flying, academics and general services training.

Saira Amin, who hails from Peshawar, excelled in the disciplines during the three-year GD pilot training at the PAF Academy in Risalpur.

Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Ahmad Khan said: “I must say that it is a source of inspiration for all Pakistani women, which is indeed a unique achievement, and I wish her success in her future assignments as well.”

Besides Saira Amin, two other woman pilots completed the GD course.

The Air Chief Marshal said it was encouraging to see another batch of three woman pilots passing out successfully from the PAF Academy.

Carrying rifles and dressed in the blue uniform like their male colleagues, the woman pilots took part in the parade before family members, diplomats and other guests.

They have trained in MFI-17 Super Msuhak and T-37 jets and can also fly other fighter aircraft.

With the induction of the three woman pilots, the number of woman pilots in the PAF has now risen to seven. Saba Khan, Nadia Gul, Mariam Khalil and Saira Batool had passed out on March 30.

Earlier, women only worked in engineering, medicines, air traffic control, education and administration branches of the PAF.