RAWALPINDI, June 17: A lady doctor became the first ever woman to take on the rank of Major-General in the history of the Pakistan Army.

Brigadier Dr Shahida Malik of the Army Medical Corps had the new badges of ranks pinned on her shoulders by Lieutenant General Karamat Ahmed Karamat, Surgeon General of the Pakistan Army, in a simple rank wearing ceremony held at GHQ on Monday.

Previously Deputy Commandant (Administrative and Support Services) at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology and the National Institute of Heart Diseases, Rawalpindi, Dr Shahida now assumes the new position of Inspector General of the Pakistan Army hospitals. The position entails the overseering of some 31 army hospitals throughout the country.

A graduate from Fatima Jinnah Medical College (1969), fifty- six year old Dr Shahida is one of the handful of woman officers in the Pakistan Army. Most of these woman officers are serving in the medical and nursing corps.

With thirty-two years of service with the Pakistan Army behind her, Dr Shahida had been selected for promotion in the beginning of February at a meeting of the Selection Board for the promotion of Brigadiers to the rank of Major-General held at GHQ, Rawalpindi.

Out of the 132 brigadiers considered by the Selection Board for promotion this year, she was one of the 27, and the only woman, who merited promotion to the rank of Major General.

In addition to being the first woman to achieve the rank of major general in the Pakistan Army, her promotion also brings another distinction to the family. Her husband is Major General Asad Malik, Commandant of Army Medical College in Rawalpindi, and her promotion makes them the first husband and wife who are serving generals in the Pakistan Army.

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