Flight Lieutenant Ayesha Farooq was born on August 24, 1987 in the historic city of Bahawalpur. She is the first ever female fighter pilot to qualify for battle. She is one of 19 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan
Flight Lieutenant Ayesha Farooq was born on August 24, 1987 in the historic city of Bahawalpur. She is the first ever female fighter pilot to qualify for battle. She is one of 19 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the last decade - there are five other female fighter pilots, but they have yet to take the final tests to qualify for combat.
Ayesha is now flying missions in F7PG fighter jet alongside her 24 male colleagues in Squadron 20. She doesn't feel any different. She is doing the same activities, the same precision bombing. In Pakistani society most girls even don't think about doing such things as flying an aircraft.'
A growing number of women have joined Pakistan's defence forces in recent years as attitudes towards women change. Because of a sharp rise in terrorism due to Taliban militancy and Pakistan's geographical location it's very important that Pakistan's forces stay on their toes.
A few years ago Ayesha's widowed and uneducated mother had not approved of her daughter joining the air force. There are 18 other female pilots among the 4,000 women in Pakistan's 1.4million-strong armed forces, though female recruits mostly do desk jobs and medical work.
Like many other Armed forces in the world, women are banned from ground combat. 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.
More and more ladies are joining now. It's seen as less of a taboo. There's been a shift in the nation's society's, way of thinking.