Sir: It was heartening to read the news story about Pakistan Army’s 24 lady paratroopers in your esteemed newspaper dated July 15, 2013. No doubt this courageous act of our brave army sisters is a landmark achievement in this male dominated society, and is highly commendable for showing the world a softer face of our country during these tough times. However, a matter of concern for me in this news story was the use of the phrase “First ever female paratroopers of Pakistan.” As far as my memory works (and also cross-checked it from the media archives available on internet later), Flight Lieutenant Bisma Naseem and Flight Lieutenant Fatima Khalil of the Pakistan Air Force have the honour of being the country’s first ever female paratroopers after completing their training at the PAF Academy Risalpur on April 17, 2006. This event marked not just a Pakistani but also an Asian record.
The event was widely and enthusiastically covered by the print and electronic media. I also read the story, published along with beautiful coloured photographs, of the brave PAF lady officers in your esteemed newspaper and in many others, dated April 18, 2006. Being a close friend of Fatima’s, her distinction of being the first ever female paratrooper of not only Pakistan, but also Asia, was a moment of great pride for her friends, family and the nation at large. While I am elated at the news of the Pakistan Army’s first female paratroopers, a few technicalities must be taken care of while reporting the country’s significant events. I request you, and other media through your eminent newspaper, to refresh people’s memory and maintain the correct record regarding Pakistan’s first ever female paratroopers.