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‘Women are equally competent to fight terrorism’

By Sabeen Jamil

Karachi: It wonÂ’t be easy for a suicide bomber or a miscreant in Karachi to attack using the cover of a Burqa. From now on, women will be also thoroughly searched by the newly trained force of women Rangers, said officials while speaking to The News.

The 21 female personnel inducted in Pakistan Rangers recently are trained specially to tackle terrorism threats arising from the fairer faction of the society. “Dealing with women will be easy now,” said an official from Pakistan Rangers referring to the general culture in Pakistan that doesn’t permit a man to body search a woman in general and interrogate a veiled woman in particular. “Inducting female Rangers will help reduce this problem specifically in tribal areas where customs demand almost every woman to veil herself,” he adds.

Trained according to the international standards, as well as the local demands for a 24-week-long training period, these 21 women Rangers will soon be a part of the anti-terrorism operations, internal and border security, snap checking and mob controlling at processions and religious gatherings, house-raids, clearance and cordon where they will be dealing with both men and women. Aged between 18 to 25 years, these female rangers have received titles of Sub-Inspector, Hawaldars and Naeks. They have received their posting orders and will soon be deployed for duty.

“Islam lays an equal responsibility on a woman (as that on a man) to safeguard the country,” says Sana Janjua, 24, freshly recruited Sub-Inspector at the Pakistan Rangers and a student of MBA at the University of Karachi. Referring to Umme Ammara, the first woman warrior in Islamic history, who fought alongside men during the war of Uhad, Sana says that “it is also the duty of women to fight evil and protect their society.” “We are soldiers ready to face what may come,” says Shabana Anwer, 23, who eyes a posting in border area where she will be heading 20 soldiers (Jawaan) if she gets posted.

Now wearing a Rangers uniform and heavy boots, Shabana, MSC Analytical Chemistry, joined Pakistan Rangers because she always wanted to be a part of the armed forces of Pakistan as well as to prove that she is a strong and capable woman. “I had never in my life held a gun let alone shot anything,” she describes her first experience of small arms instructions during the training period. Besides that, she adds that, physical training was also not easy for her as she had never exercised that rigorously in her life. Now, however, Shabana is one of the best shots in her batch and aims at guarding Pakistan against enemy attack.

“By combating terrorism, we will prove that women are equally competent,” vows Syeda Sajida Kiran, 21, Hawaldaar at Pakistan Rangers. Hailing from a conservative family, it was tough for Kiran to convince her family to let her step out of the house and join the armed forces. Now that she has won over them, she is “committed for life” to win over the evil forces in the society.

“Female Rangers are more competitive than their male colleagues,” remarks one of the trainers at Pakistan Rangers, “they compete and aim for excellence,” he adds.
Source: The News
Date:1/28/2009

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