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Women rangers not to be assigned combat duty

KARACHI: The Pakistan Rangers have ruled out the possibility of women recruits being inducted into combat force. A spokesman for the paramilitary outfit told this reporter that while his organisation has decided to recruit women in its ranks by the end of next year, they will be assigned different roles but not combat duty. Major-General Javed Zia, the Director-General of Rangers, had reportedly stated that women would be recruited in the organisation, but had not specified fields in which their services were to be utilised. However, the Rangers spokesman elaborated that his organisation is devising modalities and hopefully by the end of 2007, advertisements would be placed in newspapers for the start of recruitment process. At present, the induction policy is at an initial stage and homework is being done to finalise its modalities, such as in which department these women were to be adjusted.

With regard to recruitment criteria, he said proper procedure will be adopted for the purpose. A new recruit will have to undergo a physical fitness test and written test. Height and educational background will also be important considerations. After completion of this process, he said, six months training would be given to those selected. In reply to a question, he said, identical training would be given to recruits no matter which department they were to be assigned to. All selections will be made purely on merit, regardless of applicants’ cast, creed or religion, it was said.

The new openings for women officers include corps of signal, computer officers, corps of electrical and mechanical engineering, education corps, and legal branch, sources said.
The successful candidates would appear before a selection board, to be followed by a final medical examination and approval by the GHQ, Rawalpindi, it was learnt. It was further learnt that successful candidates would never be a part of combat force. However, they could assist the outfit during raids of suspects’ houses in order to avoid resistance from women inmates.
Often, male terror suspects escape from the scene by using their women as shields. To cope with the situation, the source said, the force had decided to induct women to nab real culprits, who often hoodwinked the law-enforcement agencies.

At present, women police force is assisting Pakistan Rangers during house raids, the source said on question of anonymity. It is pertinent to note here that passing-out parade of three newly-inducted women doctors into Rangers took place at Headquarters Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, on Thursday. It may be mentioned here that Pakistan Army had inducted 30 females in the first phase who were directly inducted as majors and captains. These women reportedly would be assigned combat roles in the future. There are currently over 3000 female officers serving the Pakistan army, mainly in the medical and dental corps. These include 650 doctors and 2,300 nurses.
Source: The News