Pakistan News

Fighter pilot Marium laid to rest

Fighter pilot Marium laid to rest

KARACHI: Marium Mukhtiar, the fighter pilot from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), who lost her life in an air crash on Tuesday, was laid to rest in Malir Cantonment here on Wednesday.

Funeral was attended by family members, personnel from the armed forces and their families and Corps Commander Karachi Naveed Mukhtar.

The parents of Marium, 24, said they considered her a role model for young girls in the country. Her father, retired colonel Mukhtiar Ahmad said: “I don’t feel discouraged by the incident, rather encouraged because her courage will begin a trend within the army cadres to recruit more female fighter pilots. I see a trend beginning where young women would aspire to be a fighter pilot.”

Also read: Female pilot dies as PAF trainer jet crashes near Mianwali

He said that in order to become a full pilot a cadet has to complete three missions and Marium was on her second when unfortunately her aircraft crashed.

Marium’s mother, Rehana Mukhtiar, who was also her teacher in the Army Public School, said: “I had given my daughter away to the PAF five years ago. The only remorse I feel is that she was not able to complete her mission. She is a role model to many and coming from an army background we are proud of the girl and the fighter pilot that she was.”

Ms Rehana said that with Marium’s exceptional talents and distinction in her studies she could have easily been accepted as a doctor in the armed forces but she refused to follow a traditional path.

“She told me not to expect something conventional from her and from day one she insisted on becoming a fighter pilot,” Ms Rehana said.

Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar was on a training mission with instructor and squadron leader Saqib Abbasi on Tuesday when the FT-7PG aircraft faced an “in-flight emergency” in the final stages of the mission near Mianwali.

Though the two pilots ejected from the aircraft, according to an ISPR statement, Marium later died from her injuries in a hospital. The aircraft crashed 260km southwest of Islamabad in Kundian area of Mianwali.

The PAF began inducting female pilots in 2005 and Marium was among the 20 female fighter pilots who immediately gained recognition for their talent and ambition.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2015

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