This news item from today’s Daily Times (23 September, 2006) needs no explanation. Saira Amin needs our words of congratulations, and maybe a crisp salute.
The coveted Sword of Honour for best all-round performance was claimed by Aviation Cadet Saira Amin, who made history by being the first woman pilot to have won the Sword of Honour in any defence academy of Pakistan. The passing out parade of the 117th GD (P) course, which includes the second batch of three women pilots, was held at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Academy, Risalpur Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed, PAF chief of air staff, was the chief guest. The trophy for best performance in general service training and the Chief of Air Staff Trophy for best performance in flying were lifted by Aviation Cadet Squadron Under Officer Nadir Ali. The Asghar Hussain Trophy for best performance in academics was achieved by Aviation Cadet Saira Amin. Squadron No 3 received the Quaid-e-Azam Banner for being the champion squadron.
I had always thought that Inayat Hussain Bhatti’s 1965 song, jang khed nai zananian di (‘war is not the sport of women’) was a ratehr silly song. I guess Ms. Amin is also not a fan of that song. I wish her the very best, although I do also wish that neither she nor anyone else – man or woman – has to actually go to war to demonstrate the silliness of Mr. Bhatti’s histrionics.