President Sardar Masood Khan calls Maryam Mujtaba a role model for other Kashmiri women.
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
While terming her as a role model for all girls aiming to achieve excellence in apparently challenging fields of life, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has showered praise on Maryam Mujtaba, a resident of Muzaffarabad, on becoming the first female commercial pilot from the region.
The president extended felicitations to Mujtaba after she called on him along with her spouse Mujtaba Rathore Aga, deputy superintendent of the police (DSP) in Kashmir.
Sardar Masood Khan with Maryam Mujtaba during their meeting at AJK President House.
Born to a family of Kashmiri migrants from Shopian and settled in Muzaffarabad and Rawalpindi, Mujtaba obtained her commercial pilot licence (CPL) after undergoing initial aviation training in Rawalpindi and later in New Jersey-based flight academy, Century Air.
Recently, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) promoted her as “first officer” on Airbus-320 after she completed the requisite flying hours on domestic routes on an ATR.
Maryam Mujtaba has also been designated by the Special Communications Organisation (SCO), a subsidiary of the Pakistan army running telecom network in Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, as its brand ambassador.
The AJK president said her success would embolden many more Kashmiri women to seek employment in this field.
“You have inspired and encouraged a number of women in the liberated territory to consider aviation as a promising career,” he remarked.
Maryam Mujtaba (centre) poses with PIA's crew members for a photograph. Instagram photo
He said despite the prevailing crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the aviation industry was bound to rise again and provide livelihood to tens of hundreds of skilled persons, including women.
Mujtaba told the president that flying was her dream since childhood and “PIA had given her wings to translate it into reality.”
PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan said the management has now written to the Civil Aviation Authority to urgently provide the list of other licences found to be dubious and all of them will be indefinitely grounded pending inquiries against them.
Airlines in 10 countries had demanded proof of valid flying licences for their Pakistani pilots after it emerged about a third of Pakistan International Airlines aviators were holding "bogus or suspicious" licences. In all, the foreign airlines asked for proof of 176 Pakistani pilot licences.
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