By Aruba Adil
KARACHI: Marium Mukhtar, 24, who could not survive the injuries of an air force plane crash during a training session on Tuesday, is remembered by friends as someone who was humble, kind and intelligent.
Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar and Squadron Leader Saqib Abbasi were flying a training mission on an FT-7PG aircraft and when they encountered a “serious in-flight emergency”. The hurried crash landing left Abbasi with a few scratches, but Marium embraced martyrdom.
Born in 1991, she made her parents proud by becoming the first lady pilot from Hazara. She was the only girl from her college batch to qualify the General Duty Pilot test, and she was the sword holder from her Pakistan Air force Training Batch.
“Marium Mukhtiar was indeed a role model for women and pride of Pakistan” said Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff in his condolences message to her family.
Mukhtiar was a source of motivation for her fellow cadets during training at the air force academy. She was a soulful personality who touched many hearts through her kindness and dedication.
“We looked up to her as a role model. She was never worried and always calm and composed at the academy despite being away from home. She was very punctual,” said flying officer Masood Ghaznavi, who was six month her junior.
“During the initial days of my training I was worried about how I would perform. She was always by my side, assuring me that the initial days are tough, and I will work out fine,” said Ghaznavi.
Marium completed her schooling from the Army Public School. Before she got accepted in the Pakistan Airforce, she spent a short time at NED University, enrolled in an engineering programme.
Her school mates remember as an independent, energetic girl who would outdo others in sports. “She was different from other girls. She was good in sports, especially Polo. She was a great horse rider,” said Tahreem Akhtar Adil, her class fellow.
Young women like Marium are hard to find. She was an independent woman, a good daughter, a compassionate friend, a committed pilot and a generous human being. She has left behind two siblings and parents.