Islamabad: The Pakistan Army's first group of women paratroopers completed its training on Sunday, with the military hailing it as a ‘landmark achievement’ for a force dominated by males. Twenty-four women officers participated in the three-week basic airborne training course organized at the Parachute Training School.

Capt Kiran Ashraf was declared the best paratrooper of the batch while Capt Sadia made history by becoming the army's first woman officer to jump from a Mi-17 helicopter.
    
 The women officers were given physical training and the para jumping course involved training in exit, flight and landing techniques, a military statement said. They were awarded their ‘Para Wings’ or insignia by Maj Gen Abid Rafique, General Officer Commanding of the Special Services Group, during a ceremony held at Tarbella.
      
Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani congratulated the women officers and their training staff on the successful completion of their training.
    
The enrolment of women in Pakistan's armed forces started during the time of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. Women are now part of all three services. In 2006, seven women graduated as fighter pilots of the Pakistan Air Force, breaking into one of the most exclusive clubs of the military.

(Agencies)

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