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Number of Pakistani women attending combat courses in US doubles in 10 years

June 24, 2024 9:11 am

 US State Department
US State Department

Islamabad: The number of Pakistani women participating in the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program has reportedly more than doubled in the past decade.

From 2013 to 2019, 22 Pakistani women participated in IMET courses. This number surged to 55 between 2020 and 2023, according to a US State Department report published on June 21st.

The IMET program aims to build military-to-military relationships by funding international military students to attend American military training and education courses.

In recent years, Pakistan has led the region in sending female military officers to the United States for specialized courses.

These courses cover anti-terrorism and anti-piracy, military justice, information technology, cyber strategies, public affairs, gender-based violence, and medical-related subjects.

Two women completed their MBAs in financial management at the US Naval Postgraduate School, and another returned to Pakistan in a train-the-trainer role to update the national curriculum.

Additionally, two female officers have qualified for the Pakistani staff college this year, paving the way for them to attend staff college in the United States as well.

Raja Ali and Nasir Ayub, IMET program managers in the Office of Defense Representative Pakistan (ODRP), have been instrumental in advocating for and supporting the professional development of women in the Pakistani military.

Their efforts, along with the addition of the first female ODRP local staff member, Saba Javed, have encouraged the military services and the Ministry of Defense to send more women for training and education in the United States.

The professional development opportunities for female Pakistani military personnel are flourishing, with these trailblazing women laying the groundwork for future generations.

As the drops of rain continue to fall, the presence and influence of women in the Pakistani military are becoming more abundant and impactful.

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