KARACHI: The Morning Show of ARY News in a tribute showcased some childhood pictures and video clips of Pakistan’s first fighter pilot Marium Mukhtiar who laid her life in the line of duty on November 24, 2015.
Tears rolled down faces of parents of ‘the pride of Pakistan’ as the video clip was run during the show hosted by Sanam Baloch.
Marium Mukhtiar was born on 18th May 1992 in Karachi. She was daughter of Colonel (retd.) Mukhtiar Ahmed Shaikh.
She joined Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on 6th May 2011 and completed her graduation in 2014.
Marium Mukhtiar acquired fighter pilot training from PAF Academy Risalpur and was amongst the five female pilots of Pakistan who were able to fight on the war front.
She was on a routine training flight with her instructor Saqib Abbasi when her jet developed a fault and crashed at Kandian area in Bhakra near Mianwali on the fateful day of November 24, 2015.
A PAF spokesman after the crash stated that the aircraft had developed technical fault but the pilot managed to divert the jet away from the populated area to avoid any harm to the population.
The government of Pakistan posthumously honored Marium Mukhtiar with Tamgha-e-Basalat on 23rd March 2016.
This should be noted that Sanam Baloch will portray Marium Mukhtiar in a film to pay tribute to her. According to reports, the film will be directed by Sarmad Khoosat and written by Umera Ahmed. Baloch has donated all the money earned through film to Fighter Pilot Marium Shaheed Foundation.
Talking to ARY News host, Marium’s mother Rehana Mukhtiar said it was impossible for her to erase her daughter’s memories which were attached with everything in her life.
She said she had been very strict with Marium in order to maker her stronger.
“When she used to come on C130 aircraft to meet me, I would not hug her out of fear that she would get emotional,” she recounted.
Rehana said she did not want to see tears in her daughter’s eyes while wearing the uniform. She would say not to come back home after such a short period of time, she said adding that Marium used to visit home after every three to four months and she used to ask her to visit at least after six months, just to make her realise that they did not miss her, while they did.
Mukhtiar Ahmed Shaikh said Marium was more than a daughter to him, she was a friend as well and her death had changed the way he lived.
“It was after her martyrdom that I started giving charity in groups, otherwise I used to give charity secretly. She taught me effectiveness of charities in group. She herself used to give excessively in charities,” he said.
The late flying officer’s brother, Shahrukh Mukhtiar said apart from charities she used to spend money on him. He said Marium was like a brother for him.
It apparently seemed difficult to utter because of grief but Marium’s friend managed to tell that how strong friendship they had and the moment she heard about Marium’s death she could not believe herself.
“I had not yet heard the dismal news when I was taking my architect exam, but I had intuited that there had something gone terribly wrong,” she said.
The martyr’s uncle said, “Marium was born to be a brave soldier.”