Asia

Pakistan female fighter pilot Marium Mukhtiar mourned after crash

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) soldiers carry the coffin of female fighter jet pilot Marium Mukhtiar, who was killed in a crash during a training mission, at the Faisal Air Base in Karachi on November 24, 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar's body was transported to Karachi

The first Pakistani female fighter pilot to die on operational service has been laid to rest after a funeral at a Karachi air force base.

Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar was on a routine training mission on Tuesday when her plane met with an "in-flight emergency" over Mianwali district in Punjab province, the air force said.

She and her co-pilot ejected. She later died from her injuries in hospital.

Her body was taken to Karachi where the ceremony was held later that day.

Flying Officer Mukhtiar, who was 24, spoke to BBC News last year of her journey into a traditionally male-dominated world.

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Media captionMarium Mukhtiar explains why she decided to train to be a fighter pilot

She was among about 20 female fighter pilots in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), which only began inducting women in combat roles in 2006.

It was not immediately clear why her aircraft crashed. The male pilot was not badly injured and is recovering in hospital.

Pakistani Air Force officials were present as well as family members for the funeral prayers, local media said.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The funeral prayer took place late on Tuesday

'A warrior creed' - tributes paid to Marium Mukhtiar

"She was indeed a role model for women and pride of Pakistan," said Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Shareef.

Image caption "Daughter of Nation...a warrior creed," Munaza Hassan, a member of the national assembly, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said on Twitter.

"Very sad to hear about the crash that killed Pakistan's female fighter pilot Mariam #Pakistan," said Sherry Rehman, vice president, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Twitter.


Pakistan's military has suffered a series of air disasters in recent months.

In September a trainer jet crashed near Mastung in Balochistan province. The pilot ejected to safety.

A military helicopter crash in May killed seven people, including the ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines. Another military helicopter crashed near Mansehra district in August, killing 12 people.

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