Pilot for a day: Thalassemia patient gets her wish

Published: March 23, 2011

It was like a dream come true for 12-year old Naima Gul, resident of Mingora, Swat, when she became the first female pilot of the Pakistan Army Aviation.

It was like a dream come true for 12-year old Naima Gul, resident of Mingora, Swat, when she became the first female pilot of the Pakistan Army Aviation. It was like a dream come true for 12-year old Naima Gul, resident of Mingora, Swat, when she became the first female pilot of the Pakistan Army Aviation.

PESHAWAR: It was like a dream come true for 12-year old Naima Gul, resident of Mingora, Swat, when she became the first female pilot of the Pakistan Army Aviation, after her wish was granted by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani on Tuesday.

Naima, who is suffering from Thalassemia, wrote a letter to General Kayani informing him of her wish to become a pilot. She received a prompt reply and was inducted as the first aviation female pilot in the history of the Pakistan Army.

“I don’t know how long I will live, but today my dream has come true,” Naima said, speaking at her induction ceremony.

“I will live for my country and will die for it,” said Naima.

“I’m lucky to have received a prompt reply from the Chief of Army Staff, who not only fulfilled my dream but also gave me immense courage, to fight against this deadly disease,” she added.

“I want to help patients suffering from this disease through establishing Naima Gul Foundation,” she added. The foundation, she said, would provide free medication to patients of Thalassemia.

Speaking at the induction ceremony, Corps Commander Lt Gen Yasin Malik said the role of women is not only increasing generally in society but also in the army, where they are working alongside the men.

Naima’s father, Zabatullah Sohail, her mother, Shabana Anjum and her younger sister Roqia were also there to see Naima fly a Lama helicopter.

“I’m a proud man today, as my daughter got the honour of becoming the first female pilot in Pakistan Army, an army whose jawans have given matchless sacrifices to achieve peace for the people of Swat and the rest of Pakistan,” Zabatullah told APP.

Naima’s mother thanked the COAS, the Corps Commander Peshawar and other officials for fulfilling her daughter’s dream.

“We are proud parents,” she added.

With her enrolment as honorary aviation pilot for a day, Naima’s treatment and education would be free

“We are happy that the army would carry out all medication and education expenses of Naima,” her father said.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Shahzad S. Janjua
    Mar 23, 2011 - 3:30PM

    Wish you my dear Naima, all the best of life and hereafter.

    Today is your day and tomorrow as well, it depends how you make it out of it.

    As long as you are alive, everyday is yours and only yours. Recommend

  • Hammad Ali
    Mar 23, 2011 - 3:53PM

    Really nice to see her flying a chopper. InshAllah, she would become healthy after her medication and treatment and would become pilot in real life.

    God bless her.Recommend

  • Saira
    Mar 23, 2011 - 4:46PM

    I hope the kid gets better and is able to live her life to the fullest. But bravo! bravo! ISPR on pulling off yet another publicity stunt! I have to say that ISPR has evolved and become much more efficient!! Seriously the guy who thought this up is amazing and understands that Pakistani are suckers for corny stuff.Recommend

  • My Wish
    Mar 23, 2011 - 5:11PM

    My Prayers are with you sweet babyRecommend

  • Tahera
    Mar 23, 2011 - 5:26PM

    Thank you, Pak Army, for bringing joy into the life of a little girl who deserves to see her dreams come true as much as anyone else.

    My thoughts and prayers with Naima and her family. May she live a long and happy life and be a source of comfort and inspiration for others struggling with health issues in their lives.Recommend

  • Q
    Mar 23, 2011 - 5:36PM

    Best wishes for the kid. God bless her.Recommend

  • Ayesha
    Mar 23, 2011 - 6:22PM

    Allah will keep you safe InshAllah, little one x Recommend

  • IndianBrother
    Mar 23, 2011 - 6:31PM

    It is really a heart melting gesture from the army…hats off !!! Recommend

  • Amer
    Mar 23, 2011 - 7:53PM

    My Allah give the little girl good health and life. Ameen. Great gesture by the COAS!!Pakistan Army is the pride of the nation. The Jawans of the army really deserve our respect and gratitude. I want people to stop the anti-army BS. If anything we should be thankful to the soldiers for laying down their lives and providing their service everyday for us!
    Pakistan Zindabad! Pak Fojj Paindabad!! Recommend

  • Abdul Rauf khan
    Mar 23, 2011 - 7:57PM

    I salute your courage and spirit to do as a pilot even having this medical condition.May Allah tala be with you all the time and give you more and more happy life Aamen.you are such a wonderful girl and have a good soul.Recommend

  • Sardar Khan
    Mar 23, 2011 - 8:32PM

    This is a great gesture of humanity but our rulers owe it to the millions of children in Pakistan, who have no access to basic education and health. We need to extend our largesse and benevolence to each and every child of Pakistan as per the constitution of the country.Recommend

  • Muhammad Saad Younus
    Mar 23, 2011 - 8:33PM

    I am proud of her and the army!!!! felt very emotional while reading her parent’s comments… but i have this feeling that she is going to be healthy soon Insha Allah…. i pray to ALLAH for her healthy and prosperous life…. Long Live Pak Army and Long Live Pakistan!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Jay
    Mar 23, 2011 - 9:26PM

    Hats off to Gen Kayani… what an amazing feel-good story!!! Made me feel so proud of our armed forces!!! Wonderful!! Recommend

  • Nadir
    Mar 23, 2011 - 9:48PM

    Its good to see that commin Pakistani citizens too can enjoy what is essentially there property. The number of times core commanders and their families have used army helicopters for shikars in national parks and day trips to fairy meadows is disgusting. Atleast someone has had her day made. Recommend

  • Pakistan One
    Mar 24, 2011 - 12:23AM

    Why doesn’t the stupid media of Pakistan tell the public that she is the youngest honorary pilot, istead of telling that she is a (fully trained) pilotRecommend

  • Mar 24, 2011 - 2:09AM

    Fanastic :) Thanks Pak Army for this!Recommend

  • Modas
    Mar 24, 2011 - 2:10AM

    My dear Naima Gul,

    Wish you all the best to your family and you, Your are a proud Pakistani, I request to ALLAH to fullfil all you dreams and oneday you will be pilot of Pakistan airforce and will fly fighter jet by yourself. An Angel like you deserve to live forever!Recommend

  • asif
    Mar 24, 2011 - 2:31AM

    es se achha es farishtay ko aor dia he nhi ja sakta tha. tears are shedding from my eyes.Recommend

  • yousuf ali m
    Mar 24, 2011 - 3:23AM

    @Saira:
    dude everyone in the world is a sucker for corny stuff, how else do you explain the popularity of chic flicks?
    its about time ISPR started doing stuff to make our forces look goodRecommend

  • Nael
    Mar 24, 2011 - 6:54AM

    Well done sweetie. May Allah bless you with the best. Hats off to Army.Recommend

  • Tippu
    Mar 24, 2011 - 7:53AM

    My prayer are with you sweet child. May you always have the same radiant smile on your face and may God bless you with all the best things in life.

    And Thank you Pak Army.Recommend

  • Arsalan
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:06AM

    Best Wishes to Naima

    Thanks to the COAS.Recommend

  • NJ
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:11AM

    Mixed sentiments after reading the story! Gloomy coz the little seraph is suffering from such a horrific syndrome, feeling good coz she had her yearning came true! Standing aviation for PAK Army! Our prayers are with the little angel, I wish her a miraculous recovery as our society does need such ambitious individuals! Recommend

  • Ed
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:13AM

    May the Almighty give Naima and Pakistan good health.
    Publicity stunt or not… the smile on her face and the twinkle in her eyes makes it all worth the gesture.Recommend

  • Mar 24, 2011 - 1:05PM

    wish u all the best sweeto and GOD bless u n every step of life and my prayer r with u sweetheart u r so cute PAkistani pilot i proud of u and my brave army .i like army soooooooooooooooooooooo muchRecommend

  • Dr.T.M.Pramod kumar
    Mar 24, 2011 - 3:01PM

    Great soul. Great Dream. Very few such people are on earth who wish to fullfill the dream.
    In a country where there is blood shed, where terrorists are said to be there, there are good people with good souls who can feel the feelings of an innocent child.
    Wish I give my age and health to Niama.
    Best of luck for her noble cause of distribution of free medicines.Recommend

  • Shoaib Ghaziani
    Mar 25, 2011 - 1:33PM

    All are appriciated this action of army chief, this is really good action.
    BUT you know how many patients are in Karachi and in Pakistan, may be you will not belive, 5000 to 6000 patients born every year. If we aware our community, our pakistani about the reason of thalassemia major, I belive we can stop the the birth of patients.
    Please joint hand with us for THALASSEMIA FREE PAKISTAN, and for THALASSEMIA PREVENTION PROJECT.

    We are going to screen school students for thalassemia minor, the base of thalassemia major, after screening we will counciling the parents to NOT MARRY ANY THALASEMIA MINOR WITH OTHER THALASEMIA MINOR. Recommend

  • Saleem
    Mar 25, 2011 - 6:54PM

    This is the second or third time in the past one month where people of such kind write directly to Army chiefs and their wishes are met followed by media coverage. That is true that Pakistan has remained under the Army rule for several long periods, but Pakistanies now change their mind-sets and send all such requests to the legal incharge i.e.,President or Prime Minister of Pakistan, rather than these army heads (whom should not have a direct contacts with the people). Let’s put that to end.Recommend

  • Dr AR Alhadi
    Mar 29, 2011 - 2:13AM

    Thanks a lot for this brave girl hope for her all the best appreciating also the kindness of the leader decision Recommend

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