MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan calls Maryam Mujtaba, of Muzaffarabad, a role model for other Kashmiri women. Braving odd, Maryam has become the first female commercial pilot from the scenic valley. Maryam called on the president on Saturday at the Presidency along with her husband, Mujtaba Rathore Aga. The president extended felicitations to Ms Mujtaba. Maryam was born to a family of Kashmiri migrants from Shopian in India-held Kashmir and settled in Muzaffarabad and Rawalpindi. She got training for her commercial pilot licence (CPL) in Rawalpindi and later in New Jersey-based flight academy, Century Air. She flies Airbus-320 with the PIA as first officer. She has also been designated by the Special Communications Organisation, a subsidiary of the Pakistan army running telecom network in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan, as its brand ambassador. The AJK president said her success would encourage Kashmiri women to seek employment in this field. “You have inspired and encouraged a number of women in the liberated territory to consider aviation as a promising career,” he remarked. He said in spite of the prevailing crisis in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the aviation industry was bound to rise again and provide a livelihood to tens of hundreds of skilled persons, including women.