The trend of girls joining the three armed forces is increasing; their motivation level is unmatched. As long as the girls remain single, they are well looked after in the officers’ messes. The problem starts when they get married and are posted away from their families. There are no joint families to look after their kids and at times, it is not possible for any member of their families to stay indefinitely with them at their station of posting. To a large extent, their kids are at the mercy of the servants or maids.

A case in point is of my daughter who joined the PAF with a lot of enthusiasm and served there for about 16 years but then she called it a day when her daughter was 7 years old as she strongly demanded her mother to be present at home when she returned from school.

My daughter also narrated the fact that she always wanted her mother to be at home when she returned from her school or college. The duty hours of my daughter were strenuous as she had to be present at the approach radar of Masroor base when the first aircraft took off and return home after the last landing of the day and then go again in the evening to monitor the night flying. She would return around mid night after the last aircraft had safely landed back.

Her husband is in the Pakistan Navy and even his day and night schedules were unpredictable, thus our granddaughter had to be with the maid most of the time. It is strongly suggested that just like the multi-national companies and some highly reputable schools, which have mandatory daycare centres, the three services should also arrange the same for their married lady officers. One does not have to highlight the importance of the presence of a suckling child near his or her mother as he or she should get priority over service matters during their extremely important and formative years. Last but not the least, children reared up in the military environments would prove to be an asset to the nation in general and the forces in particular.

MAJOR TALAAT KHURSHID (RETD),

Rawalpindi, September 6.