Emerging Technology: Laser Guns

Published in Hilal English Jan 2014

Written By: Sana Nasri

The gadgets that we dreamed of in sci-fi films are becoming a reality. I would like to go take you all back in your memory lane to the famous movies like Star Trek, Star Wars, War of the Worlds, UFO, Planet of the Apes or any movie related to space and aliens. Our first thought would definitely go towards the technology used by the Aliens and Space people. Those were variety of imaginary laser weapons, laser pistols, laser rifles used for destroying the cities and people.

This idea made military minds to turn lasers guns from science fiction into reality for everything. Many big defence companies are taking a fresh look at laser technology. As lasers provides a number of benefits like keeping costs down and ensuring accuracy they need minimal support and maintenance. A LASER is defined as a generator for light waves based on atoms and quantum physical effects. They are often used for sighting, ranging and targeting for guns; in these cases the laser beam is not the source of the weapon's firepower.

The lasing process is all about storing and releasing energy. An energy source injects energy into the lasing medium. The energy excites electrons, which move up to higher energy levels. When the electrons relax, they emit photons. The photons move back and forth between the mirrors, exciting other electrons as they go. This produces powerful, focused light. Laser weapons usually generate brief high-energy pulses. A one megajoule laser pulse delivers roughly the same energy as 200 grams of high explosive, and has the same lethal effect on a target. The primary damage mechanism is mechanical

shear, caused by reaction when the surface of the target is explosively evaporated. There are many different types of lasers used in military weapons. Few are:-

• Solid state Lasers have a lasing medium that is solid crystal, like the ruby laser or the neodymium YAG laser, which emits 1.06 micrometer wavelength.

• Gas Lasers have a lasing medium that is a gas or combination of gases, such as helium-neon laser or carbon dioxide laser, which emits 10.6 micrometer wavelengths (infrared).

• Excimer Lasers or ultraviolet laser have a lasing medium that is a combination of reactive gases, like chlorine or fluorine, and inert gases, like argon or krypton. The argon fluoride laser emits ultraviolet light of 193 nanometer wavelengths.

• Dye Lasers have a lasing medium that is a fluorescent dye. They can be tuned to a variety of wavelengths within a certain range. The Rhoda mine 6G dye laser can be tuned from 570- to 650-nanometer wavelengths.

• Carbon Dioxide Lasers are being explored by the militaries because they're powerful infrared lasers that can be used for cutting metal.

• Chemical Oxygen-Iodine Laser. The energy source for the COIL is a chemical reaction, and the lasing medium is molecular iodine. It is used aboard the Air Force's Airborne Laser.

• Thin Disk Laser. Boeing Company is working on Thin Disk Laser System. It takes a series of commercial solid-state lasers and integrates them to produce one concentrated high-energy beam. It surpassed 30 kilowatts in power and enough to do some serious damage to a battlefield threat.

• Fiber Laser System. Aculight Company worked on Spectral Beam Combining technique to produce a high power laser beam. It works sort of like an inverse prism, with lasers of slightly different wavelengths entering it and coming out as a single beam. It resulted in a compact fiber laser system capable of producing 100 kilowatts of power. Fiber lasers tend to need less power to operate and optical fibers provide nearly perfect quality beams. Rather than using mirrors that can become misaligned, this approach confines the light within the fiber's glass structure. Types of Laser Guns

• Rayguns are a type of fictional directed-energy weapon. They have various alternate names ray gun, death ray, beam gun, blaster, laser gun, phaser, zap gun etc. They are a well-known feature of science fiction.

• Laser Tag is a team or individual sport or recreational activity where players attempt to score points by tagging targets, typically with a hand-held infrared-emitting targeting device. At their core, laser tag systems typically use infrared signaling to track firing of the laser.

• Electro Lasers are electroshock weapons which send current along an electrically conductive laser-induced plasma channel. Electro lasers are recoilless, first firing a low-power diode laser beam to ionize the air, then following it almost instantly with a high-voltage electrical charge that follows the path of the laser to the target.

• Pulse Laser Gun was a DIY project that has a small pulse laser head and generates a kW-pulse of infrared light. It is full metal body and can blast through plastic, razorblade, and even 5mm of Styrofoam. It has a range a 3 meters, and the gun itself is 320mm long and weighs at 2 pounds. It is battery powered, and it is good for about 50 shots.

• Dazzlers. Some lasers are used as non-lethal weapons, such as dazzlers which are designed to temporarily blind or distract people or sensors. We have to brace ourselves for a hi-tech new world with the Laser Close-In Weapon Systems. As lasers will be used as weapons; bringing nearly instant and extremely precise strikes to the battlefield. With deep magazines of laser-ness, they remove the worry of running out of ammunition. Plus lasers can be calibrated to the scale of the threat, ranging from a non-lethal blow through to taking out a missile. Developments are also being made in US Air force like Airborne Laser (Advanced Tactical Laser), the PHaSR and the Active Denial System and Navy equipment as well like Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL), and Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) etc. On same lines Boeing has also been making progress in other sorts of military laser weapons.


Opting for a Societal Strategy to Counter Radicalism

Written By: Abid Latif Sindhu

In animal symbolism Red Robin denotes all the good things from hope to renewal, new beginning and joy. There is a reason to be joyful as now the Red Robins of Waziristan are back. Operation Zarb- e-Azb is bearing fruit and chink after chink the territory is being reliberated from the dark shadows of obscurantism. The permanency to this tranquility depends not solely on kinetics but more so on deep-rooted social engineering and corrections in ideological overturns, through stacking of correct narratives, one after the other. The region of FATA (even so Afghanistan) requires a new dimensional, high definition enlightenment without which the beast of the jungle will not leave and chickens will come home to roost again and again.

Enlightenment is, therefore, the therapy to save the ideology from precipice and its unwanted pitfalls. Generally the enlightenment is of two types, radical and moderate. The moderate enlightenment is an evolutionary process which takes place over a period of time. This part of world now requires the radical enlightenment. This might look like an oxymoron but for pure happiness of the society, there is a need to undertake social engineering at societal level with cultural underpinnings.

A new discourse has to be invented, comfortably ensconced between the pull of philosophy and the drag of history. The intellectual history of Muslim comity is frozen in time, there is much beyond the mere definitions of theists and atheists. Spinoza once said "Man is neither good nor bad morally but merely neutral and morality itself is purely a function of society.” People living at the dissenting fringe of society can be recasted by appreciating the root cause of dissent, rather than demonizing the periphery. The Quakers in 17th century hated slavery, not the slave. The Quaker entrepreneur played a central role in formenting the Industrial Revolution, especially in England and Pennsylvania, thus initiating the radical enlightenment which made the abolition of slavery possible. For any society the basic mortar for cohesion and pure happiness is the prevailing sense of equality. The prejudices and static traditions are the termites which eventually tunnel out the equality by preferences of the influentials. Therefore, the emergence of informal aristocracy is to be seen as the vanguard of inequality quarters.

How then would the society be re-engineered? Remember, the philosophy as the higher thought is not for the majority. It will not enlighten the people enmasse. For masses a systematic re-education is required. The equation of re-educating, de-radicalizing and educating (RDE) has to be established with mathematical dexterity. Re-educating means correcting the ideological aberrations which will result into generic deradicalization and thus the intellectual chasms can be filled with education based on rationality, reason and sublime logic. It is believed by rationalists that men don’t degenerate in society, it is simply because reason has not yet developed sufficiently for them to take advantage of it. In short, the general freedom and equality is linked to general enlightenment. The rules, norms and traditions are for emancipation, not enslaving the people. World is passing through interesting times. As per Fareed Zakaria, world is moving from anger to indifference with three forces: politics, economics and, technology shaping the world. Where then can we fix the concept of enlightenment? It is the new political discourse of the society where the new found principles can have their gestation. In present world both the global north and the global south are facing the inequality.

The West is facing the problem of plenty and East the problem of scarcity. Net result in the words of Thomas Piketty is overwhelming inequality, thus the emergence of folds where the radical thoughts grow casting their diabolic shadow. In Afghanistan same inequality is manifested in a little different hue. Afghan society is deeply tribal in nature. The Afghan cities are the microcosm of the rural Afghanistan. The west and the rest have reaped the failure of their success in Afghanistan by applying an obtuse strategy of fireworks. Due to ground and ideological friction, the foreign troops are almost always the victims of system fatigue. Present day world is a depiction of an array of uni-multipolarity, many powers and one super power. It also seems that due to reasons known to the power to be, the world conflicts or chaos, once stirred, are very difficult to control. Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are the current examples of this international vagary. Why is it so? Alvin Toffler's third wave is now giving birth to the ever increasing influence for the fourth wave, which is the culture. Culture is the destiny of the world. The datafied world is bound to converge again on culture. The phenomenon of globalization is trying to dilute the same but only in a subtle way. The social instability inside Afghanistan is due to the lack of institutions or the malfunctioning of the existing ones. As of now only traditional institution of jirgah and arbitration is effective between different tribes and warlords. The Afghan society is the true depiction of the malfunctioning of these traditional institutions.

The basic responsibility of the state is the redistribution of, primarily, the two sine-qua-nons – sustenance of food and the deliverance of law. Afghan state lacks in both. It behaves as a minimalist one due to lack of the application of the principles of equality and the radical enlightenment. Isomorphic mimicry, that is copying outward forms of developed countries without investing into the people, leads a nation to nowhere. Historically there always were the estates before the state, but that is why the world went under the birth pangs of the Reformation, Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. Estates within the state of Afghanistan is not a territorial issue. It is to be fixed with the wand of rationality and reason. Even the civil society can't do the trick as civil societies are always partial, partisan and self-directed towards its own ideals. The band, tribe and solidarity, based on genetic relatedness, is the social retardation which takes societies backward rather than moving ahead. Tribal laws revolve around an extreme sense of bondage slavery, which when comes in context with other tribes becomes a sort of nepotism based on kingship and reciprocal altruism. All is absolutely against the principle of equality and rule of law.

Prebendalism of sort was the most effective reason for the birth of Taliban, rather than the concept of Afghan Jihad which is over since long. Political correctness of a society as a whole is very important cause without which even modernization will be a phenomenon without development. On the other hand the fulcrum to start the process of enlightenment is the Afghan government, however, weak it is, has to be trusted, as the distrust of any government metastasizes into distrust of everyone. The Federalist Papers is not only documentation of American history, rather it is more or less a document dealing with difficult societal situation through the prism of enlightened reasoning. The political machine of Taliban in Afghanistan is more of a social clique than a military club. The recruitment is done through the precinct captains in rural areas and ward healers in towns and cities.

To address the problem of emergence of obscurantist beasts one after the other, we need to break the cycle of ideological gestation. The entire west is focusing upon the state building of Afghanistan whereas actually there is a need for nation building. Till the time the swap over is not done, the Afghan problem will simmer like a volcano. State is built through tangible institutions like army, police, bureaucracy and ministries etc., whereas nation is built through the intangibles of national identity, corrective ideology, symbols and shared identities. The Third World War would be the war of intangibles. The west and the rest are rather investing in tangibles, thereby winning battles and losing the war. The ideology is the plane where the actual fight has to take place. This can happen not through kinetics but the shining armour of reasoning, logic and enlightenment. Historical amnesia has strangely taken over those nations who, themselves, overcame their dark periods through the application of intangible first, before the sequencing of tangibles. Institutions are very important but these are not the bedrock to raise edifice, the bedrock and ideational plinth is the correct ideology and the sense of identity.

With due apology, to James A.Robin and Daron (authors of Why Nations Fail), nations do not fail due to lack of institutions, rather nations fail when their institutions don’t manifest the lofty principles of equality, liberty, rule of law and respect for human values.

The writer is a freelancer having a military background and regularly contributes for national dailies on issues related to national security, strategy and foreign policy. He is also a Ph.D scholar at National Defence University.
Enlightenment is, therefore, the therapy to save the ideology from precipice and its unwanted pitfalls. Generally the enlightenment is of two types, radical and moderate. The moderate enlightenment is an evolutionary process which takes place over a period of time. This part of world now requires the radical enlightenment. This might look like an oxymoron but for pure happiness of the society, there is a need to undertake social engineering at societal level with cultural underpinnings.



گھر کی حفاظت

تحریر: منیراحمدبلوچ

پٹٹری سے اترے ہوئے معاشروں، قوموں اور کھونٹے سے اکھڑے ہوئے چوپایوں کو پوری طرح سنبھلنے اور ایک بار پھر پوری قوت اور ہمت سے اپنا کردار ادا کرنے کے قابل ہونے کے لئے عرصہ درکار ہوتا ہے۔ ایسے معاشروں اور قوموں کی کیفیت تلاطم خیز موجوں سے نبردآزما ہوئی کشتی کی سی ہوتی ہے جسے ساحل تک پہنچنے کے لئے نہ جانے کتنے غوطے کھانے پڑتے ہیں اگر اس کشتی کے مسافر افراتفری اور ہڑبونگ سے کام لینے والے نہ ہوں اور اس کے ملاح ہنر مند ہوں تو وہ اسے گرداب سے نکالنے میں کامیاب ہوجاتے ہیں لیکن اگر وہ اس کشتی میں خود ہی سوراخ کرنے لگیں اور ملاح بھی کام چوری‘ اکتاہٹ اور تھکاوٹ کا شکار ہونے کے ساتھ ساتھ کشتی میں سوراخ کرنے والوں کے ہمدرد بننے لگیں تو پھر کوئی بہت بڑا طوفان نہیں ایک معمولی سی شوخ لہر بھی کشتی اور اس کے مسافروں کونگلنے کے لئے کافی ہوتی ہے۔

بابا جی نے برسوں کی محنت سے ایک بڑا اور خوبصورت سا گھر بنایا لیکن انہیں اس میں زیا دہ عرصہ رہنا نصیب نہ ہوا اور وہ جلد ہی اس دنیا سے رخصت ہو گئے۔ ان کی اولادیں ان میں رہنے لگیں۔ وقت گزرتا رہا گھر کا رنگ و روغن اترنا شروع ہو گیا۔ کچھ دیواروں سے پلستر بھی اترنے لگا لیکن گھر والوں نے اس پر کوئی توجہ نہ دی، ان کے اخراجات تھے کہ دن بدن بڑھتے گئے، کام کی جانب توجہ نہ ہونے کے برابر رہ گئی، جب جمع پونجی ختم ہونے لگی تو گھر کو بینک میں گروی رکھ کر قرضہ لے لیا لیکن بجائے اسے اپنے کاروبار میں لگانے کے اسے بھی اللّوں تللّوں میں ضائع کر دیا۔ نتیجہ یہ نکلا کہ با با جی کی برسوں کی محنت نیلامی کے اشتہاروں میں سب کے سامنے آ گئی۔ وہ گھر جس کی بنیادیں اور دیواریں تو مضبوط تھیں لیکن گھر والوں کی عدم توجہ اور فضول قسم کی عیاشیوں سے اس قدر کمزور ہو گئیں کہ آئے دن اس کی خرید میں دلچسپی رکھنے والی پارٹیاں دندنانے لگیں۔

عرصہ گزراچینی شہنشاہ نے آئے روز کی بیرونی یلغار سے خود کو محفوظ رکھنے کے لئے فیصلہ کیا کہ چین کے گرد ایک اونچی اور مضبوط دیوار بنا ئی جائے۔ شہنشاہی فیصلہ ہوتے ہی پوری قوم اس کی تعمیر میں جت گئی۔ برسوں کی کٹھن محنت اور بھاری سرمائے سے تعمیر کی جانے والی یہ عظیم اور مشہور زمانہ دیوارِ چین اس قدر مضبوط اور بلند تھی کہ کوئی بھی اس کی تسخیر کا تصوّر بھی نہیں کرتا تھا۔ چاروں جانب مشہور ہو گیا کہ اسے پار کرنا کسی بھی بیرونی دشمن کے لئے نا ممکن بنا دیا گیا ہے۔ چین کی اس وقت کی شہنشاہیت بھی اپنے اس عجوبے پر مطمئن ہو گئی لیکن اس کے با وجود مختلف وقتوں میں تین سے زائد مرتبہ بیرونی حملہ آور چین کے اندر داخل ہونے میں کامیاب ہو ئے۔ یہ بیرونی حملہ آور دیوار چین پھلانگ کر یا اسے گرا کر اندر داخل نہیں ہوئے بلکہ ہر دفعہ حملہ آور ہونے والی فوجوں نے اپنے ایجنٹوں کے ذریعے اس دیوار کے مختلف حصوں پر تعینات چینی پہریداروں کو بھاری رشوت دیتے ہوئے اپنے ساتھ ملایا، جنہوں نے ان کے لئے چپکے سے دروازے کھول دیئے... چین کی اس وقت کی اشرافیہ نے اپنے اردگرد حصار قائم کرنے کے لئے عظیم دیوار تو بنا دی لیکن بدقسمتی سے قوم کے کچھ افراد کا وہ کردار تعمیر نہ کر سکی جو انہیں باور کراتا کہ وطن کی محبت اور عزت کی کبھی بھی کوئی قیمت نہیں ہوا کرتی۔


gharkihafazat.jpgاپنے گرد حفاظتی حصار اور اسلحے کے ڈھیروں سے کسی ملک کی حفاظت نہیں ہو تی بلکہ غیرت و حمیت اور مضبوط کردار سے ہوتی ہے۔ چین کی اس وقت کی اشرافیہ کے لوگ بھول گئے کہ ملک کے دفاع کے لئے دیوار چین کی تعمیر کے ساتھ اپنے ملک کے شہریوں کا کردار بھی مضبوط اور بہتر بنانا ضروری تھا۔ وہ حکومتیں تومدت ہوئی کب کی گزر گئیں لیکن چین میں ایک عظیم انقلاب کے ذریعے ماؤزے تنگ اور چو این لائی جیسی قیا دت سامنے آئی تو انہوں نے اپنا کردار سب کے سامنے رکھتے ہوئے چین کے ہر ایک فرد کو پیغام دے دیا کہ اس ملک میں جینے اور رہنے کا ایک ہی رستہ ہے کہ اپنے وطن سے، وطن کے اسباب سے، وطن کے دفاع سے اور وطن کے وقار سے دل کی گہرائیوں تک وفاداری نبھانا ضروری ہے۔

روزمرہ کے اپنے کردار اور گفتار کو بہترین معاشرے کا حصہ بنا دو کیو نکہ اس کے بغیر اس ملک میں رہنے اور جینے کا کوئی فائدہ نہیں اور ایسے لوگ جو ملک قوم اور اس کے وقار کا سودا کرتے ہیں انہیں ’ننگِ دین‘ ’ننگِ وطن‘ کے نام سے صدیوں پکارا جاتا ہے ۔ 1850 میں امریکہ کے صدر ہنری کلے نے کہا تھا کہ مجھے امریکہ کی صدارت نہیں بلکہ صداقت چاہئے یہ امریکی صدر صدارت سے دستبرداری کے لئے تو تیار تھا لیکن سچائی کا دامن چھوڑنا اسے قطعی گوارہ نہیں تھا... اور یہی آج کے پاکستان کی سب سے اہم ضرورت ہے۔

آج خوش قسمتی سے اﷲ سبحانہ‘ وتعالیٰ نے ہمارے گرد ایک زبردست قسم کی ایٹمی دیوار قائم کی ہوئی ہے جس نے ہم کو اس خوف سے بے فکر کیا ہوا ہے کہ دشمن ہماری جانب قدم بڑھا سکتا ہے لیکن اس ایٹمی دیوار کے ساتھ اگر ہم اپنے اردگرد اپنے معاشرے اور ملک کے مجموعی ماحول اور ذرائع ابلاغ کو سامنے رکھیں تو ہر چیز مصنوعی، کھوکھلی اور بنا وٹی سے لگتی ہے۔ اگر کسی قوم کے نظریے اور اس کی تہذیب و تمدن کو تباہ کرنا ہو تو اس کے لئے تین طریقے استعمال کئے جاتے ہیں۔ اس قوم کے خاندانی نظام کو تباہ کر دو ، اس قوم کے تعلیمی نظام کا حشر نشر کر دو اور اس قوم کے رول ماڈل اور ان کی تعلیمات کو دفنا دو۔ مؤرخ کی کہی ہوئی یہ باتیں سامنے رکھیں اور پھر غور کریں ...کہ آج ہم کتنے فرقوں میں بٹ چکے ہیں اور اس کے لئے ہم اور ہمارے اب تک کے تمام حکمران سب سے زیادہ ذمہ دار ہیں۔ وقت گواہ ہے کہ ہر حکومت اور سیا سی جماعت نے اپنی مخصوص طرزِ سیاست کو سہارا دینے کے لئے اپنے اپنے ملاؤں کو پالا ہوا ہے اور یہ وہ ملا ہیں جنہوں نے اپنی مربی حکومت کے ذریعے اپنے اپنے اداروں میں داخل ہونے والوں کو تعصب اور مقابل سے نفرت کی آگ میں جلاکر کوئلہ بنا دیا ہے یہ ہلکے سے اشارے پر کسی کو بھی بھسم کرنے کے لئے ہر وقت تیار رہتے ہیں اور جن کا استعمال ہم اپنی روزمرہ کی زندگی میں دیکھ رہے ہیں۔

افسوس کہ کسی نے یہ سوچنے کی کوشش ہی نہیں کی کہ ہمارے مدرسوں، کالجوں اور یونیورسٹیوں میں طلبأ و طالبات کو کس قسم کا ماحول فراہم کیا جا رہا ہے۔ ان کے اساتذہ انہیں اجتماعی اور انفرادی محفلوں میں کس قسم کی تعلیم دے رہے ہیں۔ کالج اور یونیورسٹی کے پروفیسر کس قسم کا رجحان لئے ہوئے ہیں۔ ان کے زیر مطالعہ کس قسم کی کتابیں رہتی ہیں۔ نصابی کتابوں کے ساتھ ساتھ ملک کی مجموعی صورت حال کے بارے میں ان کا نقطہ نظر کس قسم کا ہے۔ سب نے اس سب سے اہم مسئلے سے آنکھیں ہٹائے رکھیں، جن کے نتائج ہم سب کے سامنے ہیں۔

ہمارے ملک کے سکالر، مذہبی رہنما، سائنسدان، وہ سیا سی اور قومی رہنما جو بلا کسی شک و شبہ کے اس ملک کا سرمایہ تھے جن کی صداقت اور دیا نت کی مثالیں دی جا تی تھیں، انہیں اس طرح نظر انداز کر دیا گیا کہ وہ معاشرے میں اپنا مقام ڈھونڈنے کے بجائے وہ معاشرہ ہی ڈھونڈتے ہوئے اس دنیا سے رخصت ہو گئے جس کا انہوں نے خواب دیکھ رہا تھا، جس کی ترتیب درست کرنے کے لئے وہ ا س کی تراش خراش میں مصروف رہے۔ ہم جنہیں مفتی بنانے کا سو چ رہے تھے وہ مفتے بن کر کسی نہ کسی چوکھٹ پر بکھر گئے۔ہمارا کوئی رہنما ہی نہ رہا، کوئی آئیڈیل اگر تھا بھی تو اس کے بارے میں جو کچھ منہ میں آیا زور شور سے کہنا شروع کر دیا اور نتیجہ یہ نکلا کہ ان کو گہنا کر رکھ دیا گیااور یہ تو کوئی گورکھ دھندے والی بات ہی نہیں ہے کہ جب خاندان کا تصور مٹ جائے، جب استاد کا مقام اور مرتبہ ایک بھیک منگے اور سوالی کا سا ہو جائے، اور جب اس ملک کی فکری اور نظریاتی بنیادوں کے لیڈران اپنی عزت بچانے کے لئے پناہ گاہوں کی تلاش میں مصروف ہو جائیں تو پھر نئی نسل کیا سیکھے گی؟ اور کس سے سیکھے گی؟ اور پھر جن سے وہ نیا سبق لے گی وہ سبق صداقت کا نہیں ہو گا، شجاعت کا نہیں ہو گا اور نہ ہی عدالت کا ہو گا۔ وہ منافقت کا ہو گا صرف منا فقت کا ... آج ہماری قوم جس طرح ایک نئی کروٹ لے رہی ہے اور چھ ستمبر کی رات جنرل راحیل شریف نے راولپنڈی جی ایچ کیو میں بھارتی آرمی چیف اور نریندر مودی کی دھمکیوں کا جس طریقے سے جواب دیا ہے اس سے ملک اور قوم میں ایک حوصلہ پیدا ہوا ہے اور یہی حوصلہ قوموں کی آبیاری کرتا ہے ۔

مضمون نگار ایک قومی اخبار کے ساتھ بطور کالم نویس وابستہ ہیں۔

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Conquering the heights

Published in Hilal English Jan 2014

Written By: Maria Mir Kashif

Weekend is a time when one may tends to relax in his/her own way and may browse through websites and TV channels to look for something interesting. During the last weekend, while I was switching channels on the TV, something forced me to stop – it was airing of news about a female rock climber from Pakistan, Ms. Nazia Parveen by a private TV channel. The list of achievements of this girl took me by surprise and I was curious to know about her. It was heartening to know about the accomplishments she has undertaken at such a young age; and I was convinced yet again that, in a man's world; a woman can attain whatever she desires with constant hard work and dedication.

Nazia Parveen, a young and energetic girl, belongs to Bajaur Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Her father, Subedar Gul Zaman is proudly serving in Pak Army. She didn't realize her potential in rock climbing until she went on a field trip organised by her college and tried to climb a rock as an adventure. She enjoyed the activity and decided to take it up more often. Hailing from the Tribal Areas, it was a difficult decision for her to participate in these sports activities frequently. But her father backed her and with support of her family, this courageous lady decided to excel in the field of rock climbing.

Till that time, she had never taken any formal training or classes for the rock climbing activity; however, after participating in a rock climbing competition on International Women's Day in 2010; she joined “The Adventure Club Pakistan” for regular training in this field. Nazia won her first of this kind of competition in October 2010, and only two months later, she won her second rock climbing competition on International Mountain Day. She became the national champion for Sport Climbing during 2011, 2012 and 2013 and, has never looked back since then. She has so far won 28 national level rock climbing competitions in a row; and is still working her way up to the glory.

Nazia won the 'Chenab Rock Climbing Competition' with distinction and completed the climb in very less timings as compared to her competitors. She also holds the record for climbing with the best time in both male and female categories; a proud female to have this honour. The list of her achievements doesn't end here as she was selected as instructor of rock climbing at 'The Adventure Club Pakistan'. She is also being supported by the Club to take advanced rock climbing training to polish her skills and bring more successes to the country. Nazia is all set for her international exposure and will participate in Bouldering competition in Singapore. She will also be the first female from Pakistan to represent the country in rock climbing at international level.

Nazia is also interested in archery, trekking and camping. She has also got an elementary paragliding license and is a good player of badminton, basketball and handball. Apart from this, a Polish channel is also working on a documentary with her which has been named “Women in the End of the World”.

Nazia represents a Pakistan that is often ignored particularly by the Western media. Her family, particularly her father, also deserves appreciation that despite hailing from conservative society of FATA, he encourages his daughter to participate in various levels of competitions. A woman can surpass all the hurdles once she makes it her goal; and this is exactly what Nazia Parveen has proved to all of us!

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