This image is making the rounds on the social media:
Embarrassing Moment for TTP, bombed by this Young Lady! Women Power pic.twitter.com/MfgM2anS3p— Dr Faisal Ranjha (@fasiranjha) June 16, 2014
Only recently has Pakistan included full-scale female combat fighter pilots in its Air Force units. While it's not confirmed whether this female fighter pilot is among those fighting the war in North Waziristan, it's a clear indicator that things have changed in the country.
In a country where women like Aisha Farooq (the lady above) and Shazadi Gillani, the highest ranking female police officer in Pakistan's most conservative province of Peshawar, aim to fight the terrorists and come out in the field to do so, it’s time for concern for the bad guys.
Having said that, the image of the pilot is part of the whole campaign the Pakistan military has got going both in the battle ground as well as on social media. In a conservatively Muslim country like Pakistan, the loyalties of the common man are divided over the faith of the militants, who profess to be devout Muslims, and the politicians who seem to have sold their souls to the devil. However, historically the people of Pakistan, support their armed forces, and they always have.
Sir we r not in Pakistan. But our hearts r still in our Mother Land.. Give our Message to our Soldiers,our Nation, 1) pic.twitter.com/sJms97SrMF— Pakistan - Wake-UP (@NewPakistan2020) June 17, 2014
Pakistan has been a major U.S. ally in the war on terror. Being an ally has come at a significantly greater cost to Pakistan, which has paid in elevated terror attacks, drone strikes and the deaths of thousands of its civilians and hundreds of soldiers.
Since the militants have vowed to take revenge for the ongoing operation, the people of Pakistan and its armed forces need to be ready for everything. The loyalty of the people and the armed forces will be severely tested in the coming days.
However, it's apparent -- from naming the operation "Operation Zarb-e-Azb," after Prophet Mohammad’s sword to swarming social media with pro-armed forces messages, posters and sentiments -- the military PR machinery is in full swing.
For a while at least, the Pakistan Armed Forces and the Inter Services Public Relations are playing it smart.