Editor's Note

Women have always been stereotyped as being the ‘weaker sex’, physically unable to handle many undertakings that men can easily perform; this perception has led to a very clear distinction in what role they are expected to play in the society. However, this ‘traditional roles’ thinking is out-dated in today’s ever-evolving world in which new roles for women have been created and older ones have become modified to concord with modern needs.
Women are seen excelling in every field today as a result of the emergence of this new social structure. They are serving the country in their respective capacities, all in an effort to make it stronger from within. These roles are not limited to working outside the house but also include providing the foundation of patriotism, which is raising responsible citizens with the core values of unity, integrity, valour and pride in being Pakistani; not only that, they make the sacrifices that being a patriot demands. Sending away loved ones and lending support and encouragement to the officers and soldiers who put their lives on the line is the backbone of the defence that is put up for our country. These women hold the fort behind them and take charge of it if they leave for the heavenly abode. This unique blend of courage and support, the strength of not showing weakness on the battlefield and at home, is what makes our country invincible.
In this context, women are also contributing making use of the platform that the Armed Forces of Pakistan and Civil Armed Forces have provided them. Here too they are giving their all in the different fields in which they are employed. These brave women in uniform are showing that they are just as capable, determined and motivated as their male colleagues to defend and strengthen the motherland and ensure that we all enjoy freedom and peace.
On Defence and Martyrs Day, while we remember and celebrate the martyrs and ghazis for their sacrifices, we must also honour those who have stood by them and picked up the sacred duty where they left it; their sacrifices and their fortitude is just as valuable because defence is a collective effort and every sacrifice counts. Those who lay down their lives and those who they leave behind to pick up the pieces are all heroes who deserve to be honoured. In this context, stories included in this issue are our way of paying tribute to the martyrs and their loved ones for the sacrifices they have made for the country. Moreover, stories of the brave women in uniform have also been included to celebrate the role they are playing in the defence of the country. 
And while we honour and celebrate, we also need to resolve to do our duty to the country. Each one of us is duty-bound to serve the country in our respective capacities, making full use of our energies, talents and skills. Holding the baton of freedom demands that we do everything in our power to safeguard it for future generations to whom we have to hand it down to. HH

Nadia Zubair
[email protected]

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