Accessibility links

Breaking News

Pakistanis Celebrate 130th Birthday of Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah

Pakistanis celebrated the 130th birthday of the country's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah on Monday, a day when his mausoleum for the first time had female honor guards.

Television channels showed eight female cadets marching to military music with their male colleagues. The ceremony was held at the mausoleum of the man known as Qaid-e-Azam, or "the father of the nation," in the southern city of Karachi.

President Pervez Musharraf laid flowers at the mausoleum and praised the female cadets, who are to graduate next April. The Pakistani Military Academy opened its doors to women for the first time in November last year.

Women also broke into the all-male air force in March, when it inducted four women pilots.

Previously, women had only served in the army's medical corps without being trained at the academy.

Jinnah led the movement to carve out a separate Pakistan for Muslims in British India. It ended in the 1947 partition of the country which created the theocratic state of Pakistan.