First Afghan female pilot seeks asylum in US

The pilot has already filed a petition seeking asylum in the US, where she hopes to join the air force.

By Author  |  Published: 24th Dec 2016  1:38 pm
Afghanistan's first female pilot Niloofar Rahmani.
Afghanistan's first female pilot Niloofar Rahmani. Photo: AFP

Kabul: The first fixed-wing female pilot in the Afghan airforce has sought asylum in the US, the media reported on Saturday.

Captain Niloofar Rahmani on Friday expressed her intention to remain in the US following a 15-month long training period in Texas, Khaama Press reported.

“Things are not changing” for the better in Afghanistan, Rahmani told The New York Times. “Things are getting worse and worse.”

Rahmani told her American trainers that she still wants to be a military pilot but not under her country’s flag.

This comes as reports emerged late last year that Rahmani was receiving death threats.

Rahmani is one of the celebrated personalities in Afghanistan for being the first female pilot to fly fixed-wing plane. She was presented the International Women of Courage award last year in Washington.

“Rahmani is as committed to encouraging other young women to follow in her footsteps now as she was as an 18-year-old dreaming of flight school,” US First Lady Michelle Obama had said of her at the ceremony last year.