Dr. Helen Mary Roberts’ Rise In The Military – OpEd


Pakistan stands as a testament to unity in diversity, where citizens from various backgrounds—regardless of color, caste, language, region, or religion—share equal rights and opportunities. Despite the country’s Muslim majority, numerous Pakistanis from minority communities have risen to prominent positions, exemplifying the nation’s commitment to merit and inclusivity. This dedication to equality and progress is particularly evident in the fields of law, military, and medicine, where individuals from diverse backgrounds have made significant contributions to national development.

Prominent figures such as Alvin Robert Cornelius, the fourth Chief Justice of Pakistan, and Justice Rana Bhagwan Das, who reached the Supreme Court, highlight this inclusive spirit. Cornelius, who served as Chief Justice from 1960 to 1968, was renowned for his legal acumen and dedication to justice, irrespective of religious or ethnic considerations. His contributions to the legal framework of Pakistan are still celebrated today. Similarly, Justice Rana Bhagwan Das, who served with distinction, is remembered for his impartiality and commitment to upholding the rule of law.

In recent years, the military has also seen notable advancements of minority individuals to high ranks. Noel Israel Khokhar’s ascension to the rank of Major General in the Pakistan Army is a prime example. Khokhar, who has served with distinction, is now representing Pakistan as its ambassador to Ukraine. His career trajectory showcases the heights that can be achieved through dedication and merit. Additionally, in February 2022, Kailash Kumar and Anil Kumar were promoted to the rank of Lt. Col., further exemplifying the Pakistan Army’s commitment to meritocracy.

The latest and perhaps one of the most inspiring additions to this illustrious list is Dr. Helen Mary Roberts, who has been promoted to the rank of Brigadier in the Pakistan Army Medical Corps. Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif congratulated Brigadier Roberts on behalf of the entire nation, recognizing her exemplary service and dedication. Brigadier Roberts has served as a pathologist in the Pakistan Army Medical Corps for 26 years, earning respect and admiration for her professional excellence and dedication to her field.

The Public Relations Department of the Pakistan Army hailed Dr. Helen Mary Roberts as a living example of merit and national representation within the military. Her promotion is not just a personal achievement but a symbol of the inclusive and merit-based ethos of the Pakistan Army. Brigadier Roberts’ journey is particularly inspiring as it underscores the opportunities available to all citizens of Pakistan, regardless of their religious or ethnic backgrounds.

Before Brigadier Roberts, Major General Nigar Johar broke significant gender barriers by becoming the first female officer to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and was appointed as the first woman Surgeon General of the Pakistan Army. Her groundbreaking achievements paved the way for other women and minorities in the military, proving that with talent and perseverance, the highest echelons of leadership are accessible to all.

The successes of Brigadier Roberts, Major General Johar, and others underscore a fundamental truth: the development and progress of a nation can only be achieved by providing equal opportunities to all its citizens based on merit. This principle must be ensured in every sphere of national life, from the judiciary and military to healthcare and education.

The story of Dr. Helen Mary Roberts is not just one of personal triumph but also a reflection of the broader national ethos of Pakistan. It is a story that celebrates the country’s diversity and the strength that comes from it. Her achievements serve as a beacon of hope and a reminder that dedication and merit know no boundaries. They inspire future generations to pursue their dreams with the confidence that their efforts will be recognized and rewarded.

In recognizing and celebrating the achievements of individuals like Brigadier Roberts, Pakistan sends a powerful message to its citizens and the world. It reaffirms its commitment to inclusivity, equality, and meritocracy. By honoring these trailblazers, the nation honors its own principles and paves the way for a more prosperous and just society.

As Brigadier Helen Mary Roberts continues her journey, her story will undoubtedly inspire many more to follow in her footsteps. Her achievements are a testament to what can be accomplished when a nation commits to nurturing talent and providing equal opportunities for all. In celebrating her success, Pakistan celebrates the very ideals that make it strong: unity, diversity, and a steadfast belief in the power of merit.

Dr. Sahibzada Muhammad Usman

Dr. Sahibzada Muhammad Usman is a Research Scholar and Academic; Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Pisa, Italy. Dr. Usman has participated in various national and international conferences and published 30 research articles in international journals.

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