The decision of Afghanistan’s first female airplane pilot to seek asylum in the U.S. drew anger from her home country’s military leadership, which said she could face disciplinary action if she didn’t return.

Niloofar Rahmani, a 25-year old captain with the Afghan Air Force, said Friday that she wouldn’t be going back to Afghanistan as planned upon completing an 18-month training course in the U.S., citing ongoing threats against her life at home.

Capt. Rahmani would face charges of desertion if she is missing in action for more than 30 days, said Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Radmanish.

“Those who are scared of war should not join the army,” he said. “She is just making excuses to stay there.”

Since she qualified as a pilot three and a half years ago, Capt. Rahmani has been repeatedly threatened by Taliban insurgents as well as distant relatives in the conservative country who saw her career choice as dishonorable.

The U.S. Department of State last year acknowledged the danger she has faced because of her job, honoring her with an International Women of Courage Award.

Read More- Wall Street Journal

Image courtesy of Getty

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