"When I was four and a half, I told my parents that I want clothes like my brother," she said.
"I want to play with boys, there's more freedom, I felt. And I am not like girls who play with dolls. I want the toy guns and things like that."
Such behavior was anathema to the deeply conservative community she was born into. But her father agreed. Rather than forcing his daughter to conform, he thought about how best to realize his daughter's talent. It was he who came up with the plan to cut his daughter's hair and enter into competitions with the boys.
"They (religious elders) sent me to a mental asylum 'cause they thought that I had deviated from the culture, and that I was crazy supporting women's rights," he recalled.
"They said I was spoiling the whole environment and that all women would want the same rights."
With the boys' junior weightlifting title under her belt, Pakay decided to enter a boys' squash tournament. Her disguise was scuppered by bureaucracy.
"My dad said, 'This ... that's my son,' " Pakay recalled of the moment her father presented her to be registered. But the official dropped a bombshell. "He said, 'OK, we need the birth certificate, too.' "
Shams-Ul Wazir decided to come clean, and entered her in the girls' competitions. She destroyed the opposition and, at the age of 15, was national champion. It was then that the trouble started.
"I found a letter on the windshield of my car. It was signed by the name of 'Taliban,' " her father said.
"They told me -- they threatened me -- 'Stop your girl from playing squash because it is bringing a bad name to our culture and to Islam.' They told me, 'If you do not do this then you will have to suffer very bad consequences.'
"I ignored that threat ... (but) we were very much concerned that she might get shot or she might get kidnapped."
The warning terrified Pakay. Scared for the safety of her family, she decided not play in public.
"I told my dad that I might need a gun. I don't know what to do," she said. "He said, 'It's your decision. I never stopped you from anything. You wanna play or not?'
"Squash is everything for me. And I know that when a girl is kidnapped, it's the biggest dishonor. I'm not gonna bring dishonor for them, ever."
So Pakay played in the house, lonely and miserable. From dusk until dawn she hit the ball against the wall with her "Jonathan Power" racket. Her father knew that if he wanted his daughter to realize her potential, she had to leave Pakistan.
"He said, 'Okay, if you wanna play, just leave the country. That's all you can do.' "
The Power of persistence
Pakay agreed. For three long years she would write to everyone. Clubs, players, educational institutions. Nothing. But then, when she was 18 years old, she received her only reply. She recognized the name. It was the same name that graced her first racket: that of former world champion Jonathan Power.
"I couldn't believe that there was a woman squash player from Waziristan, let alone, one that could actually play," said Power of the day he received Pakay's email.