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Pakistan Army

Pakistan Army
Emblem of the Pakistan Army
Founded 14 August 1947
Country  Pakistan
Type Army
Size 715000 active troops
500,000 reserves
Headquarter GHQ, Rawalpindi
Motto Arabic: Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah
A follower of none but God, The fear of God, Struggle for God.
Colour Green and White
Anniversaries Defence Day: September 6
Engagements 1947 Indo-Pakistan War
1965 Indo-Pakistan War
1971 Bangladesh Liberation War
1971 Indo-Pakistan War
Grand Mosque Seizure
Soviet-Afghan War
Siachen conflict
Kargil War
Global War on Terror
Siege of Lal Masjid
War in North-West Pakistan
Balochistan conflict
Website Official Website
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif
Flag Flag of the Pakistani Army
Aircraft flown
Attack Bell AH-1 Cobra
Helicopter Bell 412, Bell 407, Bell 206, Bell UH-1 Huey
Transport Mil Mi-8/17, Aérospatiale Alouette III, Bell 412

The Pakistan Army (Urdu: پاک فوجPak Fauj (IPA: pɑk fɒ~ɔd͡ʒ); Reporting name: PA) is the land-based service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. It came into existence after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) it had an active force of 715000 personnel as of 2015.[1] The Constitution of Pakistan contains a provision for conscription for times of possible need, but it has never been imposed.

Since its establishment in 1947, the Army (along with its inter–services: the Navy, the Marines and the Air Force) has been involved in four wars with neighbouring India and several border skirmishes with Afghanistan.[2] Since 1947, it has also maintained a strong presence along with its inter-services in the Arab states during the past Arab-Israeli Wars, and aided the coalition in the first Gulf War. Recently, major joint-operations undertaken by the Army include Operation Zarb-e-Azb [3] Operation Toar-e-Tander (Black Thunderstorm) and Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation).

The Army has also been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions, including playing a major role in rescuing trapped US soldiers in Operation Gothic Serpent in 1993. Under Article 243 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the President is appointed the civilian Commander-in-Chief. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), by statute a four-star general, is appointed by the President with the consultation and confirmation needed from the Prime Minister.[4] The Pakistan Army is currently commanded by General Raheel Sharif.[5][6]


  • Mission 1
  • History 2
    • 1947–1958 2.1
    • 1958–1969 2.2
    • 1969–1971 2.3
    • 1971–1977 2.4
    • 1977–1999 2.5
    • 1999–2008 2.6
  • UN Peacekeeping Missions 3
  • Organization 4
    • Command Structure 4.1
    • Commissioned Officers Rank 4.2
    • Subdivision by Profession 4.3
    • Operational Commands 4.4
    • Corps 4.5
    • Other Field Formations 4.6
    • Regiments 4.7
    • Special Forces 4.8
  • Combat Doctrine 5
  • Political and Corporate Activities 6
  • Involvement in Pakistani society 7
  • Personnel 8
    • Enlisted Ranks 8.1
    • Officer Ranks 8.2
      • Academic Institutions 8.2.1
      • Science and Technology 8.2.2
    • Uniforms 8.3
    • Ethnic Composition 8.4
    • Women and non-Muslim Pakistanis 8.5
    • Recipients of Nishan-e-Haider 8.6
    • Recipients of Foreign Awards 8.7
  • Equipment 9
  • Sports 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • Further reading 13
  • External links 14


Chapter 2 of PART XII of the Constitution of Pakistan defines the purpose of the Army along with the other parts of the Armed Forces as:[7]



General Ayub Khan arriving to take command of the Pakistan Army in 1951

The Pakistan Army was created on the 30th of June of the year 1947 from the division of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) in 1954. This aid greatly expanded the Pakistan Army from its modest beginnings.


The Pakistan Army took over from politicians for the first time when General Ayub Khan came to power through a bloodless coup in 1958. He formed Convention Muslim League which included Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who would later become Pakistan's first democratically elected Prime Minister. Tensions with India flared in the 1960s and a brief border skirmish was fought near the Rann of Kutch area during April 1965. The War began after the failure of Operation Gibraltar on 5 August 1965. On the night of 6 September 1965, the Indian Army opened the war front to the Province of Punjab of Pakistan, The Indian Army almost reached near the Pakistani city of Lahore , Although The battle (Lahore Front) ended with an pakistani tactical victory. Indian forces lost 360[9]-500[10] sq. km. of Pakistani territory on the outskirts of Lahore.[11] However Indian forces halted their assault on Lahore once they had reached captured the village of Burki.[12][13][14][15] The rationale for this was that a ceasefire was to be signed soon, and had India captured Lahore it would likely have been returned in ceasefire negotiations.[13][16][17] The War eventually ended with a United Nations (UN) backed ceasefire and was followed by the Tashkent Declaration. According to the Library of Congress Country Studies conducted by the Federal Research Division of the United States–

The war was militarily inconclusive; each side held prisoners and some territory belonging to the other. Losses were relatively heavy—on the indian side, twenty aircraft, 200 tanks, and 3,800 troops. Pakistan's army had been able to withstand Indian pressure, but a continuation of the fighting would only have led to further losses and ultimate defeat for india. Most Pakistanis, schooled in the belief of their own martial prowess, refused to accept the possibility of their country's military defeat by "Hindu India" and were, instead, quick to blame their failure to attain their military aims on what they considered to be the ineptitude of Ayub Khan and his government.[18]

At the time of ceasefire declaration, India reported casualties of about 3,000 killed. On the other hand, more than 4,000 Pakistani soldiers were killed in the battle.[19][20][21] Indian sources claim that about 471 Pakistani tanks were either destroyed or captured by India. India lost a total of 128 tanks during the conflict.[22][23]

However, most neutral assessments agree that India had the upper hand over Pakistan when ceasefire was declared.[24][25][26][27][28] At the end of the war the Indian army was in possession of 758.9 miles² (1,920 km²) of Pakistani territory and the Pakistan army held 210 mile² (550 km²) of Indian territory.[29] The territory occupied by India was mainly in the fertile Sialkot, Lahore and Kashmir sectors,[30][31] while Pakistani land gains were primarily south in deserts opposite to Sindh and in Chumb sector near Kashmir in north.[32] An uprising against General Ayub Khan during 1968 and 1969 resulted in Ayub Khan relinquishing his office as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Army in favour of General Yahya Khan, who assumed power in 1969. The 16th Division, 18th Division and the 23rd Division were raised at some point between 1966 and 1969 and the 9th Division was also re-raised during this period.


During the rule of Yahya Khan, the people of East Pakistan protested against various political and economic disparities that had been imposed on them by West Pakistan and massive civil unrest broke out in East Pakistan. During operations against these rebels which was called Operation Searchlight, some factions of the Pakistan Army were responsible for the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities.[33] Beginning with the start of Operation Searchlight on 25 March 1971 and due to the Bangladesh Liberation War, there were numerous human rights abuses in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) perpetrated by the Pakistan Army, with support from local political and religious militias, especially against Hindus.[34][35] Time reported a high ranking US official as saying "It is the most incredible, calculated thing since the days of the Nazis in Poland."[36]

The original plan envisioned taking control of the major cities on 26 March 1971, and then eliminating all opposition, political or military,[37] within one month. The prolonged Bengali resistance was not anticipated by Pakistani planners.[38] The main phase of Operation Searchlight ended with the fall of the last major town in Bengali hands in the mid of May.

Soon heavy fighting broke out between the Pakistan Army and the Indian-backed Bengali rebels. In this period the Pakistan Army killed an estimate ranging from 26, 000 to as many 3 million people. In December 1971, Pakistan attacked India's western air bases, in an attempt to thwart Indian support for the rebels. This officially led to start of the Pakistan India War of 1971 (also called the Bangladesh Liberation War). In the eastern theatre, the Pakistan Army was decimated by the Indian Army and rebels, while in the western front the Pakistan Army was defeated in the battles of Basanter and Longewalla.

On 16 December 1971, Lt. General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, CO of Pakistan Army forces located in East Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender. Over 93,000 Pakistani personnel surrendered to the joint Indian and Bengali forces making it the largest surrender since World War II.

In 1997 R. J. Rummel published a book, available on the web, called "Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900", In Chapter 8 called "Statistics Of Pakistan's Democide Estimates, Calculations, And Sources" he looks at the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Rummel wrote:

In East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) [the President of Pakistan, General Agha Mohammed Yahya Khan, and his top generals also planned to murder its Bengali intellectual, cultural, and political elite. They also planned to indiscriminately murder hundreds of thousands of its Hindus and drive the rest into India. And they planned to destroy its economic base to insure that it would be subordinate to West Pakistan for at least a generation to come. This plan may be perceived as genocide.[39]

According to Maj. (Retd.) Agha Humayun Amin, the Pakistan Army commanders had not seriously considered an Indian invasion of East Pakistan until December 1971, because it was presumed that the Indian military would not risk intervention by China or the United States (US), who were generally close Pakistani allies. Maj Mazhar states that the Pakistan Army's senior command failed to realize that the Chinese would be unable to intervene during the winter months of November to December, due to snowbound Himalayan passes, and the US had not made any real effort to persuade India against attacking East Pakistan.[40]


A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight was sent to fetch Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from New York, who at that time was presenting Pakistan's case before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the East Pakistan crisis. Bhutto returned home on 18 December 1971. On 20 December, he was taken to the President House in Rawalpindi where he took over two positions from Yahya Khan, one as President and the other as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Thus, he was the first civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan.


Two AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters of the Pakistan Army Aviation Wing at AVN Base, Multan. These were sold to Pakistan by the US during the Soviet-Afghan war to help defend Pakistan against a possible attack by the Soviets.

In 1977, a coup, Operation Fair Play, was staged by General Zia ul-Haq and the government was overthrown. This led to the hanging of Bhutto after he was tried and proclaimed guilty of conspiracy of murdering a political opponent by Zia's handpicked judges. Zia retracted on his promise of holding elections within 90 days and ruled as a military dictator until his death in an air crash in 1988. General Mohammad Iqbal Khan served as a joint chief from 1980 to 1984 and was the Chief Martial Law Officer during that time.

In mid-1970s, the Pakistan Army was involved in fighting an uprising in the Province of Balochistan. Various Baloch factions wanted independence or at least greater provincial rights. The rebellion was put down on the behest of the Bhutto government but the Army suffered heavy casualties. After Bhutto was deposed, the province returned to normalcy under General Rahimuddin.

In 1980s, the Pakistan Armed Forces co-operated with the United States to provide arms, ammunition and intelligence assistance to Afghan rebels who were fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

During 1st Gulf War, the Pakistan Army contributed troops for the defence of Saudi Arabia against a possible attack by Iraq. The 153 SP Air Defence Regiment deployed in Tabuk scored multiple hits on number of Iraqi Scuds and provided round the clock air defence protection to Saudi troops in the area.


A Pakistan Army soldier keeping watch at Baine Baba Ziarat in Swat
Pakistani forces after victory in Operation Black Thunderstorm.

In October 1999, after the Kargil Conflict ended with the unconditional withdrawal of the Pakistani forces from the Indian controlled peaks, the Pakistan Army overthrew a democratically elected government once more, resulting in additional sanctions being applied against Pakistan, leading to General Pervez Musharraf coming to power in a bloodless coup. However, this time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sacked Musharraf when he was on his way to Pakistan from Colombo. He dismissed him as Chief of Army Staff and appointed General Ziauddin Butt to that position instead, when Musharraf's plane was in the air. That was not enough, the plane was not allowed to land at the airport in Karachi and barricades were erected on the runway. The corps commanders acted swiftly across Pakistan, particularly in Karachi and Islamabad. Brigadiar Muzaffar Usmani took control of the airport in Karachi and arrested the then Inspector General of Sindh Police, Rana Maqbool Ahmed. Musharraf stepped down as President in August 2008. On 30 July 2009, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule was unconstitutional.[41]

After the September 11 attacks in the United States, Pakistan joined the US-led War on Terror and helped the United States Armed Forces by severing ties with the Taliban and immediately deploying 72,000 troops along Pakistan's western border to capture or kill Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants fleeing from Afghanistan. On the north western front, Pakistan initially garrisoned its troops in military bases and forts in the tribal areas. In May 2004, clashes erupted between the Pakistani troops and Al-Qaeda's and other militants joined by local rebels and pro-Taliban forces. However, the offensive was poorly coordinated and the Army suffered heavy casualties, while public support for the attack quickly evaporated. After a two-year conflict from 2004 until 2006, the Pakistani military negotiated a ceasefire with the tribesmen from the region in which they pledged to hunt down Al-Qaeda members, stop the "Talibanization" of the region and stop attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, the militants did not hold up their end of the bargain and began to regroup and rebuild their strength from the previous two years of conflict.

Militants took over the Lal Masjid in Islamabad. After a six-month standoff fighting erupted again in July 2007 when the Pakistani military decided to use force to end the Lal Masjid threat. Once the operation ended, the then newly formed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella group of militants based in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a semi-autonomous region of Pakistan, vowed revenge and launched a wave of attacks and suicide bombings which erupted all over North-West Pakistan and major Pakistani cities, including Karachi, throughout 2007.

The militants then expanded their base of operations and moved into the neighbouring Swat Valley, where they imposed Sharia law. The Pakistan Army launched an offensive to re-take the Swat Valley in 2007, but was unable to clear it of the militants who had fled into the mountains and waited for them to leave before taking over the valley again. The militants then launched another wave of terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. The Pakistani government and military tried another peace deal with the militants in Swat Valley in 2008. This was roundly criticized in the West as abdicating to the militants. After initially pledging to lay down their arms if Sharia law was implemented, the Pakistani Taliban subsequently used the Swat Valley as a springboard to launch further attacks into neighbouring regions, reaching to within 60 kilometres (37 mi) of Islamabad.

Public opinion then turned decisively against the Taliban terrorists. This opinion was highlighted following the release of a video showing the flogging of a girl by the Pakistani Taliban in the Swat Valley. Similar events and terrorist attacks finally forced the Pakistan Army to launch a decisive attack against the Taliban occupying Swat Valley in April 2009, after having orders received from the political leadership.[42] After heavy fighting, the Swat Valley was largely pacified by July 2009, although isolated pockets of Taliban remained in the area.

The next phase of the Pakistan Army's offensive was the formidable Waziristan region. A US inmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) bomb strike in FATA killed the leader of the Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, in August. A power struggle engulfed the Taliban during September, but by October a new leader had emerged, Hakimullah Mehsud. Under his leadership, the Taliban launched another wave of terrorist attacks throughout Pakistan, killing hundreds of people. After a few weeks of air strikes, artillery and mortar attacks, 30,000 troops moved on into South Waziristan. The Army eventually re-took all of South Waziristan.

In April 2012 an avalanche struck the 6th Northern Light Infantry Battalion headquarters in Ghyari sector of Siachen, entrapping 135 soldiers.[43]

UN Peacekeeping Missions

Bell 412 is imported by Pakistan from the U.S.

In the wake of the new world power equilibrium, a more complex security environment has emerged. It is characterized by growing national power politics and state implosions which have necessitated involvement of the United Nations peace keeping forces for conflict resolution.

The United Nations has been undertaking peace keeping operations since its inception, but the need for employment of peace keeping forces has increased significantly since the Gulf War. In 1992, there were 11,000 Blue Berets deployed around the world, by the end of the year the figure rose to 52,000. Presently, it exceeds 80,000 troops.

  • UN Operation in Congo (ONUC) 1960–1964
  • UN Security Force in New Guinea, West Irian (UNSF) 1962–1963
  • UN Yemen Observer Mission Yemen (UNYOM) 1963–1964
  • UN Transition Assistance Group in Namibia (UNTAG) 1989–1990
  • UN Iraq–Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) 1991–2003
  • UN Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) 1993–1996
  • UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) 1992–1993
  • UN Operations in Somalia (UNOSOM) 1992–1995
  • UN Protection Forces in Bosnia (UNPROFOR) 1992–1995
  • UN Observer Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) 1993–1996
  • UN Verification Mission in Angola (UNAVEM III) 1995–1997
  • UN Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES) 1996–1997
  • UN Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP) 1996–2002
  • UN Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) 2001–2005
  • UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) 1999-to-date
  • UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) 1999-to-date

The table below shows the current deployment of Pakistani forces in UN Peacekeeping missions.

Start of operation Name of Operation Location Conflict Contribution
1999 United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)  Democratic Republic of Congo Second Congo War 3,556 Troops.[44]
2003 United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)  Liberia Second Liberian Civil War 2,741 Troops.[44]
2004 United Nations Operation in Burundi ONUB  Burundi Burundi Civil War 1,185 Troops.[44]
2004 United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI)  Côte d'Ivoire Civil war in Côte d'Ivoire 1,145 Troops.[44]
2005 United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)  Sudan Second Sudanese Civil War 1,542 Troops.[44]
Staff/Observers 191 Observers.[44]
  • The total number of Pakistani troops serving in peacekeeping missions is 7,533, as of August 2015.[45]


Pakistan Army
Chief of Army Staff
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
Organisation and Components
Structure of the Pakistan Army
Frontier Corps
Frontier Works Organisation
Special Service Group
Army Cantonment Board
Pakistan Armoured Corps
General Headquarters
Pakistan Military Academy
Command and Staff College
National Defence University
Army Ranks of Pakistan
Pakistan Army Generals
History and Traditions
Military history of Pakistan
UN Peacekeeping Missions
Pakistan Army FC
Awards, Decorations and Badges
Awards and Decorations

Command Structure

The President of Pakistan is the civilian supreme commander of the Pakistan Armed Forces by statute. The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), a four-star general, is the highest general officer (unless the four-star general is GHQ was done in September 2008 under General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, when two new PSO positions were introduced: the Inspector General Arms and the Inspector General Communications and IT, thus raising the number of PSO's to eight.[46]

The headquarters function also includes the Judge Advocate General (JAG), and the Comptroller of Civilian Personnel, the Engineer-in-Chief of the Corps of Engineers who is also head of Military Engineering Service (MES), all of them also report to the Chief of the Army Staff.

Commissioned Officers Rank

The rank structure is patterned on the British Army model. It consists of commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers and the Junior Commissioned Officers.

Commissioned Officers Ranks of the Pakistan Army
Pay grade O-10/BPS-Apex O-9/BPS-22 O-8/BPS-21 O-7/BPS-20 O-6/BPS-19 O-5/BPS-19 O-4/BPS-18 O-3/BPS-17 O-2/BPS-17 O-1/BPS-17

Title General Lieutenant-General Major-General Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant-Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second Lieutenant
Abbreviation Gen Lt.Gen MGen Brig Col Lt.Col Maj Capt Lt SLt
NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Rank Hierarchy 4-star General 3-star General 2-star General 1-star Officer

Non-commissioned officers wear respective regimental colour chevrons on the right sleeve. Centre point of the uppermost chevron must remain 10 cm from the point of the shoulder. Company / battalion appointments wear the appointments badges on the right wrist.

Structure of Non-Commissioned Officers Ranks of the Pakistan Army
Pay grade OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Insignia No insignia No insignia
Title Battalion Havildar Major Battalion Quartermaster Havildar Company Havildar Major Company Quartermaster Havildar Havildar Naik Lance Naik Sepoy No Equivalent
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Junior Commissioned Officer Ranks
Title Subedar Major (infantry and other arms)/Risaldar Major (cavalry and armour) Subedar (infantry and other arms)/Risaldar (cavalry and armour) Naib Subedar (infantry and other arms)/Naib Risaldar (cavalry and armour)

Subdivision by Profession

The Pakistan Army is divided into two main branches, which are Arms and Services.

Operational Commands

The Pakistan Army operates three commands during peace time. Each command is headed by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Lieutenant General. Each command is directly affiliated to the Army HQ in Rawalpindi.

According to, drawing on Pakistani media sources, three commands, supervising a number of corps each, have been formed: Northern Command, Central Command, and Southern Command.[47][48]


A corps is an Army field formation responsible for a zone within a command theatre. There are three types of corps in the Pakistani Army: Strike, Holding and Mixed. A command generally consists of two or more corps. A corps has Army divisions under its command. The Corps HQ is the highest field formation in the army.

There are 13 Corps in Pakistan Army, split between Combat and Services Arms. The Combat Arms are composed of a mix of Infantry, Mechanized, Armored and Artillery Divisions, while the

  • – Pakistan Defence
  • PakSoldiers.Com – Pakistan Military & Defence News
Web resources
  • Official website of Pakistan Army launched on 6 April 2009
  • Official website of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR)
  • Official website of International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS)
Official websites

External links

  • Ayub, Muhammad (2005). An army, Its Role and Rule: A History of the Pakistan Army from Independence to Kargil, 1947–1999. RoseDog Books. ISBN 9780805995947
  • Cloughley, Brian. A History of the Pakistan Army: Wars and Insurrections (4th ed. 2014); 416pp

Further reading

  1. ^ a b "Country comparisons – commitments, force levels and economics". The Military Balance (International Institute of Strategic Studies) 115 (1): 486. 10 February 2015.  
  2. ^ "History of Pakistan Army". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  3. ^ 
  4. ^ "Article 243". Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  5. ^ AMIR QURESHI (2011). "Pakistan's Top Military Officer Cancels Trip to US". ABC news. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  6. ^ BBC (29 September 2010). "New Pakistan Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff named". BBC Pakistan. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  7. ^ [Chapter 2. Armed Forces] of [Part XII: Miscellaneous].
  8. ^ "[Chapter 2. Armed Forces] of [Part XII: Miscellaneous]". Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Praagh, David. The greater game: India's race with destiny and China. McGill-Queen's Press – MQUP, 2003. p. 294.  
  10. ^ Musharraf, In the Line of Fire, page 45.
  11. ^ Melville de Mellow (28, November 1965). "Battle of Burki was another outstanding infantry operation". Sainik Samachar.
  12. ^ Melville de Mellow (28, November 1965). "Battle of Burki was another outstanding infantry operation". Sainik Samachar.
  13. ^ a b Hagerty, Devin T. (2005). South Asia in World Politics. Rowman & Littlefield.  
  14. ^ William M. Carpenter, David G. Wiencek. Asian security handbook: terrorism and the new security environment. M.E. Sharpe, 2005. ISBN 0-7656-1553-3.
  15. ^ John Keay. India: A History. Grove Press, 2001. ISBN 0-275-97779-X.
  16. ^ William M. Carpenter, David G. Wiencek. Asian security handbook: terrorism and the new security environment. M.E. Sharpe, 2005. ISBN 0-7656-1553-3.
  17. ^ John Keay. India: A History. Grove Press, 2001. ISBN 0-275-97779-X.
  18. ^ "The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965". 5 July 1977. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  19. ^ Sumit Ganguly. "Pakistan". In [3]India: A Country Study'' (James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, editors). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (September 1995).
  20. ^ "Indo-Pakistan Wars". Microsoft Encarta 2008. also Archived 31 October 2009.
  21. ^ Thomas M. Leonard. Encyclopedia of the developing world, Volume 2. Taylor & Francis, 2006.  
  22. ^ R.D. Pradhan & Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan (2007). .1965 War, the Inside Story: Defence Minister Y.B. Chavan's Diary of India-Pakistan War Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. p. 47.  
  23. ^ Spencer Tucker. Tanks: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO (2004), p. 172. ISBN 978-1-57607-995-9.
  24. ^ Hagerty, Devin T. (2005). South Asia in World Politics. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 26.  
  25. ^ "Pakistan :: The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965".   Quote: Losses were relatively heavy--on the Pakistani side, twenty aircraft, 200 tanks, and 3,800 troops. Pakistan's army had been able to withstand Indian pressure, but a continuation of the fighting would only have led to further losses and ultimate defeat for Pakistan.
  26. ^ Wolpert, Stanley (2005). India (3rd ed. with a new preface. ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 235.   Quote: India, however, was in a position to inflict grave damage to, if not capture, Pakistan's capital of the Punjab when the cease-fire was called, and controlled Kashmir's strategic Uri-Poonch bulge, much to Ayub's chagrin.
  27. ^ Kux, Dennis (1992). India and the United States : Estranged democracies, 1941-1991. Washington, DC: National Defense University Press. p. 238.   Quote: India had the better of the war.
  28. ^ "Asia: Silent Guns, Wary Combatants". Time. 1 October 1965. Retrieved 30 August 2013.  Quote: India, by contrast, is still the big gainer in the war. Alternate link:,8816,834413,00.html
  29. ^ "Delhi plans carnival on Pakistan war- Focus on 1965 conflict and outcome". 
  30. ^ "Modi govt plans 1965 war carnival". 
  31. ^ The Story of My Struggle By Tajammal Hussain Malik 1991, Jang Publishers, p. 78
  32. ^ Khaki Shadows by General K.M. Arif, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-579396-X, 2001
  33. ^ Bose, Sarmila (8 October 2005). "Anatomy of Violence: Analysis of Civil War in East Pakistan in 1971".  
  34. ^ U.S. Consulate (Dacca) Cable, Sitrep: Army Terror Campaign Continues in Dacca; Evidence Military Faces Some Difficulties Elsewhere, 31 March 1971, Confidential.
  35. ^ Telegram 978 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, 29 March 1971.
  36. ^ Pakistan: The Ravaging of Golden Bengal, Time, 2 August 1971
  37. ^ Ṣiddīq Sālik (1977). Witness to surrender. Oxford University Press. pp. 63, 228, 229.  
  38. ^ Pakistan Defence Journal, 1977, Vol 2, pp. 2–3
  39. ^ Rummel, Rudolph J., "Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900", ISBN 3-8258-4010-7, Chapter 8, table 8.1
  40. ^ Major (Ret) A.H. Amin, The Pakistan Army from 1965 to 1971, Defence Journal, November 2000
  41. ^ Masood, Salman (1 August 2009). "Musharraf Decree in '07 Was Illegal, Court Rules". The New York Times. 
  42. ^ Alexander, Paul (11 June 2009) Pakistan public opinion turning against Taliban. Associated Press via Yahoo News
  43. ^ "Huge search for trapped Pakistani soldiers". Al Jazeera. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  44. ^ a b c d e f "UN Mission in Democrative Republic of Congo (MONUC)". 26 September 2007. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  45. ^ "Ranking of Military and Police Contributions to UN Operations" (PDF). UN Peacekeeping. United Nations. 31 August 2015. p. 1. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  46. ^ Iftikhar A. Khan. "Kayani shakes up army command" Dawn (Pakistan), 30 September 2008
  47. ^ :: India Strategic::.
  48. ^ Pakistan Army Order of Battle – Corps.
  49. ^ Pakistan Army Order of Battle – Corps. (20 May 2009).
  50. ^ Army Air Defence Command.
  51. ^ History. Army Air Defence.
  52. ^ Army Aviation.
  53. ^ Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC). Global Security.
  54. ^ Military. Northern Area Command.
  55. ^ a b Pakistan Army Order of Battle – Divisions.
  56. ^ General Mirza Aslam Beg. 50 Years of Pakistan Army: A Journey into Professionalism, Pakistan Observer, 21 August 1997.
  57. ^ a b BHARAT RAKSHAK MONITOR: Volume 3(6).
  58. ^ Pamela Constable, Kamran Khan (16 October 1999). "Army Gets A Foothold In Pakistan; Coup Leader, U.S. Envoy Discuss New Government". Washington Post.
  59. ^ Shaheen Sehbai Corrupt Musharraf's Generals, Exposed by Musharraf's Generals.
  60. ^ Shyam Bhatia (17 September 2003) Corruption rooted in Pak army: PPP. Rediff
  61. ^ Hilali, A. Z. (1997). "Kashmir dispute and UN mediation efforts: An historical perspective". Small Wars & Insurgencies 8 (2): 61.  
  62. ^ Siddiqa, Ayesha (2007) Military Inc. Karachi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-547495-4
  63. ^ a b Pakistan Army.
  64. ^
  65. ^ a b Mazhar Aziz (2008). Military control in Pakistan: the parallel state. Milton Park, Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK: Taylor and Francis-e-Library. pp. 80–81.  
  66. ^ Aqil Shah, The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan (Harvard University Press, 2014), pp. 8–9 [4]
  67. ^ John Pike. "Army Qualification Badges". Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  68. ^ John Pike. "Army Awards & Decorations". Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  69. ^ John Pike. "Army Rank". Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  70. ^ Punjab’s dominance in army being reduced: ISPR -DAWN – Top Stories; 14 September 2007. (14 September 2007).
  71. ^ "Pakistan Female Sky Marshals". BBC News. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 21 January 2007. 
  72. ^ "Pakistan Female honour guards". Retrieved 21 January 2007. 
  73. ^ "Pakistan is the only country in the Islamic world to have women Major Generals". Retrieved 16 April 2007. 
  74. ^ BBC: Pakistan pilots get bravery award. BBC News (15 June 2007).
  75. ^ "Pakistan Army Wins Gold Medal @ International Cambrian Patrols Exercise – Page 3 – Iran Defense Forum". Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  76. ^ "Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  77. ^ "Inter Services Public Relations – PAKISTAN". ISPR. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  78. ^ Times of Pakistan. "When going gets tough, tough get going | Times of Pakistan". Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  79. ^ Pakistan Army – Sports, Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  80. ^ Basketball team named for 11th South Asian Games, Retrieved 25 March 2012.


See also

The Pakistan Army has a noteworthy sports program with elite athletes in many sports disciplines.[79] An example of the program's success is its basketball program which regularly provides the Pakistan national basketball team with key players.[80]


The equipment currently in use by the Pakistan Army is divided into the following main sections: small arms, armour, artillery, aircraft and air defence systems.Domestic suppliers provides most of the hi-tech equipment to the Pakistan Army, whereas foreign hi-tech equipment are of either Chinese, European or American origin.


Pakistan Army team was awarded a gold medal at the prestigious Cambrian Patrol Exercise held in Wales in 2010. According to ISPR, "Rawalpindi based X Corps team represented Pakistan Army in Exercise Cambrian Patrol – 2010, held from 11–13 October 2010 and by the Grace of Allah, the team showed an excellent performance by winning a Gold Medal in the event, which is a big honour not only for Army but for the Country as a whole."[75][76][77][78]

The Slovenian President presented Lt Col Rashid Ullah Beg and Lt Col Khalid Amir Rana with the Golden Order for Services in the country's capital, Ljubljana, for risking their lives during the rescue mission, a Pakistan Army statement said.[74]

Two Pakistani pilots belonging to the army aviation branch of Pakistan Army who carried out a daring rescue of a mountaineer were given Slovenia's top award for bravery. Slovenian, Tomaz Humar got stranded on the western end of the 8,125m Nanga Parbat mountain where he remained for around a week on top of the world's ninth-highest peak. The helicopter pilots plucked the 38-year-old from an icy ledge 6,000m up the peak known as "killer mountain".

Recipients of Foreign Awards

Name Unit Conflict Date Place of Death
Captain Muhammad Sarwar 2nd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment War of 1947 27 July 1948 Uri, Kashmir
Major Tufail Mohammad 16th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment 1958 Border clash with India 7 August 1958 Lakshmipur District
Major Aziz Bhatti 17th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment War of 1965 10 September 1965 Lahore District
Rashid Minhas Pilot Officer War of 1971 20 August 1971 Thatta Sindh Pakistan
Major Mohammad Akram 4th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment War of 1971 1971 Hakimpur Upozila, Dinajpur District, East Pakistan
Major Shabbir Sharif 6th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment War of 1971 6 December 1971 Salmanki Sector, Kasur
Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfuz 15th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment War of 1971 8 December 1971 Wagah-Attari
Sawar Muhammad Hussain 20th Lancers, Armoured Corps War of 1971 10 December 1971 Zafarwal-Shakargarh
Captain Karnal Sher Khan 12th Battalion of the Northern Light Infantry Kargil War 5 July 1999 Kargil, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
Havaldar Lalak Jan 12th Battalion of the Northern Light Infantry Kargil War 7 July 1999 Kargil, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

Similar to the American Medal of Honor or the British Victoria Cross, it has only been awarded to 10 Pakistan Army personnel since 1947:

The Nishan-e-Haider (Urdu: نشان حیدر) (Sign of the Lion) is the highest military award given by Pakistan, ranking above the Hilal-i-Jur'at (Crescent of Courage). Nishan-e-Haider recipients receive an honorary title as a sign of respect: Shaheed meaning martyr for deceased recipients. As of 19 September 2013, all Nishan-e-Haider awards have thus far been given to the people engaged in battles with India.

Nishan-e-Haider; Pakistan's highest military award.

Recipients of Nishan-e-Haider

Capt. Hercharn Singh, as the first Sikh, is Commissioned Officer in Pakistan Army. He was commissioned in Baloch Regiment. Currently, he's serving as an ADC to a Corps Commander.

There have been numerous Christians who have risen to the rank of Brigadier; and in the 1990 the first Christian promoted to the rank of Major General was Julian Peter who commanded the 14th Div in Okara Cantt. In 2009 brigadier Noel Israel Khokhar, was also promoted to rank of Major General.

Non Muslim Pakistanis are allowed to sit in all examinations and serve in any part of the Pakistan Army.

Women have served in the Pakistan Army since its foundation. Currently, there is a sizeable number of women serving in the Pakistan Army. Most women are recruited in the Army to perform medical and educational work. There is also a Women's Guard section of Pakistan's National Guard where women are trained in nursing, welfare and clerical work and there are also women recruited in very limited numbers for the Janbaz Force. Only recently has Pakistan began to recruit women for Elite Anti-Terrorist Police Force in 2007, several female graduates were nominated to be Sky Marshals for Pakistan based airlines.[71] In addition recently eight of the 41 cadets from the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul became the first women guards of honour.[72] Pakistan is the only country in the Islamic world to have female Major Generals in the Army.[73] Major General Shahida Malik an Army Doctor was Pakistan's first female two-star general.

Women and non-Muslim Pakistanis

Large extensive efforts have been made to bring all ethnicities on par, presently the Army recruitment system is enlisting personnel district-wise irrespective of provincial boundaries. This decision has given a fair chance to every citizen of Pakistan to be part of the Pakistan Army as each district possesses a fixed percentage of seats in all branches of the army, as per census records. By 2007, the Punjabi representation in the Army was down to 57%, from 71% in 2001, with further drops projected.[63][70]

Traditionally, the army was a predominantly Punjabi force because of its dominant Population (Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population). In British India, three districts: Jhelum, Rawalpindi, and Campbellpur (now Attock) dominated the recruitment flows.

Ethnic Composition

Pakistan Army has introduced pixilated arid camouflage pattern in uniform and resized qualification badges which are now colourless and service ribbons are no longer worn along with the ranks are now embroidered and are on chest. The name is embroidered and is on right pocket and the left pocket displays embroidered Pak Army. Flag of Pakistan is placed over the black embroidered formation sign on the left arm and adventure course insignias are put up as per ADR for khaki uniform,[67] decorations & awards[68] and the ranks.[69]

Brown and black and more recently former US BDU style camouflage fatigues are worn by army troop units. The uniform of a Pakistan army soldier exhibits much information i.e.

Pakistan Army uniforms closely resemble those of the British Armed Forces. The principal colour is greenish brown. Dress uniforms were worn mostly on formal occasions. The service uniform was worn for daily duty. The service uniform for the ground forces was khaki (sand/tan) cotton. Officers purchased their uniforms, but enlisted personnel received a standard uniform issue, which consisted of service and field uniforms, fatigues, and in some cases, dress uniforms. The uniforms consisted of shirt, trousers, sweater, jacket or blouse, and boots. There is also a white dress uniform. The fatigues were the same for winter and summer. Heavy winter gear was issued as needed. Headgear included a service cap for dress and semi-dress and a field cap worn with fatigues. Army personnel also wear berets, usually worn in lieu of the service cap.


Apart from conducting military operations, exercises, and military ethics, the Pakistan Army maintains its own science and technology corps and organizations. Most notable science and engineering corps including College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (CEME) and the Military College of Engineering where the scientific and military education are taught. The admissions of engineering colleges are not restricted to civilians as they can also gain admission and graduate with engineering and science degrees.

Science and Technology

Pakistani officers were sent abroad during the 1950s and into the 1960s for training in Britain and other Commonwealth countries, and the United States, where trainees numbering well in the hundreds attended a full range of institutions ranging from armoured and infantry schools to the higher staff and command institutions. After 1961 this training was coordinated under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, but numbers varied along with the vicissitudes of the United States-Pakistan military relationship. Of some 200 officers being sent abroad annually in the 1980s, over two-thirds went to the United States, but the cessation of United States aid in 1990 entailed suspension of the IMET program. In 1994 virtually all foreign training was in Commonwealth countries. However, after the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan again begun sending officers to US Army schools. Today there are more than 400 officers serving in foreign countries. Officers retire between the ages of fifty-two and sixty, depending on their rank.

The senior training institution for all service branches is the National Defence University, Islamabad. Originally established in 1971 at Rawalpindi, to provide training in higher military strategy for senior officers, the institution was relocated to Islamabad in 1995. According to Aqil Shah, the NDU is significant for understanding the institutional norms of military tutelage in Pakistan because it constitutes the “highest forum where the military leadership comes together for common instruction.” Without graduating from the NDU (or a foreign equivalent), no officer can become a general. Besides, the NDU training program represents a radical shift from the emphasis on operational and staff functions in the training of junior officers (for example, majors at the Staff College) to educating colonels and brigadiers about a broad range of strategic political, social, and economic factors as they affect national security. In that sense, it constitutes the senior officer corps’s baptism into a shared ideological framework about the military’s appropriate role, status, and behavior in relation to state and society. These shared values affect how these officers perceive and respond to civilian governmental decisions, policies, and political crises.[66] It also offers courses that allow civilians to explore the broader aspects of national security. In a program begun in the 1980s to upgrade the intellectual standards of the officer corps and increase awareness of the wider world, a small group of officers, has been detailed to academic training, achieving master's degrees and even doctorates at universities in Pakistan and abroad.

The Army has twelve other training and educational establishments, including schools concentrating on specific skills such as infantry, artillery, intelligence, engineering, or mountain warfare. The National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) has been established which has absorbed the existing colleges of engineering, signals, electrical engineering and medicine. At the apex of the army training system is the Command and Staff College at Quetta, one of the few institutions inherited from the colonial period. The college offers a ten-month course in tactics, staff duties, administration, and command functions through the division level. Students from foreign countries, including the United States, have attended the school but reportedly have been critical of its narrow focus and failure to encourage speculative thinking or to give adequate attention to less glamorous subjects, such as logistics.

Academic Institutions

Each year, about 320 men enter the Army bi-annually through the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul in Abbottabad in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; a small number—like doctors and technical specialists—are directly recruited, and are part of the officer corps. The product of a highly competitive selection process, members of the officer corps have completed twelve years of education and spend two years at the Pakistan Military Academy, with their time divided about equally between military training and academic work to bring them up to a baccalaureate education level, which includes English-language skills.

Officer Ranks

In the thirty-six-week training period, they develop an attachment to the regiment they will remain with through much of their careers and begin to develop a sense of being a Pakistani rather than primarily a member of a tribe or a village. Enlisted men usually serve for eighteen years, during which they participate in regular training cycles and have the opportunity to take academic courses to help them advance.

Most enlisted personnel used to come from rural families, and many have only rudimentary literacy skills, but with the increase in the literacy level the requirements have been raised to Matriculate level (10th Grade). Recruits are processed gradually through a paternalistically run regimental training center, taught the official language, Urdu, if necessary, and given a period of elementary education before their military training actually starts.

Enlisted Ranks

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) the Pakistan Army has an active force of 642,000 personnel as of 2015.[1]


The Pakistan Army has been involved in relief activities not only in Pakistan but also in many other countries of the world, such as the relief activities after Bangladesh was hit by floods. The Army also dispatched relief to Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka after they were hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the resulting tsunami.

In times of natural disaster, such as the great floods of 1992 or the October 2005 devastating earthquake, army engineers, medical and logistics personnel, and the armed forces played a major role in bringing relief and supplies.

In my opinion, if we have to repeat of past events then we must understand that Military leaders can pressure only up to a point. Beyond that their own position starts getting undermined because the military is after all is a mirror image of the civil society from which it is drawn.
— General Jehangir Karamat on civil society–military relations, [65]

The Pakistan Army has played an integral part in the civil society of Pakistan, almost since its inception.[65] In 1996, General Jehangir Karamat described Pakistan armed forces' relations with the society:

Involvement in Pakistani society

Several Army organizations operate in the commercial sector across the country. For example, the National Logistics Cell was responsible for trucking food and other goods across the country; the Frontier Works Organization built the Karakoram Highway to China; and the Special Communication Organization maintained communications networks in remote parts of Pakistan.

Pakistan military has the biggest share in Pakistan's stock exchange. It operates commercial bank, airline, steel, cement, telecom, petroleum and energy, education, sports, health care and even chains of grocery shops and bakeries.[64]

The army runs the largest real estate business in Pakistan under the auspices of Defense Housing Societies and other welfare societies. However out 46 housing schemes directly built by the armed forces, none is for ordinary soldiers or civilian officers and personnel employed by the army.[62] The Army is also engaged in other corporate activities such as stud and dairy farms meant for the army's own use. Others enterprises perform functions in local civilian economy such as bakeries, security services and banking. Army factories produced such goods as sugar, fertilizer, and brass castings and sold them to civilian consumers albeit at prices higher than those charged from military personnel.[63]

The tradition of insubordination of the army towards the legitimate leadership of can be traced back to Lt. Gen Frank Messervy who resisted the orders of Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah. This was described as the main reason for his early retirement. However it did not prevent him being honored and promoted to general. Later Douglas Gracey, the C in C of the Pakistan Army did not send troops to the Kashmir front and refused to obey the order to do so given by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Governor-General of Pakistan.[61] Gracey argued that Jinnah as Governor-General represented the British Crown of which he himself was an appointee. The same tradition was continued by their successors, Ayub Khan, Zia and Musharraf, all of whom received honours instead of being tried for indiscipline, corruption and insubordination.

The Pakistan Army has always played an integral part in local politics since its inception mainly on the pretext of lack of good civilian leadership corruption and inefficieny.[58] It has virtually acted as a third party that has repeatedly seized power in the name of stabilizing Pakistan and ending corruption. However, according to the political observers, political instability, lawlessness and corruption are direct consequences of army rule.[59][60]

Political and Corporate Activities

To supplement this doctrine, the Army in the 1990s created a strong centralized corps of reserves for its formations. The force is known as Army Reserve South and is a grouping of several powerful Corps from Pakistan's Order of Battle. These formations have been rapidly equipped with assets needed for mechanized capability. These reserve formations are dual-capable, meaning they can be used for offensive as well as defensive (holding) purposes. Pakistan has also increased its ammunition, fuel and other military stockpiles to last for 45 days in case of a conflict. During the 1965 war for instance, Pakistan only had 13-day reserves which hampered its military operations.

Kashmir, Line of Control and the Northern Punjab areas are heavily fortified and ill-suited for large mechanized offensives. The most likely area where Pakistan might launch its offensive is the semi-desert and desert sectors in southern Punjab and Sindh provinces.

  1. The enemy is kept off-balance as it will be tied up containing the Pakistani offensive into its territory rather than launching an offensive into Pakistani territory.
  2. The Pakistani Army hopes to contain the fighting on the Indian side of the border so that any collateral or other damage will be suffered by India.
  3. Indian territory of strategic importance once seized, will give the Pakistani Army a bargaining chip to be used in the aftermath of a ceasefire brought about by international pressure after 3–4 weeks of fighting.
  4. The use of tactical battlefield nuclear missile such as Nasr missile that provide maximal damage against massed troops for extremely limited collateral casualties.

The Pakistani Army hopes to accomplish three things under this strategy:[57]

This doctrine entails Pakistan in the event of hostilities with India will not wait for the enemy's offensive, but rather launch an offensive of its own. The offensive will be a limited advance along narrow fronts with the aim of occupying territory near the border to a depth of 40–50 km. Since Indian forces will not reach their maximum strength near the border for another 48–72 hours, Pakistan might have parity or numerical superiority against the Indians.

  1. The vulnerability of Pakistan is that so many of its major population centres and politically and military sensitive targets lie very close to the border with India. As such Pakistan can ill-afford to lose large territories to an Indian attack.
  2. 'Strategic depth' in the form of a friendly Afghanistan is deemed vital by military planners.
  3. India has substantially enhanced its offensive capabilities, with the Cold Start Doctrine. Any counterattack would be very tricky against the large number of Indian troops involved. The response of the Pakistani army includes the development of the Nasr missile.
  4. Holding formations in both India and Pakistan can man their forward defensive positions and fortifications in less than 24 hours. However, Corps level reserves with large stockpiles of munitions will take between 24 to 72 hours for mobilization after being given their orders. In this regard, both armies will be evenly matched in the first 24 hours since the Pakistani units have to travel a shorter distance to their forward positions.

The doctrine is derived from several factors:[57]

The Pakistan Army has developed a doctrine called the Riposte which is a limited "offensive-defence"[56] doctrine. It has refined it consistently starting in 1989 during the Exercise Zarb–e–Momin. This doctrine is fully focused towards Pakistan's primary adversary, India.

Combat Doctrine

The Special Services Group (SSG) is an independent commando regiment/corps of the Pakistan Army. It is an elite special operations force similar to the United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and the British Army's SAS.

Special Forces

  • Army Air Defence Corps:
    • Medium AD Regiment
    • Light AD Regiment
    • GunMissile Regiment (Light)|GunMissile AD Regiment
    • Self Propelled AD Regiment
    • SAM Regiment
    • Missile Regiment
    • Radar Controlled Gun Regiment
    • Surveillance Controlling Reporting Regiment
  • Artillery Corps
    • Field Regiment
    • Mountain Regiment
    • Medium Regiment
    • Heavy Regiment
    • Self Propelled (Med) Regiment
    • Self Propelled (Heavy) Regiment
    • Met and Locating Regiment
    • Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher Regiment
    • Multiple Launching Rocket System Regiment

Regiments of the Pakistani Army include:

Most of the infantry regiments of the Pakistani Army originate from the old British Indian Army and recruit troops from a region or of specific ethnicities.

There are several battalions or units associated together in an infantry regiment. The infantry regiment in the Pakistani Army is an administrative military organisation and not a field formation. All the battalions of a regiment do not fight together as one formation, but are dispersed over various formations, viz. brigades, divisions and corps. An infantry battalion serves for a period of time under a formation and then moves to another, usually in another sector or terrain when its tenure is over. Occasionally, battalions of the same regiment may serve together for a tenure.

Pakistan's Honor Guards at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad


  • Division: An Army Division is an intermediate between a Corps and a Brigade. It is the largest striking force in the army. Each Division is headed by General Officer Commanding (GOC) in the rank of Major General. It usually consists of 15,000 combat troops and 8,000 support elements. Currently, the Pakistani Army has 29 Divisions including 20 Infantry Divisions, 2 Armoured Divisions, 2 Mechanized Divisions, 2 Air Defence Divisions, 2 Strategic Divisions and 1 Artillery Division. Each Division composes of several Brigades.
  • Brigade: A Brigade generally consists of around 3,000 combat troops with supporting elements. An Infantry Brigade usually has 3 Infantry Battalions along with various Support Arms & Services. It is headed by a Brigadier, equivalent to a Brigadier General in some armies. In addition to the Brigades in various Army Divisions, the Pakistani Army also has 7 Independent Armoured Brigades, 5 Independent Artillery Brigades, 3 Independent Infantry Brigades, and 3 Anti-Tank Brigades. These Independent Brigades operate directly under the Corps Commander (GOC Corps).
  • Regiment: A regiment is commanded by a Colonel.
  • Battalion: A Battalion is commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel and is the Infantry's main fighting unit. It consists of more than 900 combat personnel.
  • Company: Headed by the Major/Captain, a Company comprises about 120–150 soldiers.
  • Platoon: An intermediate between a Company and Section, a Platoon is headed by a Lieutenant or depending on the availability of Commissioned Officers, a Junior Commissioned Officer, with the rank of Subedar or Naib-Subedar. It has a total strength of about 30–36 troops.
  • Section: Smallest military outfit with a strength of about 9–13 personnel. Commanded by a Non-commissioned officer of the rank of Havildar Major or Sergeant Major.

Other Field Formations

Pakistan Army Structure 2013

Headquarters, Pakistani Army, Rawalpindi, Punjab

    • I Corps – headquartered at Mangla Cantonment
      • 6th Armoured Division headquartered at Gujranwala
      • 17th Infantry Division headquartered at Kharian
      • 37th Infantry Division headquartered at Kharian
      • 11th Independent Armoured Brigade
      • Independent Air Defence Brigade
      • Independent Artillery Brigade
      • Independent Infantry Brigade
    • II Corps – headquartered at Multan
      • 1st Armoured Division headquartered at Multan
      • 14th Infantry Division headquartered at Okara
      • 40th Infantry Division headquartered at Okara
      • Independent Armoured Brigade
      • Independent Air Defence Brigade
      • Independent Artillery Brigade
      • Independent Infantry Brigade
    • IV Corps – headquartered at Lahore
      • 2nd Artillery Division headquartered at Gujranwala
      • 10th Infantry Division headquartered at Lahore
      • 11th Infantry Division headquartered at Lahore
      • 3rd Independent Armoured Brigade
      • 212th Infantry Brigade
      • Independent Artillery Brigade
    • XXX Corps – headquartered at Gujranwala
      • 8th Infantry Division headquartered at Sialkot
      • 15th Infantry Division headquartered at Sialkot
      • 2nd Independent Armoured Brigade
      • Independent Anti-Tank Brigade
      • Independent Artillery Brigade
    • XXXI Corps – headquartered at Bahawalpur
      • 26th Mechanized Division headquartered at Bahawalpur[55]
      • 35th Infantry Division headquartered at Bahawalpur
      • 13th Independent Armoured Brigade
      • 101st Independent Infantry Brigade

The peace time commands are given below in their correct order of raising, and location (city).

Forces in action or poised for action include XI Corps, which has been heavily engaged in fighting the Taliban and other extremists along Pakistan's north-western border, an the 323rd Infantry Brigade, part of Forces Command Northern Areas, on the Siachen Glacier.


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