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National Defence University
File:National Defence University, Pakistan Logo.png
National Defence University Logo
Motto "Taught Man Which He Knew Not" [Al-Quran (30:96:5)]
Established January 27, 2007
Type Public
President Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal Ramday, HI(M)
Location Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan

The National Defence University (or NDU) is a four-year institution of national security and strategic studies for higher education under the patronage of the Joint Staff Headquarters (JS HQ) of Pakistan Armed Forces. The university is federally and jointly funded by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The NDU runs training, education, and the development of national security strategy.

The NDU is chartered by the President of Pakistan as its Chancellor, and the management of the NDU is vested in a three-star rank officer from the Pakistan Armed Forces who is designated as the President of the university. Lieutenant-General Javed Iqbal Ramday[1] of Pakistan Army is its current President.

The university's mission is "to impart higher education in policy and strategy formulation with emphasis on national security and defence, and act as a national think tank". The school's master program is a two-year long intensive study program.

Most of the students are civilians in Islamabad, and educated military officers, who have graduated from military institutions. Students take classes in advanced strategic methods, conflict resolutions, nuclear politics and diplomacy. The NDU's institutes serve the university in developing policies of the government, while also creating simulations and war games to help keep the military current with specific concerns.


The NDU is a Pakistani military institution founded in 1963, when the 1st Army War Course started at the Command and Staff College, Quetta. Subsequently, in 1971, a dedicated National Defence College was established at the old building of the National Assembly of Pakistan in Rawalpindi. In 1995, the National Defence College shifted to its present campus at the foothills of Margalla, Islamabad.

By a decree of the Government of Pakistan, the National Defence College was upgraded as the National Defence University. An Ordinance to this effect was signed on 27 January 2007, by the President of Pakistan.

The management of the National Defence University is vested in a three Star General from the Pakistan Army, who is called the President. He is also the head of the faculty. The university is organized into four constituent colleges/institutes:

  • National Security College
  • Armed Forces War College
  • Faculty of Contemporary Studies (FCS)
  • Institute of Strategic Studies; Research and Analysis (ISSRA)
File:NDU Organization.gif

Organization of NDU

There are three affiliated colleges:

The National Security College, Armed Forces War College and Faculty of Contemporary Studies (FCS) are the instructional colleges for conducting studies in Defence and Social Sciences, whereas the ISSRA acts as a brain and think-tank apart from conducting the National Security & Media Workshops, Capstone Courses and Symposia/Seminars.

The Headquarters/Administrative Wing provides administrative and technical support to the entire university. The Wing is headed by a one Star General officer.


The origin of the National Defence University goes back to 1963, when the 1st Army War Course started at the Command and Staff College, Quetta. Subsequently, in 1971, a dedicated National Defence College was established at the old building of the National Assembly of Pakistan in Rawalpindi. In 1995, the National Defence College shifted to its present campus at the foothills of the Margalla, Islamabad. The NDU stands established in the same campus.


NDU runs the National Security and War Course (NSWC)of 48 weeks on an annual basis. The course starts in August and ends in June. Since 1988, officers from friendly countries (such as Nigeria) have also attended courses at the National Defence University. So far 3061 participants have graduated from the National Defence University. This includes, 469 officers from the 39 friendly countries and 570 participants of National Security Workshops. Today, the entire military and bulk of civil leadership are graduates of this institution.

Thirteen National Security Workshops, each of 6 weeks duration, are held annually.

File:NDU Building (D).JPG

National Defence University building

The Jasmine wreath in gold is placed upon the green background of the national color. Three services colors are represented in the centre, signifying inter-services organisation. A crossed sword and pen placed up the lower portion of the shield represent honour, strength and achievement through learning. The motto is inscribed in gold letters on the top centre of the shield.

Role as a Think Tank

The NDU acts as a national think tank on national security matters. Input is provided to the government and armed forces. The NDU maintains academic links with national think tanks and defence universities of friendly countries.


Taught man that which he knew not [Al-Quran (30:96:5)]


  • National Security and War Course
  • National Security Workshop
  • National Media Workshop
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Leadership and Management Sciences
  • International Relations
  • Strategic and Nuclear Studies
  • Government and Public Policy
  • Information Operations Course (Info Ops)
  • Pinnacle Course



  • Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday
  • Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua
  • Lt Gen Agha Muhammad Umer Farooq
  • Lt Gen Muhammad Yousaf
  • Lt Gen Mohammad Hamid K


  • Lt Gen Raza Muhammad Khan
  • Lt Gen Shahid Hamid
  • Lt Gen Tariq Waseem Ghazi
  • Lt Gen Javed Hassan
  • Lt Gen Saeed Uz Zafar
  • Lt Gen Salahuddin Tirmizi
  • Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmed
  • Lt Gen Muhammad Maqbool
  • Lt Gen Syed Tanwir Husain Naqvi
  • Lt Gen Iftikhar Ali Khan
  • Lt Gen Asad Durrani
  • Lt Gen Rehm Dil Bhatti
  • Lt Gen Syed Zakir Ali Zaidi
  • Lt Gen Muhammad Safdar
  • Lt Gen S M H Bokhari
  • Maj Gen Nishat Ahmed
  • Lt. Gen Jamshed Gulzar Kiani
  • Lt Gen Ejaz Azim
  • Maj Gen Anwar Masood
  • Lt Gen Azmat B Awan
  • AVM M.J. O’Brian
  • Maj Gen M Rahim Khan
  • Maj Gen Nasir Ahmad Chaudhry
  • Lt Gen Abdul Hameed Khan


  • NDU Journal is an annual feature of the university which is based on the research papers by the participants of the National security and war Course. The publications provide ideas on issues of national, regional and international significance.
  • Margalla papers is an annual publication of the National Defence University based on articles written by prominent scholars and writers of the country.
  • ISSRA Paper is a bi-annual paper based on research carried out by researchers of Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA).
  • NDU Monograph is a scholarly researched essay on an issue related to the national security.
  • NDU Newsletter provides a forum for information, discussion and debate on topical issues impacting the national security.
  • The University describes research on the development of policies on key issues facing the country.

Notable alumni and faculty

Pakistan Army


Lieutenant Generals

Major Generals

Pakistan Air Force

Pakistan Navy

Civil Servants

  • Ambassador Syed Mohammad Inaamullah


  • Mian Muhammad Aslam


  • Dr Shahzad Waseem
  • Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri
  • Mr Sanaullah Baloch
  • Mr Babar Khan Ghauri
  • Mr Omar Ayub Khan
  • Mr Muhammad Hanif Abbasi
  • Mr Amanullah Kanrani
  • Engineer Aamir Muqam
  • Miss Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli


External links

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