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Pakistan Armed Forces
پاک مسلح افواج
State emblem of Pakistan.svg
Founded 1947
Service branches Flag of the Pakistan Army Pakistan Army
Naval Jack of Pakistan Pakistan Navy
Ensign of the Pakistan Air Force Pakistan Air Force
Naval Emblem of Pakistan Pakistan Marines
State emblem of Pakistan Paramilitary Forces
Headquarters Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi
Commander-in-Chief President Mamnoon Hussain
Minister of Defence Khawaja Asif
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood
Pakistan Army
Military age 16–49 years old
Conscription None
Available for
military service
48,453,305 males, age 16–49 (2010 est.),
44,898,096 females, age 16–49 (2010 est.)
Fit for
military service
37,945,440 males, age 16–49 (2010 est.),
37,381,549 females, age 16–49 (2010 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
2,237,723 males (2010 est.),
2,104,906 females (2010 est.)
Active personnel 617,000 (ranked 6th)
Reserve personnel 550,000 (ranked 15th)
Budget $7.6 billion (2015–16) (ranked 25th)
Percent of GDP 3.5% (2015)
Domestic suppliers
Foreign suppliers
  •  Austria
  •  Australia
  •  Belgium
  •  China
  •  France
  •  Germany
  •  Italy
  •  North Korea
  •  Russia
  •  South Africa
  •  Sweden
  •  Syria
  •  Turkey
  • United States
  •  United Kingdom
  •  United Nations
Annual imports  China, United States
Related articles
Ranks Awards and decorations of the Pakistan Armed Forces

The Pakistan Armed Forces (Urdu language: پاک مُسَلّح افواج‎ , Musallah Afwaj-e-Pakistan) are the military forces of Pakistan. They are the seventh largest in the world in terms of active troops. The armed forces comprise three main branches: Army, Navy, Marines, and the Air Force, together with a number of paramilitary forces and Strategic Plans Division (SPD) forces.

Following 1962, Pakistan Armed Forces has had close military relations with the People's Republic of China, including development and research cooperation to enhance military system, such as on the JF-17 Thunder, K-8 Karakorum, and others as well. As of 2013 China is the largest supplier of military equipment to Pakistan.[1] Both nations also cooperate on development in nuclear and space technology programs.[2][3][4] The armies have a schedule for organizing joint military exercises.[5] The PAF also maintains close military relation with the United States and is designated as the Major non-NATO ally since 2004. It primarily import military equipment from China and USA.[1]

The armed forces were formed in 1947 when Pakistan became independent from the British Empire. Since then, the armed forces have played a decisive role in the history of Pakistan, projecting a sense of national unity and identity was forged out of the wars of 1947 and 1965 against India. Border clashes with Afghanistan led to the creation of the paramilitary forces to deal with civil unrest as well as secure the border areas. As of 2010 estimate, the Pakistan Armed Forces had approximately 617,000 personnel on active duty with 513,000 in serves as reserve as well as ~304,000 personnel serving in the paramilitary forces, and approximately ~20,000 serving in the Strategic Plans Division forces, giving a total of almost 1,451,000 personnel.[6] The armed forces have a large pool of volunteers and as such, conscription is not, and has never been needed.[7]

The Pakistan Armed Forces are the best organized institution in the country and is highly respected in civil society and the social ranks as an institution.[8] Since the founding of Pakistan, the armed forces has been key in holding the state together, promoting a feeling of nationhood and providing a bastion of selfless service.[9] In Addition, the Pakistan Armed Forces are the largest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping efforts, with more than ~10,000 personnel deployed overseas in 2007.[10] Other foreign deployments have consisted of Pakistani military personnel as military advisers in African and Arab countries. The Pakistani military maintains combat divisions and brigades strength presences in some of the Arab countries during the Arab-Israeli Wars, and the first Gulf War to help the Coalition as well as the Somalian and Bosnian conflicts.


The roots of the Pakistan militarys trace back to the British Army which included several personnel from present day Pakistan. In picture are troops of the Khyber Rifles striking a pose, circa 1895.

The history of Pakistan Armed Forces dates before 1947 before the declaration that marked the establishment of Pakistan. Many of the senior officers who participated and served well would formed and established the Pakistan Armed Forces. Several experience officers and soldiers who fought with the British military in the World War II joined the Pakistan Armed Forces, giving it professionalism, experience and leadership that the newly established country needed to defend itself against India. In a British military arrange formula, the military was supposed to have been divided between India and Pakistan with a ratio of 64% going to India and 36% for Pakistan; however, it is estimated that Pakistan inherited only about 15% of the equipment.[11]

During the fiscal period of 1947–71, Pakistan has fought three conventional wars against India.[12] The last conventional war, the 1971 war ended up in a succession of East Pakistan as Bangladesh. Rising tensions with Afghanistan in 1960s and indirect war fought against the Soviet Union in 1970s led to a sharp rise in the development of Pakistan Armed Forces. In 1999, an intense and extended border skirmish with India resulted in redeployment of the forces. As of current, the military is currently conducting counterinsurgency operations along the border areas of Afghanistan. Pakistan Armed Forces have participated in several United Nations peacekeeping operations.

The Pakistan Armed Forces have also taken over the Government of Pakistan several times since independence mainly on the pretext of lack of good civilian leadership, whom most Pakistanis regard as corrupt and inefficient.[13] However, according to the political parties removed from power by the army, political instability, lawlessness and corruption are direct consequences of army rule.[14][15]

Current deployments

Within Pakistan

Disposition of ~70% of military is deployed near eastern border with India, circa 1997.

It is estimated that approximately 60–70% of Pakistan armed forces personnel are deployed along the Indo-Pakistan border to counter an invasion threat fromIndian Armed Forces.[16] As an aftermath of United States invasion of Afghanistan, more than 150,000 armed forces personnel were shifted towards the Tribal Areas adjacent to Afghanistan.[17] Since 2004, Pakistan military forces have been engaged in the military efforts against al-Qaeda extremists.

Comparing to multinational forces and the United States Armed Forces, the Pakistan armed forces have suffered a highest number of casualties in the war, both indirectly and directly confrontation from the al-Qaeda and the United States Armed Forces. (See: United States-Pakistan border war) After the attacks in Mumbai took place in 2008 and the subsequent standoff with India, several of the combat divisions were redeployed to East and Southern fronts. In addition to its military deployment, the armed forces also assists the government in combating the natural disasters such as the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the nation-wide floods in 2010.


As of 2010, a huge number of Pakistan Armed Forces personnel are deployed overseas as part of the United Nation's peacekeeping missions. Tentative estimates are put to ~12,000 personnel serving abroad, making Pakistan the single largest contributor of UN peacekeeping forces.[10]

Organization and Command Structure

The military combat coordination and joint execution of the operations are oversaw by the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee that deals with all problems bearing on the military aspects of state security and is charged with integrating and coordinating the three inter-services.[citation needed] After witnessing the military failure in the 1971 war, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee was established and the Joint Staff Headquarters served its operational headquarter.

In peacetime, its principal function is planning; in time of war, its chairman is the principal staff officer to the government in the supervision and conduct of the war.[citation needed] The secretariat of the committee serves as the principal link between the service headquarters and the Ministry of Defence in addition to coordinating matters between the services.[citation needed] The three branches within the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee deal with planning, training, and logistics. Affiliated with the committee are the offices of the Engineer-in-Chief, the director general of medical service, the director of Inter-Services Intelligence, and the director of inter-services public relations.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

Leadership in Pakistan armed forces are provided by the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee which controls the military from the Joint Staff Headquarters in adjacent to the Air HQ, Navy HQ, and the Army GHQ in the vicinity of the Rawalpindi Military District.[18] The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee is formed with the composition of chief of army staff, chief of air staff, chief of naval staff, commandant marines, and commander of the special plans division as its permanent leaders.[18]

Appointed by the Prime minister and confirmed by the President to four-star appointment of the chairmanship of joint chiefs, the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee outranks all outranks all other four-star officers; the chairman does not have operational command authority over the Armed Forces.[19] However, the Chairman, serving in the capacity as chief military adviser, does assist the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense in exercising their command functions.[19]

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee deals with all aspects of joint-military coordination to handle to military security of state and is charged with integrating operational plans in inter-services.[19] In times of peace, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee's principle functions are to conduct planning of civil–military input; in times of war, the chairman acts as principle military adviser to the Prime Minister in the supervision and to conduct of the joint war.[19]


Pakistan Navy Ships

Troop Strength

As of 2010, about 617,000 people[6] were on active duty in the military, with an additional 420,000 in the paramilitary forces[6] and 513,000 people in reserve. It is an all volunteer military, but conscription can be enacted at the request of the President with the approval of the Pakistani parliament.[citation needed] The military is the seventh largest in the world and has a large number of troops deployed around the globe in military assistance and peacekeeping operations.

Members of the Pakistani military hold a rank, either that of officer or enlisted, and can be promoted.

The following table summarizes current Pakistani military troop levels:

Pakistani Military Troop Levels
Service Total Active Duty Personnel[6] Total Reserve[6]
Army 550,000 500,000
Navy 22,000 5,000
Air Force 45,000 8,000
Paramilitary Forces 420,000 0
SPD Forces 21,000[27][28] 0


A Pakistani soldier in combat gear during training

The standard uniform for the Pakistan Army was a traditional old British Army Khaki but this has been recently changed to a camouflage pattern uniform which is standard for other armies of the world. The colours of the new camouflage pattern uniform depend on the geographical areas in which the troops operate so that they can blend in with the environment and more.

Rank Structure

The rank structure is also patterned on the British model. Following the British Indian tradition, there are three junior commissioned officer (JCO) grades between enlisted and officer rank for those who rise by promotion from among enlisted recruits. The junior commissioned officer is a continuation of the former viceroy's commissioned officer rank during the British colonial period. Promotion to JCO rank, however, remains a powerful incentive for enlisted personnel; thus, if JCO ranks are ever phased out, it will probably be a slow process.

Gallantry awards

  1. Nishan-i-Haider, Highest military decoration of Pakistan. Awarded "to those who have performed acts of greatest heroism or most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger and have shown bravery of the highest order or devotion to the country, in the presence of the enemy on land, at sea or in the air ... and scarificed their lives for this cause. this award can not be given to an alive soldier"[29]
  2. Hilal-i-Jurat
  3. Sitara-i-Jurat
  4. Tamgha-i-Jurat

Foreign military relations


The People's Republic of China's relationship with Pakistan has often been regarded as all weather and time tested. This friendship for both the Asian countries holds great importance and is priceless in terms of common interest and geo-strategic alliance initially to counter the Indian and Soviet Union threat. In recent years the friendship has deepened even further and China has several defence treaties with Pakistan.

China has been a steady source of military equipment and has cooperated with Pakistan in setting up weapons production and modernization facilities.

The two countries are also actively involved in the joint venture of several projects to enhance each other's military needs, including JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, K-8 Karakorum advanced training aircraft, space technology, AWACS, Al Khalid tank, missiles and many other projects. The two countries also held several military exercises together to further deepen and enhance cooperation between the two armed forces. Also China is the largest investor in the Gwadar Deep Sea Port, which is strategically located at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz.

South Asian Countries

Defense attachés from Russia and Pakistan visits the communications center the Nigerian Air Force base in 2008.

Before 1971, Pakistan military had a strong presence in East-Pakistan and a theatre-level military command was active at that time. After independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan, full diplomatic relations were not restored until 1976.[30] Relations improved considerably under the military governments of President Major Ziaur Rahman and General Hossain Mohammad Ershad in Bangladesh, which had grown more distant from its war ally, India.[30][31] Common concerns over India's regional power have influenced strategic cooperation leading to a gift of several squadrons of F-6 fighter aircraft to the Bangladesh Air Force in the late 1980s.[32]

Animosity against India has also led Pakistan and Nepal to form a close military relationship, eventually the deployment of Pakistani military as an advisers to Nepalese military. Condemned and isolated from India, Great Britain and the United States between 2004 and 2006 for repressing democracy, the Nepalese monarchy developed military cooperation with China and Pakistan, who offered extensive military support, arms and military equipment to Nepal for the monarchy to stay in power and fight the Maoist insurgency.[33][34]

With India reluctant and unwilling to supply it weapons that Sri Lanka was looking for, Colombo turned towards Pakistan by 1999. In May 2000, President Musharraf of Pakistan supplied millions of dollars of much-needed weapons to the Sri Lankan government, when separatist Tamil Tiger rebels were about to recapture their former capital of Jaffna.[35] In May 2008, Lt-Gen Fonseka of the Sri Lanka Army held talks with his Pakistan Army counterparts regarding the sale of military equipment, weapons and ammunition. The sale of 22 Al-Khalid MBTs to the Sri Lanka Army was finalised during these talks in a deal worth over US$100 million.[36] In April 2009, Sri Lanka requested $25 million worth of 81 mm, 120 mm and 130 mm mortar ammunition to be delivered within a month which proved decisive in the defeat of the Tamil Tigers.[37]

United States and NATO

American Chairman of Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen reviews Pakistan military during a ceremony honoring Mullen's arrival to Islamabad in 2008.

Overall its military history, Pakistan armed forces has had an on-again and off-again military relationship with the United States.[citation needed] During the times of relations based on mutual understanding, the United States' military funding and training increased to Pakistan armed forces; in contrast to divergence in relations, the United States military support to Pakistan armed forces would meant bitter disillusionment and the severing of support at critical junctures. These wide swings of fortune are something to which the Pakistanis have become accustomed, and they recognize that, whatever the provocation, the relationship with the United States has too much potential benefit to be discarded lightly.[citation needed]

In support of United States invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan armed forces received a huge military aid, financial funding, and training from the United States Armed Forces. According to the Ministry of Finance calculations, in the three years before the attacks of 11 September, Pakistan received approximately $9 million in American military aid. In the three years after, the number increased to $4.2 billion.[38]

General Peter Pace salutes to Pakistan military.

Pakistan has maintained a strong military–to–military relations with the comprised 28-states military alliance, called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).[39] NATO regards military relations with Pakistan as "partners across the globe."[39] Lobbied and with a support provided by United States Secretary of State, General (retired) Collin Powell, Pakistan is designated as "Major non-NATO ally" as of 2004.[40][41][42][43] One of the important country in NATO, France, has maintained crucial military relations with Pakistan armed forces, including in selling its submarine technology to Pakistan Navy and jet propulsion technology to Pakistan Air Force in last decades.[citation needed]

Since 2000s, the military relations with Russian armed forces are boosted with the Pakistan armed forces.[44][45]

Middle Eastern Countries

A naval combatant squadron of Pakistan Navy is being deployed in Arabian Sea near Oman.

Since 1960s, the Pakistani military personnel and combat installations have been deployed in Middle East since Pakistan's close foreign ties to the nations of the Middle East are based on a combination of geography and shared religion. The Arab world countries have historically depended on regional armies to provide a protective umbrella and the military have played at one time or another historical role in providing military backup muscles to the Arab countries at critical moments.[46] The Pakistan military retains a close military relations with Saudi Arabia— a sporadically generous patron; much of the equipment bought from the United States to Pakistan military during the 1980s was paid for by the Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait also have been sources of important financial support[47]

The Pakistani military deployment in Middle East began in 1960s when many combat installations were established with Pakistani military personnel have been detailed as military advisers and instructors to the militaries of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Kuwait, and the UAE. The PAF's combat fighter pilots, navy and army personnel played crucial and key roles in building the UAE military. For qualified Arab military officials, many officers have been educated at the Pakistan military's military staff colleges and universities. A combat division commanded by Major-General Zia-ul-Haq in 1970s, the joint Pakistan-Jordan military operation was instrumental in putting down the Palestinian revolt Black September in Jordan against King Hussein in the early seventies.

The navy guards marching in 2009 .

Since 1950s, Pakistan enjoyed a strong military collaboration with the Iranian military. Iranian leader, Reza Shah provided free-fuel to PAF fighter jets in a war with India in 1965. The PAF planes used to land on Iranian Air Force bases, refuel and the take off. The military relations continues even after the Iranian revolutionas Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize the new Iranian government and continued to maintain strong military relations. As an aftermath of the drastic hostage crisis in Tehran, the United States severed its ties with Iran, leading Iran to sent its military officers and personnel to be educated at the Pakistani military academies. The relations became difficult following the Soviet war in Afghanistan when hundreds of Sunni foreign fighters (mostly Arabs) arrived in Pakistan to take participation in Afghan Jihad. President Zia-ul-Haq's military administration policy reflected the extremist views towards the Shiites and apprantly caused religious tensions to rise between Sunni and Shiites in Pakistan much to the discomfort of Iran. During the height of Iran-Iraq War, the Arab countries and the United States pressured Pakistan to dissuade from its covert support and military funding for Iran in a context as the Arab countries and the United States were backing Iraq.

The 1980s were a difficult times in the military relations for both countries as Iran was blamed for the rising ethnic tensions between Sunni and Shiites in Pakistan. The relations further declined in 1990s when Taliban, with Pakistan's support, came to power in Afghanistan. In 1998, Iran and Afghanistan were at the verge of war over assassination of Iranian diplomats. During this times, Iran relations with India improved and almost formed an alliance after supporting the Northern Alliance.

However in 2000, the relations were normalized after both countries the establishing the trade relations. In a wake of 11 September attacks in the United States which saw the fall of Taliban government in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran have begun to re-build their military ties. Over the years, diplomatic delegations have been exchanged, and Pakistan agreed to sold military equipment to Iran. In addition, Pakistan has also maintained a strong military-to-military with Turkey and would like to use these, as well as its Iranian connections, as a bridge to the new Muslim states of Central Asia.

Special operations forces

A member of Pakistan Navy Special Service Group aboard Pakistan Navy Ship PNS Babur.

After the war with India in 1947, the recommendations of establishing the elite commando division in the army was accepted. Commissioned in 1956, the Special Services Group (SSG) is an elite special operations division; its training and nature of operations are roughly equivalent to British SAS and US Army's Special Forces and the Delta Force. Tentative estimates are put at four battalions but the actual strength is kept highly classified.

With the successful commissioning of Special Services Group, the Navy accepted the recommendations of commissioning its own special operational unit in 1965, shortly after the 1965 war with India. Established as Special Service Group Navy (SSGN) in 1966, it is an elite and secretive commando division whose training and combat operations are served as similar to the Royal Navy's Special Boat Service and US Navy's DEVGRU and Navy SEALs. Operatives identities and actual static strength are kept secret and classified.

The Special Service Wing (SSW) is a newest special operations commando division established by the Pakistan Air Force in 2004, in a wake of challenges posed by the Afghanistan war. The unit was active earlier and had seen actions during the 1947, 1965 war, and 1971 war with India. The SSW is designed to execute difficult aerial and land operations, serving as equivalent to the United States Air Force's Special Tactics Squadron units.[citation needed] Following the secretive tradition of its inter-services, the actual number of its serving personnel is kept secretive and classified.

UN peacekeeping forces

In 2009 Pakistan was the single largest contributor of UN peacekeeping forces, with more than 11,000 Pakistani military personnel serving in UN peacekeeping operations worldwide.[48]

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 Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of Congo Second Congo War 3,556 Troops.[49]
2003 United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Liberia Liberia Second Liberian Civil War 2,741 Troops.[50]
2004 United Nations Operation in Burundi ONUB Burundi Burundi Burundi Civil War 1,185 Troops.[51]
2004 United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) Ivory Coast Côte d'Ivoire Civil war in Côte d'Ivoire 1,145 Troops.[52]
2005 United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) Sudan Sudan Second Sudanese Civil War 1,542 Troops.[53]
Staff/Observers 191 Observers.[54]
  • The total amount of troops serving currently in peacekeeping missions is 10,173 (as of March, 2007).

Involvement in Pakistani civil society

Pakistan military troops in relief efforts missions in 2005.

Non-arguably, the military plays a crucial and extremely vital role in keeping the state together, promoting unity, feeling of nationhood and providing a bastion of selfless service to the nation, according to the views of Russian scholar Anatol Lieven.[55] As an institution, the armed forces are greatly integrated in the Pakistani civil society since the establishment of the country in 1947.[56] The armed forces have been involved in building the several of civilian input and infrastructure (such as dams, canals, power stations and energy projects) and its civil-military input from all sections of the armed forces is to help build a stable society and professionalism in the armed forces.[56]

In times of natural disasters, such as the floods earthquakes, the army engineers, medical and logistics personnel, and the armed forces plays and important a major role in bringing relief and supplies.[57] In 2010, the armed forces personnel have donated their one day salary for their flood effected brethren.[58]

The armed forces has played an integral part in the civil society of Pakistan, almost since its inception.[59][60]

In 1996, Chairman joint chiefs, General Jehangir Karamat, described Pakistan armed forces' relations with the society:

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, [60]

As of 2012 reports of the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), around 91.1% of the civilian infrastructure was built by the armed forces in a policy guidance on the sustainable development plan in order to improve the livelihood of ordinary people of FATA.[61]

Strategic overview

A civilian scientist posed with an airborne system, the Babur system.

In a direct competition with neighboring India, Pakistan successfully conducted and demonstrated its publicly announced nuclear tests in 1998. The tests (Codename: Chagai-I followed by Chagai-II) were performed in a direct response to India's nuclear tests, Pokhran-II. Pakistan became the seventh nation in the world to achieve the status of a nuclear power.

Under a public policy guidance, the strategic weapons and projects are researched and developmed entirely by the civilian scientists and engineers who developed the wide a range of missiles and aircraft to deliver these over considerably long distances. On a military policy issues, Pakistan issues directives towards "first use"[62] and maintains that its program is based on deterrence to peacefully dissuade India, Afghanistan, and other countries to offset the large conventional advantage over Pakistan.[63] According to the United States military sources, Pakistan has achieved and addressed the issues of survivability in a possible nuclear conflict through second strike capability.[64]

In January 2000 testimony, the United States Central Command commander, General Anthony Zinni, told the NBC that longtime assumptions, that "India had an edge in the South Asian strategic balance of power, were questionable at best. Don't assume that the Pakistan's nuclear capability is inferior to the Indians".[65] Furthermore, Pakistan has refused to be a party of the NNPT since 1970. Pakistan is also not a party of CTBT despite the international pressure exerted by many nations in 1998. Initiatives taken in 1999 towards consolidating the strategic infrastructure, the strategic Nuclear Command Authority (established in 2000) oversees the policy and military control, development, and deployment of country's tactical and strategic arsenals in all over the country.

Defence Intelligence cycle

Since 1947, there are three main defence intelligence services operationalized in the military. The Military Intelligence, Naval Intelligence and the Air Intelligence are tasked with counterintelligence operations, identifying and eliminating sleeper cells, foreign agents and other anti Pakistani elements within Pakistan. Additional functions involve monitoring high level military and political leaders and safe guarding critical facilities such as military and non-military installations.

Military Academies


Pakistan army sky troops in Northern Pakistan.

The Military Academies Are:

Some other Professional and Technical Military Institutes:

Military Justice system

The military justice system rests on with the inter-services administrated Judge Advocate General Branch; all military criminal cases are oversee by the high-ranking officials of joint tribunal of the military.[66] Each Inter-services has its own service law: Army Justice Act promulgated in 1952; the PAF Justice Act established in 1953; and the Navy Ordinance enforced in 1961.[67] The identities of active-duty uniformed JAG officials are kept classified and no details of such individuals are made available to media.[66]

All three Inter-services laws are administered by the individual inter-services under the central reporting supervision of the Ministry of Defence (MOD).[67] The army has a four-tier system; the air force, navy, marines have a three-tier systems.[67] The two top levels of all three-tier systems are the general court-martial and district court-martial; the third level comprises the field general court-martial in the army, air force and navy. The fourth level tier comprises the summary court-martial, only effective in the army.[67] The differences in tier levels reflect whether their competence extends to officers or enlisted men only and the severity of the punishment that may be imposed.[67]

The Supreme Court and the civilian courts cannot question decisions handed down by the military judges and double jeopardy is prohibited.[67] In cases where a military personnel is alleged to have committed a crime against a civilian, then the MoD and MoJ determines the prosecution of the case to be tried whether in military or civilian courts have jurisdiction.[67] Former servicemen in civilian life who are accused of felonies committed while on active duty are liable for prosecution under the jurisdiction of military courts.[67] These courts are empowered to mete out a wide range of punishments including death.[67] All sentences of imprisonment are served in military prisons or detention barracks.[67]

Weapons industry


Industrial production in Pakistan starting in 1947–09

At that time of establishment of Pakistan, the country virtually had no military industry and production capabilities and the contribution of the industrial sector to the GNP in 1949-50 was only 5.8%, out of which, 4.8% was attributed to small scale industries.[68] All military industrial materials and weapon systems were either inherited or bought from the United Kingdom.[68]

By 1951, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had the Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF) established in Wah Military District with civilian scientist, dr. Abdul Hafeez serving as senior scientist and director of POF.[68] The POF was objected towards to produce small arms, ammunition, and chemical explosives.[68] Only the Karachi Shiphard and Engineering Works was established which was based on civil purpose. During the period of reliance on United States supply from 1955–64, there was little attention given to domestic production, almost all military production materials and weapon system was provided by the United States as part of the country being part of SEATO and CENTO.[68] By 1963, the DESTO was established by the POF scientist Abdul Hafeez for the purposes of military research and development.[68] After the military assistance cutoffs in 1965 war and followed by and 1971, Pakistan reliance on China's help to expand its military industrial and production facilities, including the modernization of Wah.

Industrial manufacturing in Pakistan from 1973-2000.

Faced with a problem of defence and security issues against a much larger enemies in eastern and western fronts of the country, the MoD and MoF must lay calm to a disproportionate share of nation's resources even to maintain a minimally effective defence suspension.[67] Since 1971, the military budget of the armed forces grew by 200% to support the armed forces contingency operations as much as possible.[67] During the years of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, approximately ~50–60% of scientific research and financial funding was conducting on military efforts for "Overseas Contingency Operations".[67]

In 1993, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto fiscal defence budget and industrial production for fiscal year was set at ₨. 94billion (US$3.3 billion) which represented the 27.0% of the government circular spending and 8.9% of the GDP, in calculations showed by the United States military.[67] Despite criticism initiated by country's influential political science sphere,[69] the military budget was increased to additional 10.2% by the government for in fiscal year of 2013-14.[44]

Defence Industry

Chemical explosives and war-shells produced by ML, DESTO, and POF.

As part of a new military policy, the Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) was established in 1971 as an equipment rebuilding facility, followed in 1973 by the establishment of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) at Kamra, north of Islamabad. The militarization of the Karachi Shipyard Engineering Works took place the same year. The PAC assembled and reverse engineered several of the Chinese F–6J, F–7P, and French Mirage III and V fighter jets; the PAC also built the Mushak trainer, which was based on the Swedish SAAB Safari; maintained radar and avionics equipment; after the success of Mushak the Super Mushak and Karakoram-8 Advance jet state-of-art training platform were made. In 1972, the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) was established to promote and coordinate the patchwork of military production facilities that have developed since independence.[68] The ministry also includes seven other specialized organizations devoted to research and development, production, and administration.[68]

A gunnery-weapon system displayed in arm exhibition produced at POF.

In 1987, the Karachi Shipyard Engineering Works (KSEW) began the development of a submarine technology and rebuild the submarine base near at the Port Qasim. In 1990s, the amendment introduced by Republican politician, Larry Pressler, led an economic and military embargo on Pakistan, forcing the country to its focus on ingenious military industrial programmes of its own. By 1999, the KSEW built its first ever long range attack submarine, Agosta 90B, with the introduction of AIP technology bought from the France earlier in 1995. By early 2000, in a joint venture with China led to the development of the JF-17 fighter jet developed in PAC and the al-Khalid main battle tanks, built and assembled in HIT. Since 2001, Pakistan also has taken major steps to becoming self-sufficient in aircraft overhaul and modernization and tank and helicopter sales and in a transfer of technology with France led to the construction of the Agosta 90 B Submarine in the late 1990s and early 2000s.[68]

After the success of its major developments in the defence industry the Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) was created to promote Pakistani defence equipment to the world by inviting major and small players to the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar, which is held biennially at the Karachi expo center. In recent reports, the defence exports were worth over $200 million USD in 2006 and growing annually.[70]

Plans in Inter–Services


Throughout the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) at Karachi in November 2006, Pakistan military firms have signed joint development, production and marketing agreements with defence firms from South Korea, France, and Ukraine. These agreements include new reactive armor bricks, 155 mm artillery shells, and other developments in armor and land weaponry. These agreements all relate to the Pakistan Army's AFFDP-2019 modernization program of its armor, artillery and infantry.

Air Force

Pakistan's indigenous produced JF-17 Thunder. Pakistan plans to induct over 300 of these fighters.

Pakistani F16s parked at Nevada during their delivery to Pakistan.

In length standing of air forces, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is the seventh largest air force in the world and the largest in the Islamic world with ~400 combat fighter jets, and over 200 trainer, transport, communication, helicopter and force multiplier aircraft operationalized. The combat air inventory is a mix of American and Chinese-built aircraft. However, the air force plans to retire several types of combat aircraft by 2019. Joint production and further development of the JF-17 Thunder light-weight multi-role fighter is ongoing and around 150 JF-17 are expected to be inducted by 2015, replacing all A-5III, F-7P, Mirage III and Mirage V fighter-bombers. The F-7PG will be replaced later and the JF-17 fleet may eventually be expanded to 300 aircraft.[71] The PAF has placed an orders for the placement of at least 36 Chengdu J-10 fighters from China,[72] around 26 upgraded second-hand F-16AM/BM and at least 18 new-built F-16C/D Advanced Block 52. Two types of Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft have been introduced, 4 Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C from Sweden and 6 ZDK-03, a Chinese AWACS based on the Shaanxi Y-8F-600 cargo aircraft.[73] The Il-78 aerial refuelling tanker has also been inducted which is capable of refuelling the Mirage III / V, JF-17 and J-10, 4 aircraft have been acquired second-hand from Ukrainian surplus stocks. The fleet of Shenyang FT-5 and T-37 Tweet is being replaced by around 75 K-8 Karakorum intermediate (jet) training aircraft.[74]


Pakistan Navy Frigate PNS Shahjahan

Mclanery (ASW) Class For Pakistan Navy

PNS Babur

In 2005, Pakistan Navy ordered four F-22P light frigates from China in a deal worth $600. All four navy frigates were commissioned in 2013 by the Pakistan Naval Engineering Complex.[75] One of the frigates has already been completed and formally delivered to the navy, its formal induction into the Pakistan Navy however, would take place at a later date. One of the F-22Ps will be built in the Karachi Shipyard. The F-22P is an improved version of the Type 053H3 Jiangwei II class light frigate, it has a displacement of at least 2500 tons.[76] The first F-22P will be called PNS Zulfiqar, and thus become the Zulfiqar Class.[75]

Plans to procure 4 used frigates were dropped in favour of 4 new-built corvettes. According to Turkish press the Pakistan Navy is reportedly interested in procuring the Milgem class corvettes from Turkey. The frigate USS McInerney (FFG-8) with considerable anti-submarine warfare capability will be handed over in August 2010.[77]

According to Jane's IDEAS 2004 interview with former chief of naval staff Admiral Kariumullah maintained that another four or so new frigates will be acquired. Kanwa Defence Review recently reported that the Pakistan Navy has shown recent interest in the Chinese Type 054 frigate.[78]

In mid-2006 the Pakistan Navy announced its requirement of three new SSK attack submarines to replace the two Agosta-70 submarines and rebuild its fleet – after retiring the 4 Daphne class. French naval firm DCN offered its latest export design – the Marlin SSK – which is based on the Scorpene SSK, but also uses technology from the Barracuda nuclear attack submarine. The German firm HDW offered the U-214 SSK. Credible reports confirm that the Pakistan Navy has opted for the German U-214's which will be built in Pakistan and includes transfer of technology. According to Walter Frietag the contract has been finalised 95 percent.[79][80]

Pakistan is also seeking to enhance its strategic strike capability by developing naval variants of the Babur cruise missile. The Babur cruise missile has a range of 700 km and is capable of using both conventional and nuclear warheads.[81] Future developments of Babur include capability of being launched from submarines, surface combatants as well as range extension from 500 km to 1000 km. The Airborne version of Babur, 'RAAD' has already been successfully tested.

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