Emblem of the Pakistan Army
|Founded||14 August 1947|
550,000 active troops|
Arabic: Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah|
A follower of none but God, The fear of God, Struggle for God.
Green and White|
|Anniversaries||Defence Day: September 6|
1947 Indo-Pakistan War|
1965 Indo-Pakistan War
1971 Bangladesh Liberation War
1971 Indo-Pakistan War
Grand Mosque Seizure
Global War on Terror
Siege of Lal Masjid
War in North-West Pakistan
|Chief of Army Staff||General Raheel Sharif|
|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 فوج Pak Fauj (IPA: Pɑkʰ fɒ~ɔd͡ʒ); reporting name: PA) is the land-based uniform service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. The Pakistan Army is a volunteer professional fighting force. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) it has an active force of 725,000 personnel as of April 2013. In addition there were around 500,000 reserves bringing the total to 1,225,000 troops. The Constitution of Pakistan contains a provision for conscription, but it has never been imposed.
The primary mandate and mission of the army is to "dedicated to the service of the nation." Since establishment in 1947, the army (along with its inter–services: Navy, Marines and PAF) has been involved inthree wars with neighboring India and several border skirmishes with Afghanistan. Since 1947 it has maintained 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 Black Thunderstorm and Operation Rah-e-Nijat. Apart from conflicts, the army has been an active participant in UN missions and played a major role in rescuing trapped American soldiers from Mogadishu of Somalia in 1993 in Operation Gothic Serpent.
Under the Article 243, the Constitution of Pakistan appoints the President of Pakistan as 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 of Pakistan. The Chief of Army Staff (In article 6 of Warrant of Precedence of Pakistan) is subordinate to the civilian Defence Minister (In article 5 of Warrant of Precedence for Pakistan) and senior to Secretary of Defence (In article 16 of Warrant of Precedence for Pakistan, the Secretary of Defence is even junior to a Lieutenant General who is placed in article 15 of Warrant of Precedence of Pakistan) commands the army. Although it is currently commanded by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the highest-ranking officer in the Army is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne.
- 1 Mission
- 2 History
- 3 UN Peacekeeping Missions
- 4 Organization
- 5 Combat doctrine
- 6 Involvement in Pakistani society
- 7 Personnel
- 8 Equipment
- 9 Arms
- 10 Armour
- 11 Artillery inventory
- 12 Aircraft inventory
- 13 Anti-tank missiles
- 14 Air defence systems
- 15 Sports
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Pakistan Army serves as the land-based branch of the Pakistan Military. Chapter 2 of PART XII of Pakistani Constitution defines the purpose of the Army as:
|“||The Armed Forces shall, under the directions of the Federal Government, defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war, and, subject to law, act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so.||”|
The Pakistan Army was created on 30 June 1947 from the division of the British Indian Army. The then soon to be created Dominion of Pakistan received six armoured, eight artillery and eight infantry regiments compared to the 12 armoured, forty artillery and twenty one infantry regiments that went to India. Fearing that India would take over the state of Kashmir, irregulars, scouts and tribal groups entered the Muslim majority state of Kashmir to oppose the Maharaja of Kashmir 1947. In response to this, the Maharaja acceded to India. The Indian Armed Forces were then deployed to Kashmir. This led to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. Regular Army units joined the invasion later on but were stopped after the refusal of the army chief of staff, British officer General Sir Frank Messervy, to obey Pakistani leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah's orders to move the army into Kashmir. A ceasefire followed on UN intervention with Pakistan occupying the northwestern part of Kashmir and India occupying the rest. Later, during the 1950s, the Pakistan Army received large amounts of economic and military aid from the United States and Great Britain after signing two mutual defence treaties, the Baghdad Pact, which led to the formation of the Central Treaty Organization, and the South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) in 1954. This aid greatly expanded the Pakistan Army from its modest beginnings.
The sole division headquarters that went to Pakistan was the 7th. 8th and 9th Divisions were raised in 1947; 10, 12th and 14 Divisions were raised in 1948. 15 Div was raised in 1950. At some point before 1954, 6 Division was raised and 9 Division disbanded. 6 Division was disbanded at some point after 1954 as US assistance was available only for one armoured and six infantry divisions.
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 includes Pakistan's first elected Prime Minister Z.A. Bhutto. Tensions with India continued in the 1960s and a brief border skirmish was fought near the Rann of Kutch area during April 1965. On the night of 6 September 1965 Indian Army attacked the Punjab Province of Pakistan, without an announcement, Pakistan hold them off, eventually capturing about 1200 km area inside India but a treaty was reached and the area was given back. The war ended with UN backed ceasefire and followed by Tashkent Declaration. According to the Library of Congress Country Studies conducted by the Federal Research Division of the United States, the war was inconclusive militarily. The war was militarily inconclusive; each side held prisoners and some territory belonging to the other.
The Pakistan Army considers itself to have achieved a victory because it simply insists and ignores the treaty of Tashkent by saying it was arranged by USSR, who managed to hold off significantly larger force attacking Pakistani territory at different points, which the PA did not expect and was not prepared or equipped for. Indian sources as well as neutral sources disagree and call the end result an Indian victory. All though Pakistan failed in gaining all of Kashmir, highly effective support from the Pakistan Air Force, which was unexpected, is often considered to have neutralized India's advantage in quantity of forces. The accurate artillery fire provided by the PA artillery units is also stated to have played a significant role.
An uprising against General Ayub Khan during 1968 and 1969 resulted in Ayub Khan relinquishing his office as President and Chief of Army Staff in favor of General Yahya Khan, who assumed power in 1969. 16 Division, 18 Division and 23 Division were raised at some point between 1966 and 1969 and 9 Division was 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, called Operation Searchlight, a faction of the Pakistan Army under General Yahya Khan was responsible for the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities. 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. Time magazine reported a high ranking U.S. official as saying "It is the most incredible, calculated thing since the days of the Nazis in Poland."
The original plan envisioned taking control of the major cities on 26 March 1971, and then eliminating all opposition, political or military, within one month. The prolonged Bengali resistance was not anticipated by Pakistani planners. 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 Pakistani Army and Indian-backed Bengali freedom fighters, in this period the Pakistan Army killed estimated 3 million Bengali people. In December 1971. Pakistan attacked India's western air based that started the Pakistan India War of 1971 (also called the Bangladesh Liberation War). In eastern theater Pakistan Army was decimated by Indian Army and Bengali freedom fighters while in west front Pakistan Army was defeated in battles of Basanter and Longewalla.
On 16 December 1971, Lt. Gen A. A. K. Niazi, CO of Pakistan Army forces located in East Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender. Over 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered to the Indian 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.
According to Maj. (Retd.) Agha Humayun Amin, Pakistan Army high command 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 Chinese or U.S. intervention. Maj Mazhar states that the PA's senior command failed to realise that the Chinese would be unable to intervene during the winter months of November to December 1971 period due to snowbound Himalayan passes and the U.S. had not made any real effort to persuade India against attacking East Pakistan.
A Pakistan International Airlines 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 on the East Pakistan Crises. 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 the Pakistan.
In 1977 a coup was staged by General Zia ul-Haq and the government was overthrown. This led to the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto after he was tried and proclaimed guilty of conspiracy of murdering a politician named Kasuri by Zia's handpicked judges. Zia reneged 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 the mid-1970s the Pakistan Army was involved in fighting an uprising in Balochistan. Various Balochi factions, some with the oblique support of the USSR, 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 the 1980s, Pakistani Armed Forces co-operated with the United States to provide arms, ammunition and intelligence assistance to Afghanistani freedom fighters who were fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
During the 1st Gulf War Pakistan Army contributed troops for the defence of Saudi Arabia against possible Iraqi retaliation. Although Pakistan Army saw few actions, their performance was remarkable. The 153 Lt AirDefence (GM/SP) 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.
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 for the fourth time, 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 the Army Chief and appointed General Ziauddin Butt as Army Chief when Musarraf's plane was in the air. That was not enough, the plane was not allowed to land at the Karachi Airport 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 Karachi Airport and arrested the Inspector General of Sind Police, Rana Maqbool Ahmed. Musharraf stepped down as President in August 2008. On 30 July 2009, the Pakistan Supreme Court ruled that Musharraf's imposition of Emergency Rule in 2007 was unconstitutional.
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-Qaida 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 Pakistan 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 Talibanisation 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 newly formed Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella group of all militants based in FATA, 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 criticised 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 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 received orders from the political leadership. 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 Pakistan Army's offensive was the formidable Waziristan region. A US drone attack 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 South Waziristan, in a three pronged attack. The Pakistan Army re-took South Waziristan and is currently thinking of expanding the campaign to North Waziristan.
UN Peacekeeping Missions
In the wake of the new world power equilibrium a more complex security environment has emerged. It is characterised 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.
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.|
|2003||United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)||Liberia||Second Liberian Civil War||2,741 Troops.|
|2004||United Nations Operation in Burundi ONUB||Burundi||Burundi Civil War||1,185 Troops.|
|2004||United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI)||Côte d'Ivoire||Civil war in Côte d'Ivoire||1,145 Troops.|
|2005||United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)||Sudan||Second Sudanese Civil War||1,542 Troops.|
- The total amount of troops serving currently in peacekeeping missions is 10,173 (as of March 2007).
The President of Pakistan is the civilian supreme commander of the Pakistan Armed Forces by statute, while the Prime Minister of Pakistan served as the Chief Executive of Pakistan Armed Forces, both people-elected civilians, Prime Minister and President, maintains the civilian control of the military. The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), a four-star general, is the highest general officer (unless the four-star general is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee), a field and operational commander as well as a highest army four-star general officer, directs the non-combat and combatant operations from army combatant headquarters in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. The Principal Staff Officers (PSO) assisting him in his duties at the Lieutenant-General level include a Chief of General Staff (CGS), under whom the Military Operations and Intelligence Directorates function; the Chief of Logistics Staff (CLS); the Adjutant General (AG); the Quarter-Master General (QMG); the Inspector General of Training and Evaluation (IGT and E); the Military Secretary (MS); and the Engineer-in-Chief, a top army topographer. A major reorganisation in 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.
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. Although most of the officer corps were generally Muslim by the 1970s, there were still serving Christian officers the highest rank being attained by Major General Julian Peter who served as the General Officer Commanding of a Division and as general staff officer at Army Headquarters up-till 2006.
Commissioned officers rank
|Commissioned Officers Ranks of the Pakistan Army|
|Rank Hierarchy||4-star General||3-star General||2-star General||1-star Officer|
Non-commissioned officers wear respective regimental color 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 Pakistan Army|
|Insignia||50px||50px||50px||50px||50px||50px||50px||No insignia||No insignia|
|Title||Battalion Havildar Major||Battalion Quartermaster Havildar||Company Havildar Major||Company Quartermaster Havildar||Havildar||Naik||Lance Naik||Sepoy||No Equivalent|
|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.
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 Globalsecurity.org, drawing on Pakistani media sources, three commands, supervising a number of corps each, have been formed: Northern Command, Central Command, and Southern Command.
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. 9 of these Corps are composed of Infantry, Mechanised, Armoured, Artillery and Anti-Tank divisions and brigades. Army Air Defence Command is another Corps of Pakistan Army which plays the role of Anti-Aircraft Artillery whereas Army Aviation Corps provides air support to Pakistan Army. Army Strategic Forces Command is responsible for training, deployment and activation of Pakistan's nuclear missiles. The last Corps is called the Northern Area Command which is Headquartered at Gilgit and is reported to have 5 Infantry Brigades.
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, and 323rd Infantry Brigade, part of Forces Command Northern Areas, on the Siachen Glacier.
The peace time commands are given below in their correct order of raising, and location (city).
Other field formations
- 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.
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.
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.
Regiments of the Pakistani Army include:
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.
Official numbers are put at 2,100 men, in 3 battalions; however the actual strength is classified. It is estimated to have been increased to 4 Battalions, with the eventual formation of 2 Brigades of Special Forces (6 Battalions).
The Pakistan Army has developed a doctrine called the Riposte which is a limited "offensive-defence" doctrine. It has refined it consistently starting in 1989 during the "Exercise Zarb-e-Momin". This doctrine is fully focused towards Pakistan's archenemy, India.
The doctrine is derived from several factors:
- 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.
- ‘Strategic depth’ in the form of a friendly Afghanistan is deemed vital by military planners.
- 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.
- 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 mobilisation 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.
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.
The Pakistani Army hopes to accomplish three things under this strategy:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The use of tactical battlefield nuclear missile such as Nasr missile that provide maximal damage against massed troops for extremely limited collateral casualties.
Kashmir, Line of Control and the Northern Punjab areas are heavily fortified and ill-suited for large mechanised offensives. The most likely area where Pakistan might launch its offensive is the semi-desert and desert sectors in southern Punjab and Sindh provinces.
To supplement this doctrine, the Army in the 1990s created a strong centralised 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 mechanised 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.
The possibility of a major war of the sort against which earlier doctrines had evolved came into question after May 1998 when both sides overtly demonstrated their nuclear capability. The Kargil conflict and the military standoff with India in 2002 led to various stability theories being viewed with scepticism on both sides. India realised the need to drastically reduce the time taken to build up its forces from all over the country towards its western borders and strike early while Pakistani defences on the one hand and diplomatic manoeuvre on the other were still unprepared. To this end, the Cold Start Doctrine and its tactical extension, proactive operations were developed and practised by the Indian Army and later the Navy and the Airforce variants thereof. Against cold start and proactive operations, Pakistan began developing its response at the joint services level with notable changes in how the land forces viewed existential and future threat. The intellectual powerhouse for this was led by the Chief of the Army Staff, the commandant of the Armed Forces War College, selected corps commanders and a team of senior brigadiers. The Azm-e-Nau (New Resolve) series of war games were conducted and a new doctrine evolved. These exercises and war-games culminated in the massive Azm-e-Nau 3 which was conducted in the deserts of Bahawalpur and upper Punjab in April and May 2010. The Army set up a doctrines concepts and development division under a top brigadier to evolve high, mid and low level doctrines for the army. The Pakistan Army Doctrine, Pakistan Defence Doctrine and a series of publications were developed between 2010 and 2011. Pakistan Army Doctrine with its main authors General Hanif and Brigadier General Zaidi is an opensource document and as such marks a turning point in Pakistan Army's approach to warfare and warfighting in the wake of new challenges. Traditionally secretive and protective of its doctrines, the Pakistan Army Doctrine, when it becomes openly available, would be the first time that Pakistan allows greater insight to its strategic thinking, workings and the use of military power.
Involvement in Pakistani society
The Pakistan Army has played an integral part in the civil society of Pakistan, almost since its inception. In 1996, 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, 
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.
The army also engaged in extensive corporate activities. Most of these enterprises, such as stud and dairy farms, were for the army's own use, but others performed functions in local civilian economy such as bakeries, security services and banking. Army factories produced such goods as sugar, fertiliser, and brass castings and sold them to civilian consumers albeit at prices higher than those charged from military personnel.
Several army organisations 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. 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. Both the Pakistan Army and Navy sent ships and helicopters to assist in the tsunami relief operation.
According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) the Pakistan Army has an active force of 725,000 personnel in 2013. In addition there were around 500,000 reserves bringing the total to 1,225,000.
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.
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.
Each year, about 320 men and women 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.
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.
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. 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.
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 has 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.
Science and technology
Apart from conducting military operations, exercises, and military ethics, the Pakistan Army maintains its own science and technology corps and organisations. Most notable science and engineering corps including Military Engineering Service (MES) Corps of Engineers, Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME), and Frontier Works Organisation. Its Army Strategic Forces Command served as the primary military organisation in the matters of conducting and directing research on nuclear and space (such as military satellites). The cadets and officers of the Pakistan Army who wished to study science and technology are given admission at the 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.
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.
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 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, decorations & awards and the ranks.
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. By 2007 the percentage representation in the Pakistan Army as a whole was approximate as follows:
Balochis: 3.2% .
Extensive efforts have been made to bring Balochis and Sindhis on par with other ethnicities, 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. Large numbers of men from Sindh and Balochistan have joined the ranks of the army and have proved their commitment and bravery to the national cause in Kargil and the ongoing global war on terrorism.
Women and minorities
Women have served in the Pakistan Army since its foundation. Currently, there is a sizeable number of Women serving in the army. Most women are recruited in the regular 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 combat positions and the Elite Anti-Terrorist Force In 2007, several female graduates were nominated to be Sky Marshals for Pakistan based airlines. In addition recently eight of the 41 cadets from the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul became the first women guards of honour. Pakistan is the only country in the Islamic world to have female Major Generals in the Army. Major General Shahida Badshah was Pakistan’s first female two-star general.
Recruitment is nationwide and the army attempts to maintain an ethnic balance but most enlisted recruits, as in British times, come from a few districts in northern Punjab Province and the adjacent Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan's Officer Corps are also mostly from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and of middle-class, rural backgrounds.
Non Muslim Pakistanis are allowed to sit in all examinations.
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. Capt. Hercharn Singh, the first Sikh as Commissioned Officer in Pakistan Army. He was commissioned in Baloch Regiment. Currently, he's serving as an ADC to a Corps Commander.
Recipients of Nishan-e-Haider
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 Sept 19, 2013, all Nishan-e-Haider awards have thus far been given to the people engaged in battles with India.
|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|
|Major Mohammad Akram||4th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment||War of 1971||1971||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, Indian administered Kashmir|
|Havaldar Lalak Jan||12th Battalion of the Northern Light Infantry||Kargil War||7 July 1999||Kargil, Indian administered Kashmir|
Recipients of foreign awards
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".
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.
Pakistan Army team was awarded a gold medal at the prestigious Cambrian Patrol Exercise held in Wales in 2010. According to ISPR, "Rawalpindi 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."
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. Most equipment of the Pakistan Army tend to be either of Chinese, European or American designs.
|Glock 17||Used by Special Services Group as their side arm.|
|Steyr M9A1||Recently acquired by the SSW.|
|Sub-machine guns (SMG) and carbines:|
|Heckler & Koch MP5||Manufactured by POF|
|Heckler & Koch MP5K||Also in use by Airport Security Force and personal security detail of VIPs, manufactured by POF.|
|Heckler & Koch G3||The PA's service rifle. G3A3, G3P4 variants in service.|
|Type 56||Chinese-manufactured AK-47.|
|Type 81 Assault Rifle||Chinese-manufactured|
|HK PSG1|||
|Steyr SSG 69|||
|FN Minimi Para|
|MG3||Manufactured under license by Pakistan Ordnance Factories.|
|Carl Gustav recoilless rifle|
|Mk 19 grenade launcher|
|RPG-7||Manufactured under license by Pakistan Ordnance Factories|
|Vehicle/System/Aircraft||Firm Number in Service||Status|
|Main Battle Tanks (MBT)|
|Al-Khalid||600||In service, production and deliveries ongoing, around 600 Al Khalid tanks planned. 300 Al-Khalid ordered initially, later orders for upgraded Al-Khalid I.|
|T-80UD||320||320 delivered by Ukraine between 1997 and early 2002, incorporating re-designed T-84 turret.|
|Type 85-IIAP||275||500 Type 85-IIAP built under license at Heavy Industries Taxila, later upgraded to Type 85-III.|
|Al-Zarrar||400||Upgraded form of Type 59-II.|
|Type 69-II||300, 400||Produced under license, armed with 105 mm guns.|
|Type 59||1500, 1200|
|T-54/55||54||Some sources say all in reserve storage|
|Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC)|
|Hamza Infantry Fighting Vehicle||–|
|Al-Fahd Infantry fighting vehicle||–||In Service|
|Talha Armoured Personnel Carrier||–||Final number to be around 2,000|
|Sa'ad Armoured Personnel Carrier||–||Currently in production|
|M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier||1,600||In Service|
|BTR-70/BTR-80 Armoured Personnel Carrier||720||In Service|
|Mohafiz Light Armoured Personnel Carrier||???||In Service & Additional APCs being procured|
|Otokar Akrep Light Jeep||1,260||In Service|
|Al Qaswa Logistical Vehicle||500||Being procured|
|M88 ARV Armoured Recovery Vehicle||-||In Service|
|Armoured Bridging Vehicles|
|M60A1 AVLB Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge||–||In Service|
|M48 Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge||–||In Service|
|M110||203 mm||260||Tracked chassis.|
|M109 (A2/A4/A5) howitzer||155 mm||665||Tracked chassis.|
|NORINCO SH1||155 mm||213||6×6 wheeled chassis.|
|MRLS-Multiple Launch Rocket System|
|A-100||300mm||100||Confirmed during the recent Azm-e-Nau-3.|
|MKEK Panter||155 mm||30||Auxiliary power unit can propel the gun at up to 18 km/h.|
|M198||155 mm||348||95 plus 24 delivered in 1997.|
|Type 59I||130 mm||410|
|Type 54||122 mm||490|
Pakistan Army operates nearly 400 helicopters alongside several aircraft.
|AH-1F/S Cobra||Attack helicopter||40||One squadron supplied in 2010.|
|IAR 330||Utility helicopter||4|
|Harbin Y-12||Utility aircraft||2|
|Cessna Citation Bravo||Transport aircraft||2|
|PAC MFI-17 Mushshak||Basic Training+Light Attack||Manufactured under license by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex|
|Aero Commander 840||Transport aircraft||2|
|Mil Mi-17||Transport helicopter||85|
|Bell 206 Jet Ranger||Utility helicopter||9 13|
|Bell 412||Utility helicopter||95|
|Bell UH-1 Huey||Utility helicopter||200|
|Eurocopter AS350||Utility helicopter||10|
|Eurocopter AS355||Utility helicopter|
|Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma||Utility helicopter||60|
|Aerospatiale SA.316 Alouette III||Utility helicopter||10||Being phased out.|
Air defence systems
- Anza Mk I, Anza Mk II, Anza Mk III (MANPAD)
- SA-7 Grail
- General Dynamics FIM-92 Stinger
- General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
- Bofors RBS-70 short-range SAM system
- Mistral Man-portable air defence systems
- Medium altitude air defence systems
- Spada-2000, Advanced Air Defence System
- Bofors RBS 23 medium range, all-weather capable air defence system
- High altitude air defence systems
- Anti-aircraft guns
The Pakistan Army has a noteworthy sports program with elite athletes in many sports disciplines. An example of the program's success is its basketball program which regularly provides the Pakistan national basketball team with key players.
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- Official website of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR)
- Official website of International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS)
- Web resources
|Pakistan Armed Forces comparative commissioned military ranks|
|Pay grade / Branch of Inter-service||O-1||O-2||O-3||O-4||O-5||O-6||O-7||O-8||O-9||O-10||O-11|
|Air Force||P/Of.||F/Of.||Flt. Lt.||Sq. Ldr.||Wg. Cdr.||Gp. Capt.||Air Cdre||AVM||AM||ACM||MPAF|
 Grade never created or authorized
 Not a separate branch, appointments directly from the Navy
|Junior commissioned officer ranks|
|Army||10px Naib Subedar||10px Naib Subedar||10px Sbd||10px Sbd-Maj|
|Non-commissioned officer ranks|
|Inter-Service Pay Grade||BPS-7||BPS-8||BPS-9||BPS-10||BPS-11||BPS-12||BPS-12|
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