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Pakistan Zindabad                      

Pakistan Army (a brave army of brave nation)

Disclaimer: This is a dedicated page to Pakistan Army and shouldn't considered as official website of Pakistan Army.

Facts & Figures
Pioneers of Freedom
Leadership of Pakistan
Political Parties
Pakistan Army
Awards of Pakistan
Universities of Pakistan
Jammu & Kashmir

General Introduction

Combat Doctrine

Officer Ranks and Retirement

Political power of the Army

Army's Role in Relief Operations

Women and Minorities in the Army


List of Chiefs of Army Staff

Structure of Army Units

Special Forces

Rank Structure and Comparison (Army, Air Force, Navy)

Army Uniform Insignias

Military Awards of Pakistan

Weapons and Equipment



Official Website
Pakistan Army Web Portal

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)

General Introduction

The Pakistan Army (پاک فوج) is the largest branch of the Pakistan military, and is responsible for protection of the state borders, the security of administered territories and defending the national interests of Pakistan within the framework of its international obligations. They must be able to achieve these goals both in nuclear warfare and conventional warfare.

The Pakistani Army is a well-trained and well-equipped military service and combined with the Navy and Air Force makes Pakistan's armed forces, the 7th largest military in the world. The motto of the Pakistani Army reads: "Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah". Translated into English, it means "Faith, Piety, Striving in the path of Allah (The God)".

The Army is modelled on the United Kingdom armed forces and came into existence after the independence in 1947. It has an active force of 550,000 personnel and 500,000 men in reserve that continue to serve until the age of 45.

The Pakistani Army is a completely volunteer force and has been involved in many conflicts with India. Combined with this rich combat experience, the Army is also actively involved in contributing to United Nations peacekeeping efforts. Other foreign deployments have consisted of Pakistani Army personnel as advisors in many African, South Asian and Arab countries. The Pakistani Army maintained Division and brigade strength presences in some of the Arab countries during the past Arab-Israeli Wars, and the first Gulf War to help the Coalition.

The Pakistani Army is led by the Chief of Army Staff, currently Pervez Musharraf, who is also the President of Pakistan.

Combat Doctrine

Pakistani Army has espoused a doctrine of limited "offensive-defense" which it has tried to refine consistently ever since 1989 when it was pushed out to the formations during "Exercise Zarb-e-Momin". The main purpose of this strategy is to launch a sizeable offensive into enemy territory rather than wait to be hit from the enemy's offensive attack. The doctrine is based on the premise that while on the offensive, the enemy can be kept off-balance while allowing Pakistani Army to be able to seize enemy territory of strategic importance which can be used as a bargaining chip on the negotiating table. In order to do this, currently Pakistani Army maintains two sizeable strike Corps which will be backed up by holding Corps forming the defensive tier behind the strike corps. By pushing the offensive into the enemy territory, the Pakistani Army hopes to consolidate its gains inside the enemy's territory and will attempt to keep the war on the enemy side of the border rather than giving ground on the Pakistani side.

In the 1990s, the Army created a strong centralized corps of reserves for its formations in the critical semi-desert and desert sectors in southern Punjab and Sindh provinces. These new formations were rapidly equipped with assets needed for mechanized capability. These reserve formations are dual-capable, meaning they can be used for offensive as well as defensive (holding) purposes.

Pakistan, today has a 45 day reserve of ammunition and fuel as compared to only 13 days in 1965 and has fairly effective and efficient lines of communication and can fully mobilize its formations in less than 96 hours owing to the lack of depth in the country's North South axis.

Officer Ranks and Retirement

Most enlisted personnel used to come from rural families, and many have only rudimentary literacy skills, but with the increase in the litracy level the requirments 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.

About 320 men enter the army bi-annually through the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul in Abbottabad in the North West Frontier Province; a small number--especially physicians and technical specialists--are directly recruited, and these persons are part of the heart 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 establishments, including schools concentrating on specific skills such as infantry, artillery, intelligence, or mountain warfare. A National University of Science and Technology has been established which has absorbed the existing colleges of engineering, signals, and electrical engineering. 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 Defense College. Originally established in 1971 at Rawalpindi, to provide training in higher military strategy for senior officers, the school house 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 especially to the United States, where trainees numbering well in the hundreds attended a full range of institutions ranging from armored 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 vicissitudes in 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.

Political power of the Army

The Pakistani army has always played an integral part of the Pakistan government and politics since its inception. It has virtually remained as the 3rd party that has seized power every now and then in the name of stabilizing Pakistan. The first of them was General Ayub Khan who came to power through a coup in 1958. Later, General Yahya Khan would assume power in 1969. After the 71 war the democratic setup was restored only to be cut short in 1977 after a coup which saw the end of another democratically elected Government and the Hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the Pakistani Premier. General Zia ul-Haq ruled as a dictator virtually unopposed until his death in 1988. Despite the exit of the army from mainstream politics, the political muscle of the military was ever-present. The current President, General Pervez Musharraf, came to power in a bloodless coup in October 1999 overthrowing the last democratically elected government led by Nawaz Sharif. Musharraf had pledged to step down as Army chief in 2005 however he changed his mind, now he has indicated that he may step down as Army chief in 2007 and hold democratic elections. Currently there is not a democratically elected parliament, final word on any governmental affairs is solely based upon the Army Chief. On the provincial level, there are no fully functioning democratically elected legislatures. It remains to be seen whether or not Pakistan is meant to be democracy, with its history of divisive military takeovers.

Army's Role in Relief Operations and Economic Development

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 economic activities. Most of these enterprises, such as stud and dairy farms, were for the army's own use, but others performed functions beneficial to the local civilian economy. Army factories produced such goods as sugar, fertilizer, and brass castings and sold them to civilian consumers.

Several army organizations performed functions that were important to the civilian 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.

Fauji Foundation

Fauji Foundation is a pension fund of the Pakistan Army. It has invested in industrial and commercial projects. The Fauji Foundation manages hundreds of educational institutions, power plants, steel and cement factories, and produces consumer goods like sugar, electronic items and breakfast cereals. Fauji Foundation is a charitable trust for the welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.

Women and Minorities in the Army

Women have served in the Pakistani Army since its foundation. Currently, there is a sizable 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 recently graduated women candidates to be Sky Marshals for Pakistan based airlines. Pakistan is the only country in the Islamic world to have women Major Generals in the Army. Currently, Major General Shahida Malik is the first female Major General in the Islamic World.

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 North West Frontier Province. Pakistan's Officer Corps are also mostly from Punjab and the North West Frontier Province and of middle-class, rural backgrounds. This has caused some resentment to the other ethnic groups in Pakistan especially when the Army conducts operation in those areas where Punjabis are not a majority. The army has been criticized by the locals for lacking ethnic sensitivity. Efforts have been undertaken to recruit more ethnic groups such as Sindhis, Balochis and Pashtuns into the Pakistani Army. The first Sikh officer was recently inducted into the army and is expected to set the tone for future recruitment for minorities. The army sees itself as a national institution and thus many non-muslim officers (as well as Qadiyanis) have achieved high ranks within the army.


The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), formerly called the Commander in Chief (C in C), is challenged with the responsibility of commanding the Pakistani Army. The COAS operates from army headquarters in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. The Principal Staff Officers assisting him in his duties at the Lieutenant General level include a

Chief of General Staff (CGS), who supervises the day to day running of the army,

Director General Military Operations (DGMO), responsible for the overall operational planning;

the Master General of Ordnance (MGO);

the Quarter-Master General (QMG);

the Adjutant General (AG);

the Inspector General of Training and Evaluation (IGT&E); and

the Military Secretary (MS).

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

List of Chiefs of Army Staff

01. General Sir Frank Messervy (August 15, 1947 - February 10, 1948)

02. General Sir Douglas David Gracey (February 11, 1948 - January 16, 1951)

03. Field Marshal Ayub Khan (January 16, 1951 - October 26, 1958)

04. General Musa Khan (October 27, 1958 - June 17, 1966)

05. General Yahya Khan (June 18, 1966 December 20, 1971)

06. General Gul Hassan (December 20, 1971 - March 3, 1972)

07. General Tikka Khan (March 3, 1972 March 1, 1976)

08. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (April 1, 1976 - August 17, 1988)

09. General Mirza Aslam Beg (August 17, 1988 - August 16, 1991)

10. General Asif Nawaz (August 16, 1991 - January 8, 1993)

11. General Wahid Kakar (January 8, 1993 - December 1, 1996)

12. General Jehangir Karamat (December 1, 1996 - October 6, 1998)

13. General Pervez Musharraf (October 7, 1998 - November 28, 2007)

14. General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani (November 28, 2007 - Present)

Structure of Army Units

The Pakistani Army is divided into two main branches which are Arms and Services. Arms include infantry, artillery, armor, engineers, and communications and Services includes ordnance Corps, maintenance and repair Corps, electrical and mechanical engineering corps, education corps, military police corps, and the remount, veterinary, and farm corps.

Army Unit

No. of Units



Infantry Divisions


Artillery Divisions


Aviation Squadrons


2 Special forces Brigades with 5 Battalions


Armored Recce Regiment


Independent Mechanical Infantry Brigades


Independent Armoured Brigades


Artillery Brigades


Air Defense Command with 3 Air Defense Groups, 8 AD Brigades


Engineer Brigades


Armoured Divisions


  • Corps: A Corp in the Pakistani Army usually consists of two or more Divisions and is commanded by a lieutenant general. Currently the Pakistani Army has 9 Corps.

  • Division: Each division is commanded by a major general, and usually holds three Brigades including infantry, artillery, engineers and communications units in addition to logistics (supply and service) support to sustain independent action. It, however, does not include any armoured units. Those are attached once the need arises. The most major of all ground force combat formations is the infantry division. Such a division would primarily hold three infantry brigades. There are 19 Infantry divisions, 2 Armored Divisions and 1 Artillery Division in the Pakistani Army.

  • Brigade: A Brigade is under the command of a brigadier and comprises of three or more Battalions of different units depending on its functionality. An independent brigade would be one that primarily consists of an artillery unit, an infantry unit, an armour unit and logistics to support its actions. Such a brigade is not part of any division and is under direct command of a corps.

  • Battalion: Each battalion is commanded by a lieutenant colonel and has roughly 600 to 900 soldiers under his command. This number varies depending on the functionality of the battalion. A battalion comprises of either four batteries (in case of artillery and air defense regiments - generally named Papa, Quebec, Romeo, and Sierra) or four companies (in case of infantry regiments - generally named Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta - and other arms excluding armored units that are organized into squadrons) each under the command of a major and comprising of individual subunits called sections (which are further divisible into platoons and squads).

Special Forces

Special Service Group or SSG is an Independent Commando unit of the Pakistani Army, the commander of which reports directly to the CoAS. It is an elite commando force similar to the American Green Berets. Official numbers are put at 2,100 men, in 3 Battalions; however the actual strength is classified and as of 2004 has been increased to 5 Battalions, with the formation of 2 Brigades of Special Forces (typically these two brigades will have a total of 6 Battalions).

Army Rank Structure

Pakistani Officer Ranks

Army Rank

Air Force Rank

Navy Rank

Field Marshal (5-Star)

Marshal of the Air Force

Admiral of the Fleet

General (4-Star)

Air Chief Marshal


Lieutenant General (3-Star)

Air Marshal

Vice Admiral

Major General (2-Star)

Air Vice Marshal

Rear Admiral

Brigadier (1-Star)

Air Commodore



Group Captain


Lieutenant Colonel

Wing Commander



Squadron Leader

Lieutenant Commander


Flight Lieutenant



Flying Officer


2nd Lieutenant

Pilot Officer

Acting Sub-Lieutenant

Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and Enlisted Ranks

Army Rank

Air Force Rank

Navy Rank

Subedar Major (JCO)

No Rank

No Rank

Subedar (JCO)

No Rank

No Rank

Naib Subedar (JCO) (Jamadar)

No Rank

No Rank

Battalion Havildar Major
(Warrant Officer Class 1)

Master Warrant Officer

No Rank

Battalion Quartermaster Havildar (Warrant Officer Class 2)

Warrant Officer

No Rank

Company Havildar Major

Chief Technician

Chief Petty Officer

Company Quatermaster Havildar

Senior Technician

Petty Officer


Corporal Technician

No Rank


Junior Technician

Leading Seaman

Lance Naik

Leading Air Craftsman /
Senior Air Craftsman

Able Seaman


Ordinary Seaman


Air Craftsman

No Rank

Army Uniform Insignias

Officer Ranks

Field Marshal


Lt. General

Maj. General



Lt. Colonel




II Lieutenant



Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and Enlisted Ranks

Subedar Major


Naib Subedar

B. Havildar Major

B.Q. Havildar

C. Havildar Major




Lance Naik



No Insignia

No Insignia

Military Awards of Pakistan click here



Weapons and Equipment see source website for details


  • Hatf-I

  • Hatf-II (Abdali-I)

  • Hatf-III (Ghaznavi)

  • M-11

  • Ghaznavi

  • Hatf-V (Ghauri I)

  • Hatf-V (Ghauri II) carry Conventional and Nuclear

  • Ghauri-III Ballistic missile Range 4,000 km

  • Shaheen I

  • Shaheen II

  • Shaheen III

  • Babur missile (see right picture)

It has been recently reported by the Pakistani Press namely Jang that Pakistan has the ability to MIRV (Multiple Independently Target-able Reentry Vehicle) its missiles. This has been seen as possibly the greatest achievement to date. It has also been reported that Pakistan would likely MIRV its Shaheen II missile.


For Updating and Latest News visit Pakistan Army Web Portal

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