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National Defence University Building

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

By a decree of the Government of Pakistan, the National Defence College was upgraded as the NDU. An Ordinance to this effect was signed on 27 January 2007, by the President of Pakistan. The NDU will continue to operate from the same campus.

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

  • National Security College
  • Armed Forces War College
  • Institute of Contemporary Studies (ICS) - To be established
  • Institute of Strategic Studies; Research and Analysis (ISSRA)
Organization of NDU

There are three affiliated colleges:

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

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



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

Presently, three parallel courses of the 44 weeks each are run at the NDU on annual basis. In addition, two / three Security Workshops, each of 6 weeks duration, are also held yearly. Since 1988, officers from friendly countries (such as Nigeria) have also been attending courses at the National Defence University. So far 2574 participants have graduated from the National Defence University. This includes, 305 officers from the 31 friendly countries and 406 participants of National Security Workshops. Today, the entire military and bulk of civil leadership are graduated of this institution.

National Defence University Emblem / Logo

The emblem represents "National Defence" and comprises an Islamic shield in tri-service colours, with a black border and silver edging, surrounded by a golden wreath topped with a crescent and star and placed on a green background of the national colours. A crossed sword and pen placed up the lower portion of the shield represent honour, strength and achievement through learning. The motto is inscribed in gold letters on the top centre of the shield.


The mission of the NDU is to impart higher education in policy and strategy formulation at various tiers with emphasis on national security and defence, and act as a national think tank.


The National Defence University will be the premier institution of the country, distinguished because of the discipline it will be pursuing. It will be catering for the needs of the senior leadership from various segments of the society both domestic and international, in comprehending security issues and policy / strategy formulation. It will be a centre of excellence in academic and research pursuits in diversified disciplines providing well thoughts out inputs on national security at strategic level. The University will promote the cause of a free , open and critical inquiry and scholarly debate in the services of the society.

Roles as Think Tank

The NDU also acts as a national think tank on national security matters. Input is provided to the Government and armed forces on required basis. The NDU maintains academic links with national think tanks and defence universities of friendly countries. Close interaction with these seats of learning adds richness and depth to quality research work.


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


  • National Defence Course (NDC)
  • Armed Forces War Course (AFWC)
  • Allied Officers War Course (AOWC)
  • National Security Workshop
  • Capstone Course

Commandants / Presidents


  • Lt Gen Muhammad Yousaf
  • Lt Gen Mohammad Hamid Khan
  • Lt Gen Raza Muhammad Khan


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


  • NDU Journal is a bi-annual feature of the University which is based on the individual research papers by the participants of National Defence Course and Armed Forces War Course. The publications provide a forum for expression of thought provoking ideas on the issues of national regional and international significance.
  • Margalla papers is an annual publication of National Defence University based on articles written by the prominent scholars and eminent writers of the country.
  • NDU Newsletter provides a forum for information, discussion and debate on topical issues impacting the national security.
  • The University engages itself voluntarily in bringing the insights of scholarship to bear upon the advance research on development of policies on key issues facing the country through its publication.

Notable alumni and faculty

Pakistan Army


Lieutenant Generals

  • Lieutenant General Zahid Ali Akbar Khan
  • Lieutenant General Syed Tanwir Husain Naqvi
  • Lieutenant General Tariq Waseem Ghazi

Major Genreals

Pakistan Air Force

Pakistan Navy


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

External links



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