Flag of the Pakistani Army
|Founded||August 14, 1947|
|Part of||Military of Pakistan|
|Motto||Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah. Translated into English, it means "Faith, Piety and Fight in the path of God".|
|Colour||Green and White
|Chief of the Army Staff||Ashfaq Parvez Kayani|
|Field Marshal Ayub Khan
General Pervez Musharraf
The Pakistan Army (Urdu: پاک فوج) is the branch of the Pakistani Military responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the Pakistani military and is one of seven uniformed services.
The Pakistan Army came into existence after independence in 1947 and is currently led by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan Army is a volunteer professional fighting force. The provision of conscription exists in the Pakistani constitution, but it has never been imposed. It has an active force of 550,000 personnel and 528,000 men in reserve.
Since independence, the Army has been involved in four wars with neighboring India and several border skrimishes with Afghanistan. It maintained division and brigade strength presences in some of the Arab countries during the past Arab-Israeli Wars, and aided the Coalition in the first Gulf War. Other major 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, Somalia in 1993 in Operation Gothic Serpent.
The President of Pakistan serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), a General, is a four star commander and commands the Army. There is never more than one serving general at any given time in the Army. Only one officer have been conferred the rank of Field Marshal, a 5-star rank and the officer serves as the ceremonial chief.
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 Pakistan Army was created on 30 June 1947 with the division of the British Indian Army. Pakistan received six armoured, eight artillery and eight infantry regiments compared to the forty 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 joined the Kashmiris opposing the maharaja in 1947. This lead to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. Regular army units joined the invasion later on but were stopped after the refusal of the Pakisatan army C-in-C to obey Pakistani leader Jinnah's orders to move the army into Kashmir. Ceasefire followed on UN intervention with Pakistan occupying the northwestern part of Kashmir and India the rest. Later, during the 1950s, the Pakistan Army received large amounts of economic and military aid from United States and Great Britain after signing two Mutual defence Treaties, Central Treaty Organization, (Cento) also known as the Baghdad Pact and SEATO, (South East Asian Treaty Organization) in 1954. This aid greatly expanded the Army from its modest beginnings.
The sole division HQ that went to Pakistan was the 7th. 8th and 9th Divisions were raised in 1947; 10, 12 and 14 Divs were raised in 1948. 15 Div was raised in 1950. At some point before 1954, 6 Div was raised and 9 Div disbanded. 6 Div was disbanded at some point after 1954 as US assistance was available only for 1 armd and 6 inf divs. 1st Armoured Div was raised in 1956.
The Army seized control of Pakistan for the first time when General Ayub Khan came to power through a bloodless coup in 1958. Tensions with India continued in the 1960s and a brief border skirmish was fought near the Rann of Kutch area during April 1965. The Pakistan Army commanders seemed emboldened and carried out Operation Gibraltar, an attempt to take Kashmir that was launched later in the year and resulted in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. After the Pakistani infiltrators were discovered, India counter-attacked and the 3-week war ended in a U.N. mandated ceasefire culminating in the Tashkent Declaration. The 1965 Indo-Pakistani War is widely regarded as ending in a stalemate as both countries had large amounts of their opposition's territory in their possession, although India controlled a larger portion. Both countries claimed victory, Pakistan's reason being it had forced a stalemate against a military which was vastly superior in numbers and equipment. It is also believed that India's better resources would have given it a decisive advantage had the war continued.
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 favour 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 General Yahya Khan, the Bengalis of East Pakistan protested against various political and economic conditions that had been imposed on them by West Pakistan and massive civil unrest broke out in East Pakistan. While the Pakistan Army attempted to quell the uprisings, which included killings of tens of thousands of non-Bengalis by Bengali rebels, incidents of human rights abuses were carried out by certain sections of the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan. India assisted Bangladeshi rebels for months before beginning an invasion of East Pakistan in November 1971. The Pakistani military in East Pakistan was very heavily out-numbered following a policy that "East Pakistan's defence lay in West Pakistan" and by 16 December 1971, around 90,000 West Pakistanis were surrendered and taken Prisoner of War by the Indian Army. They included around 55,000 military personnel and around 35,000 government and civil employees. East Pakistan was made independent from West Pakistan, becoming the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Consequently, the Pakistan Army was modernised at a faster pace than ever before.
According to Maj. (Retd.) Agha Humayun Amin, no PA commanders had seriously considered an Indian invasion of East Pakistan until December 1971 because it was thought that the Indian military would not risk Chinese or U.S. intervention. It was not realised that the Chinese would be unable to intervene during the 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.
In 1977 the Pakistan Army took over the government of Pakistan after a coup by General Zia ul-Haq, which saw the end of another democratically elected government leading 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 ul-Haq ruled as a military dictator until his death in an air crash in 1988. At that time General Mohammad Iqbal Khan was a powerful general of Pakistan. He served as a joint chief from 1980 to 1984 and was the Chief Martial Law Officer at that time. If Zia ul-Haq would have resigned at that time he would be the next COAS.
Pakistan Army also helped the Saudi Arabian Government in regaining the control of the Kaaba with the help of French Commandos. Pakistani and French security forces retook Kaaba in a battle which left approximately 250 dead, and 600 wounded. The Pakistanis and French were called in after poor results from assaults by the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG). 127 were reported to have been killed.
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 October 1999 the Pakistan Army for the fourth time, overthrew a democratically elected government which resulted in additional sanctions being placed against Pakistan, resulting in General Pervez Musharraf coming to power in a bloodless coup. Musharraf stepped down as President in August 2008. On July 30, 2009, the Pakistan Supreme Court ruled that General Musharraf's imposition of the Emergency Rule in 2007 was unconstitutional.
After the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan joined the US-led War on Terror and helped the U.S. Military 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 Pakistani Army suffered heavy casualties as well public support for the attack quickly evaporated. After a 2 year conflict from 2004 till 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 Talibanization 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 2 years of conflict.
The militants emboldened by their success in FATA moved into Islamabad where they sought to impose an extremist Sharia government on Pakistan. Their base of operations was the Lal Masjid in Islamabad. After a 6 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 out of FATA vowed revenge and launched a wave of attacks and suicide bombings erupted all over North-West Pakistan and major Pakistani cities throughout 2007.
The militants then expanded their base of operations and moved into the neighboring Swat Valley and imposed a very harsh Sharia law on the scenic valley. The 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 the Army to leave to take 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 criticized in the West as abdicating to the militants. Initially pledging to lay down their arms if Sharia Law was implemented, the Pakistani Taliban used Swat Valley as a springboard to launch further attacks into neighboring regions and reached to within 60 km of Islamabad.
The public opinion turned decisively against the Pakistani Taliban when a video showing a flogging of a girl by the Pakistani Taliban in Swat Valley finally forced the army to launch a deceive 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 there are isolated pockets of Taliban activity continues.
The next phase of Pakistani Army's offensive was the formidable Waziristan region. A US drone attack killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud in August. A power struggle engulfed the Pakistani Taliban for the whole of September but by October a new leader had emerged, Hakimullah Mehsud. Under his leadership, the Pakistani Taliban launched another wave of terrorist attacks throughout Pakistan killing hundreds of people. After a few weeks of softening up the targets with air strikes and artillery and mortar attacks, the Army backed by 30,000 troops moved in a three pronged attack on South Waziristan. The Army re-took South Waziristan and is currently thinking of expanding the campaign to North Waziristan.
In Balochistan, a low level insurgency had broken out in 2005, in which the Balochis and their leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti demanded greater autonomy for Balochistan, greater compensation for the resources being used by Pakistan and criticized the government for the lack of development that had occurred there. Another of Bugti's demands that put him into direct conflict with the military cabal was the trial of an army captain accused of raping a lady doctor posted at Sui. The Pakistani Army commenced operations in 2006, resulting in the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti. In an interview with journalist Hamid Mir, Bugti said "Read Mir Gul Khan Nasir's book on the history of Balochistan. The Baloch have always resisted unconstitutional measures.I'm not a traitor, the people who go against the Article 6 and take control of Pakistan are the real traitors. I, like Mir Gul Khan Nasir, only put forward the demand for Balochistan's rights. But in General Musharraf's view this is a crime punishable by death. (Bugti Laughs then continues) Your commando general will rest only after he martyrs me but after my martyrdom he will be held responsible. So now it's up to you people to either choose Musharraf or Pakistan. The choice is yours.". The trial of the captain never took place and the doctor was exiled by Gen. Musharraf.
In the wake of the new world power equilibrium a more complex security environment has emerged. It is characterized 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 manifold since the Gulf War. In 1992 there were 11000 Blue Berets deployed around the world, by the end of the year the figure rose to 52000. Presently it exceeds a staggering figure of 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 Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)||Democratic Republic of Congo||Second Congo War||3556 Troops.|
|2003||United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)||Liberia||Second Liberian Civil War||2741 Troops.|
|2004||United Nations Operation in Burundi ONUB||Burundi||Burundi Civil War||1185 Troops.|
|2004||United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI)||Côte d'Ivoire||Civil war in Côte d'Ivoire||1145 Troops.|
|2005||United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)||Sudan||Second Sudanese Civil War||1542 Troops.|
The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), formerly called the Commander in Chief (C in C), is charged with the responsibility of commanding the Pakistan Army. The COAS operates from army headquarters in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. The Principal Staff Officers (PSO's) 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&E); and the Military Secretary (MS). A major reorganization 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 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.
The rank structure is patterned on the British Army model. Following the British Indian Army traditions, 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 early days of the Pakistan Army, there was a large cultural gap between officers and enlisted personnel. In the early 1990s, JCOs had wide responsibilities in the day-to-day supervision of lower grades, but they were a group that may have outlived its usefulness because officers have become "more Pakistani" and less dependent on British models and because the education level of enlisted men has risen. Promotion to JCO rank, however, remains a powerful incentive for enlisted personnel; thus, if JCO ranks are ever phased out, it will likely be a slow process.
|Pakistani Officer Ranks|
|Rank||Field Marshal (5-Star)||COAS (4-Star)||General (4-Star)||Lieutenant General (3-Star)||Major General (2-Star)||Brigadier (1-Star)||Colonel||Lieutenant Colonel||Major||Captain||Lieutenant||2nd Lieutenant|
The Pakistan Army is divided into two main branches, which are Arms and Services.
The army operates 6 tactical 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. During times of times of war, the Army unifies the 6 commands into 2 Armies; Army Reserve North (ARN) and Army Reserve South (ARS).
Army Reserve North's area of responsibilities lies from the Line of Control in Kashmir up to Central Punjab and Army Reserve South's area of responsibilities is from Central Punjab to coast of the Arabian Sea in Sindh. Each Army has a Strike Corps with several holding Corps and a Reserve Corps.
Army Reserve North's Composition:
Army Reserve South's Composition:
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.
The peace time commands are given below in their correct order of raising, location (city) and their commanders.
There are several battalions or units associated together in an infantry regiment. The infantry regiment in the Pakistani Army is a 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 battalions 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.
The list of regiments of the Pakistani Army are:
Special Service Group (SSG) is an independent commando division 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 Riposte doctrine is derived from several factors:
The Riposte doctrine entails Pakistan in the event of hostilities with India will not wait for the enemy's offensive, but rather launches 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:
Kashmir, LOC and the Northern Punjab areas are heavily fortified and ill-suited for large mechanized 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 centralized 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 mechanized 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 Pakistan Army has always played an integral part of the Pakistan government since its inception mainly on the pretext of lack of good civilian leadership corruption and inefficieny. It has virtually acted as a third party that has repeatedly seized power in the name of stabilizing Pakistan and ending corruption. However, according to the political observers, political instability, lawlessness and corruption are direct consequences of army rule.
The tradition of insubordination of the army towards the legitimate leadership of the country can be traced back to Lt. Gen Frank Messervy who had resisted obeying the orders of Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah. This was described as the main reason for his early retirement. However it did not prevent him being honored and promoted to general. Later General Douglas Gracey, the C in C of the Pakistan Army did not send troops to the Kashmir front and refused to obey the order to do so given by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Governor-General of Pakistan .. Gracey argued that Jinnah as Governor-General represented the British Crown of which he himself was an appointee. The same tradition was continued by their successors, Ayub Khan, Zia and Musharraf, all of whom received honours instead of being tried for indiscipline and insubordination.
The army runs the largest real estate business in Pakistan under the auspices of Defense Housing Societies and other welfare societies. However out 46 housing schemes directly built by the armed forces, none is for ordinary soldiers or civilian officers and personnel employed by the army..
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, fertilizer, and brass castings and sold them to civilian consumers albiet at prices higher than those charged from military personel.
Several army organizations 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. Pakistan Army was involved in relief activities not only in Pakistan but also in many other countries of the world, like they went for relief activities after Bangladesh was recently hit by floods. The Pak Army also went to Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka after they were hit by tsunami. Pakistan Army and Navy sent ships and helicopters to the friendly nations for the tsunami relief operation.
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 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.
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 (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. 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.
Pakistan Army uniforms closely resemble those of the British armed services. The principal color 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.
Traditionally, the army was a predominantly Punjabi force. In British India, three districts: Campbellpur (now Attock), Rawalpindi, and Jhelum dominated the recruitment flows. By 1990 the percentage representation in the Pakistan Army as a whole (officers and Other Ranks or soldiers) was as follows: Punjabis 65 percent; Pushtuns 31 percent; Sindhis and Baluchis 4 percent and Minorities 0.3 per cent. Since then, with the provision of waivers for both physical and educational qualifications, recruitment has been increased from the formerly less well represented areas. Punjab showed an overall decline in recruitment of soldiers from 63.86 per cent in 1991 to 43.33 in 2005.
Women have served in the Pakistan 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 In 2007, several female graduates were nominated to be Sky Marshalls 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.
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 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.
Minorities in Pakistan are allowed to sit in all examinations, including the one conducted by Inter Services Selection Board however the proportion of religious minorities in the Pakistan Army is still considerably less.
There have been numerous Christians who have risen to the rank of Brigadier; and in the 1990 the first Christian to be promoted to the rank of Maj. General was Julian Peters who commanded the 14th Div in Okara Cantt. In 2009 brigadier Noel Israel,a christian officer was also promoted to rank of Major General.
The Nishan-e-Haider (Urdu: نشان حیدر) (Sign of the Lion), is the highest military award given by Pakistan. Nishan-e-Haider recipients receive an honorary title as a sign of respect: Shaheed meaning martyr for deceased recipients.
|Name||Unit||Conflict||Date||Place of Death|
|Captain Muhammad Sarwar||2nd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment||War of 1947||July 27, 1948||Uri, Kashmir|
|Major Tufail Mohammad||16th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment||1958 Border clash with India||August 7, 1958||Lakshmipur District|
|Major Aziz Bhatti||17th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment||War of 1965||September 10, 1965||Lahore District|
|Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas||Pakistan Air Force||War of 1971||August 20, 1971||Thatta, Sindh, Pakistan|
|Major Muhammad 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||December 6, 1971||Kargil, India|
|Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfuz||15th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment||War of 1971||December 8, 1971||Wagah-Attari|
|Jawan Sawar Muhammad Hussain||20th Lancers of the Pakistan Armoured Corps||War of 1971||December 10, 1971||Zafarwal-Shakargarh|
|Captain Karnal Sher Khan||12th Battalion of the Northern Light Infantry||Kargil War||July 5, 1999||Kargil, India|
|Havaldar Lalak Jan||12th Battalion of the Northern Light Infantry||Kargil War||July 7, 1999||Kargil, India|
Two Pakistani pilots belonging to the army aviation branch of Pakistan army who carried out a daring rescue of a mountaineer are to be given Slovenia's top award for bravery. Slovenian, Tomaz Humar got stranded on the western end of the 8,125m Nanga Parbat mountain were 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 has 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.
The PA arms soldiers with various basic weapons. The main rifles in use are the Heckler & Koch G3 and NORINCO Type 56/Type 81. Some units, such as special forces, are equipped with more modern assault rifles such as the Steyr AUG and M4 carbine. The Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine gun is also used by some personnel. Pistols include various versions of the Glock. The main machine gun in use is the Rheinmetall MG3, with some units equipped with more modern weapons such as the FN MAG and FN Minimi Para. The M67 grenade is the standard grenade in use. Sniper rifles include the Dragunov SVD, HK PSG1, M82 Barret and Steyr SSG 69. The RPG-7, Type 69 RPG and Carl Gustav recoilless rifle are the main grenade launchers in service.
Armoured units use main battle tanks of Ukrainian, Chinese and Pakistani origin. The Al-Khalid  and T-80UD  are the most modern MBTs in service, followed by the Type 85-IIAP and Al-Zarrar. Large numbers of old Type 59 and Type 69/79  are still in service and, despite upgrades, are slowly being replaced by the Al-Khalid and Al-Zarrar. Tanks are supported by various recovery vehicles such as the M88 and the Al-Hadeed.
Large numbers of the M113 armoured personnel carrier are in service with mechanised infantry units, alongside its Pakistani variants such as the Talha and the Russian BTR-70. Armoured jeeps include the Otokar Akrep. Armoured vehicle-launched bridging systems include the M60A1 and M48 AVLB.
The most numerous self-propelled artillery piece is the M109, which is being supplemented by the NORINCO SH1. Many types of towed artillery are in service, the most modern being the 155 mm calibre M198 and a small number of MKEK Panther. Also in use are large numbers of older towed artillery pieces of Russian, Chinese and U.S. origin and various calibres from 85 to 203 mm. These are planned to be phased out and replaced by modern 155 mm calibre artillery such as the Turkish MKEK Panther.
Helicopters are used in the attack as well as transport roles. The attack helicopter force is made up of around 30-40 AH-1 Cobras. The most numerous transport helicopter in service is the Mil Mi-17, which is supplemented by the Aérospatiale Puma, Bell 407, Bell 412 and Eurocopter AS-550. A large number of older |Aérospatiale Alouette III and SA-315B Lama helicopters are being phased out.
Throughout the International Defence Exhibition & Seminar (IDEAS) at Karachi in November 2006, Pakistani firms have signed joint development, production and marketing agreements with defence firms from South Korea, France and Ukraine. These agreements include new reactive armour bricks, 155 mm artillery shells, and other developments in armour and land weaponry. These agreements all relate to the Pakistan Army's AFFDP-2019 modernization program of its armour, artillery and infantry.
A few months prior to IDEAS 2006, the Pakistan Army and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) announced the development of the Al Khalid II Main Battle Tank (MBT). The Al Khalid II is poised to become the Pakistan Army's backbone main battle tank from 2012; thus replacing 1200 obsolete Chinese T-59 and 300 T-85IIAP. Not much is known about this tank, but it is reported that the Al Khalid II is a very extensive upgrade of the current Al Khalid. Other reports suggest that it will be an entirely new tank based on Western designs. Turkish press reported that a Pakistani armour firm will participate in the Turkey's new generation tank project. Turkey and Pakistan have signed many memorandums of understanding in various defence-related fields. Given that many Pakistani firms have signed joint agreements with Western firms, it is possible that a considerable part of the Al Khalid II's design will be influenced from the Turkish tank design. Nonetheless, the new generation tank is expected to form the backbone of the Pakistan Army's tank force; in the long-term.
The Pakistan Army will standardize its artillery capability to 155 mm by 2019. This can be seen by the acquisition of 115 M109A5 self-propelled howitzers from the United States, and joint production deals of 155 mm shells with French and South Korean firms. It is expected that the army will procure a range of light, medium and heavy towed and self-propelled howitzer artillery from China, Europe and the United States. These will replace all non-155 mm and older systems. The Army reportedly ordered and procured an undisclosed number of WS-1B Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS). As part of the artillery modernization program, the Army will likely procure a fair number of new MLRS systems of various ranges and shell sizes.
Modernization of the Army Aviation is underway with the procurement of new transport and attack helicopters from the United States, Russia and Europe. Finalized acquisitions include 26 Bell 412EP and at least a dozen Mi-17 medium-lift transport helicopters from the U.S and Russia, respectively. Forty Bell 407 and an unknown number of Fennec light helicopters from the U.S. and Eurocopter have also been ordered, respectively. Plans are underway to begin replacing the IAR 330 Puma, older Mil Mi-8/17, Bell Jet Rangers and older Huey helicopters. The Pakistan Army has procured dozens of excess AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters since 2002; at least 20 have been brought into service to supplement the serving 18. These gunships are expected to add muscle to current counterterrorist support operations in NWFP. Up to 30 new-generation attack helicopters will be procured to further enhance the Army's attack aviation arm; options include the Eurocopter Tiger, South African AH-2 Rooivalk and Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow.
|Comparative military ranks (Pakistan)|
|Flag Rank Officers|
|General||Admiral||Air Chief Marshal|
|Lieutenant General||Vice Admiral||Air Marshal|
|Major General||Rear Admiral||Air Vice Marshal|
|Lieutenant Colonel||Commander||Wing Commander|
|Major||Lieutenant Commander||Squadron Leader|
|Lieutenant||Sub Lieutenant||Flying Officer|
|Second Lieutenant||Midshipman||Pilot Officer|
|Junior Commissioned Officers
|Subedar Major||N/A||Chief Warrant Officer|
|Battalion Havildar Major||Master Chief Petty Officer||Warrant Officer|
|Battalion Quartermaster Havildar||Fleet Chief Petty Officer||Assistant Warrant Officer|
|Company Havildar Major||Chief Petty Officer||Senior Technician|
|Company Quartermaster Havildar||Petty Officer||Corporal Technician|
|Lance Naik||N/A||Leading Aircraftman|
|Template source: "Pakistani Army Ranks". http://pakistanarmy.gov.pk/AWPReview/TextContent.aspx?pId=298. Retrieved 2009-06-05. "Pakistani Navy Ranks". http://www.paknavy.gov.pk/pn_ranks.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-05. "Pakistani Air Force Ranks". http://www.uniforminsignia.net/?option=com_insigniasearch&Itemid=53&result=2502. Retrieved 2009-06-05.|
The Pakistan Army (Urdu: پاک فوج) is the largest branch of the Pakistan military, and is mainly 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. Every year the 6th of September, as day after the annual celebration of the Pakistan Defense Day, the day is celebrated as the Army day in Pakistan. That day ground shows and other programs mark the PNA's role in defending the nation.