Pakistan Army

Former Indian Muslim Army officers formed the Pakistan Army after India’s partitioning in 1947, serving in the British Indian Army.

Pakistan Army


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Pakistan Army is the largest branch of the nation’s military. It is a professional, volunteer combat force, with approximately 550k active personnel and 500k reserves (though estimations vary widely). Constitution gives a basis for the service draft, but enrollment never imposed in Pakistan.

General Headquarters (GHQ) is the single command structure based at Rawalpindi Cantt near the Joint Staff HQ.

Flag of the Pakistan Army
Flag of the Pakistan Army

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The Pakistan Army is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), by statute a Four-Star Army General, appointed by the President with the Prime Minister’s consultation and confirmation. General Qamar Javed Bajwa is the chief of army staff till 2018.

Army General Zubair Mahmood Hayat is the current Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The Army has a broad range of corporate, commercial, and political interests. On many occasions, it has taken control of the civilian government to restore order in the country.

The Pakistan Army Aviation Corps reportedly operates approximately 250 aircraft that includes 40 AH-1 Cobra combat helicopters.

The Army Strategic Forces Command runs a wide range of missile systems in its arsenal.

Despite the Pressler amendment enforced in the 1990s, the Army focused on developing land-based weapon systems and military hardware production. Private innovation resulted in the successful development of G3A3 Rifles, Anza missile systems, and Al-Zarrar and Al-Khalid main battle tanks (MBTs).

Since 1947, the Army has made three wars with neighboring India and several border conflicts with Afghanistan.

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Pakistani soldiers being decorated after a tour of duty with the UN in the DR Congo
Pakistani soldiers being decorated after a tour of duty with the UN in the DR Congo

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Due to Pakistan’s diverse geography, Army has great combat experience in a variety of areas. The army has maintained a strong presence in the Arab world during the Arab–Israeli Wars and aided the Coalition Forces in the first Gulf War.

Pakistan Army played a major role in the Bosnian war battle and rescued trapped American soldiers in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993.

Recently, the Army’s major joint-operations include Operation Black Thunderstorm and Operation Rah-e-Nijat, against armed rebels within Pakistan. The Pak Army also an active participant in UN Peacekeeping missions.

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