Pak army is the land-based force that came into existence from British Indian Army after the partition of sub-continent and the independence day of Pakistan on August 14, 1947. The primary objective of Pak army is to provide protection, security and to ensure the unity in the country by defending the people against war and all the external or internal threats. Either if it is rescuing operation or peacekeeping mission, Pak army plays a considerable role in it. Pak army was involved in four wars with India and Afghanistan. Apart from wars Pak army has also done various military operations in the 21st century including:
- Operation Zarb-e-Azb,
- Operation Black Thunderstorm
- Operation Rah-e-Nijat
Army also has the power to enforce martial law in the country against elected governments whenever it is required, and this has been implemented in Pakistan four times in previous years.
The motto of the Pak army:
The slogan of Pak army is “A follower of none but Allah, the fear of Allah, the struggle for Allah.
- A follower of none but Allah signifies faith (Iman) which means to have trust in Almighty Allah and follower of none but Allah and his messenger. There is no deity except Allah, and he alone is the creator, provider, and sustainer. He is the actual reality, the source of all the benefits and harm. He is the only one who should be worshipped and obeyed. It also signifies the belief on the last messenger of Allah. All the messages delivered by him were real and sent by Allah which was given towards all of us and put into practice as an example by Muhammad (S.A.W) to be followed by humanity.
- The fear of Allah signifies Taqwa. It also guards one’s tongue, hands, and heart away from the evil and turns them toward the right path, piety and ethical conduct. It is a form of consciousness and awareness to people that makes them stay away from evil and protect oneself from the displeasure of Almighty Allah.
- Struggle for Allah signifies Jihad fi Sabilillah. Jihad is the real objective of Islam to stake one’s life and everything else he has to achieve the pleasure of Almighty Allah and spend whatever he has for him. Jihad is an Arabic word that means struggle. So this is what the army does and struggles against evil and provides protection to people for the sake of Allah.
The early origin:
The original agreement that was called for the division of armed forces and other assets before the partition of subcontinent provided 64% of the ratio to India and only 36% of them to Pakistan. Later on, Pakistan was forced to claim 1/3 share of the assets alone. Out of the 46 training centers in the subcontinent only nine were located in Pakistan. The migration happened, and almost five million Sikhs and Hindus went to India, and seven million Muslims came to Pakistan through 53 trains. About 484 officers of the British who had experience as well as who were highly qualified helped Pakistan and Pak army during the problematic situations. Also, Polish and Hungarian officers came for help in the medical corps. The most senior Pakistani officers ranked as brigadiers, and the command of army units provided to those officers who had the experience of battlefield awards in World War 2. They continued their service for eighteen years in Pak army. The brigade officers completed 13-15 years’ service, and division commanders provided 19-20 service. Afterward, GHQ established in the same place where it is located today. Functioning of GHQ started on August 15, 1947, but the staff at that time was not adequate neither the records were proper. Lt Gen Messervy was promoted and made the Commander in chief of Pak army.
About Ten Infantry Brigades
About ten infantry brigades were guarding 5000 miles of West as well as East Pakistan during October 1947 which was less than 50% strength. Only 13 running STUART tanks were available to the armored brigade. Ammunition reserves were open to the army for a period of even less than a week. When Kashmir was accessed by Maharaj through fraud on 27 October Pakistan ha to accept as the fate of Jammu and Kashmir was in the hands of UNO, and the war that started came to an end after six months. At the end of 1948, almost five infantry divisions organized but they were still not enough and lacked the complement of supporting arms and services. Quaid e Azam saw the financial and military difficulties and decided to ask for US economic and military aid which called out back in 1947. The USA acceded to the request of Pakistan under American Mutual Security Legislation, and Pakistan and USA signed up a mutual defense assistance agreement in 1954.
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Afterward, Pakistan received $650 million in military grants, $619 million in defense support assistance and $55 million in cash or commercial purchases as well. All of this aid was very useful and served to enhance the defense capability of Pakistan by increasing the power and mobility resulting in the improvement in C31 facilities of five and a half divisions. Pak army was also modernized and catered for two corps HQ. A lot of senior as were as junior officers went for training in the USA. New cantonments were building, and those which already existed were expanded and improved. Moving forward from 1 division 14th division was made in the following months.
In 1966, Pak army enhanced its defense capability which is considered to be the third phase of evolution for Pak army. Pakistan took helps from China, North Korea, Germany, Italy, and France for the defense procurement programs.
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A lot of help was provided by China to raise three fully equipped infantry divisions with the gun as well as vehicles. 900 Chinese tanks and MiG 19F aircraft for the air force were provided.
France supplied MIRAGE aircraft and submarines, and later $30 million aid was provided to Pakistan by the Soviet Union in 1968 which stopped due to the pressure of Indian forces.
Again in 1979 Soviet Union offered $400 million aid for the military and Pakistan shunned that as it was not enough for a frontline state. In 1981 US provided $1.5 billion in assistance again and this time it was accepted by Pakistan. By 1989, heavy losses were faced by the Soviet Union in men as well as material, so they withdrew their forces from Afghanistan. The US again embargo on all the military aid to Pakistan which continued for almost five years. Brown Amendment authorized one time delivery to Pak army of the US military equipment in 1990 of worth $368 million. But the 28 F-16 aircrafts already paid for by Pakistan are still not being delivered which cost $658 million.
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Structure of Pak army:
The structure of the Pak army is divided into two parts:
- Operational. In this part, the Pak army can be divided further into 11 corps having their areas of responsibility starting from mountain regions of Northern Pakistan continuing till the desert and the coastal areas of southern Pakistan.
There are two or more divisions in Pak army corps commanded by the lieutenant general. Currently, the Pakistani Army has 11 corps.
Major-general supervises divisions and holds brigades which are three in number including the infantry, artillery, engineers and communication units. All of the divisions have at least one armored unit except for those in the mountainous regions. Some divisions may have more than one armored unit depending on their function. The infantry division is the most main of all ground force combats and holds three infantry brigades. 19 infantry divisions are present. Among them, two are mechanized divisions, and two are armored divisions whereas two are artillery divisions in the Pak army.
Brigade is present under the command of a brigadier. It has three or more battalions of different units, and these units depend upon their functionality. There also exists independent brigade which consists of an artillery unit, an infantry unit, armor unit, and the logistics to support its actions. This independent brigade is not a part of any division, and I present under direct command of the corps.
The battalion is under the control of a colonel, and there are 600 to 900 soldiers under his command. The number of soldiers depends upon and varies according to the functionality of battalion. There are three batteries in a force in the case of artillery or air defense regiments called papa, Quebec, Romeo, Headquarters battery. There may be four companies known as Alpha, Charlie, Bravo, and Delta in case of infantry regiments. Each of them is under the command of major consisting of individual subunits known as sections that can be divided further into platoons and squads.
- Administrative. In this part, Pak army is divided in different regiments.
The GHQ of Pak army is in the garrison city of Rawalpindi in the province Punjab planning to be moved to the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad.