111th Infantry Brigade (Pakistan)

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111th Infantry Brigade
Active 1956-Present
Country Pakistan
Allegiance  Pakistan Army
Branch  Pakistan Army
Type Light Infantry
Light Artillery
Psychological warfare
Role Quick response, defence of key installation (garrison brigade of GHQ)
Size 4,250 active duty soldiers[citation needed]
Part of X Corps
Headquarters Rawalpindi
Nickname 111 Brigade
Anniversaries Defence Day
Engagements Pakistani Military Coup of 1958
Operation Fair Play
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Siachen Conflict
Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
1999 Pakistani coup d'état
Operation Silence
Operation Janbaz
Decorations Pakistan Armed Forces Awards and decorations
Commanders
Current Commander Brigadier-General sarfraz, GOC
Notable
commanders
LTG Faiz Ali Chishti
LTG Jamshed Gulzar Kiani General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan General Akhtar Abdur Rahman

The 111th Infantry Brigade or 111th Brigade or Triple-1 Brigade, is an infantry brigade of the Pakistan Army notable for its frequent involvement and fast response in military coup d'etats since Pakistani independence.[1] As of 11 January 2012 Brigadier Sarfaraz Ali [2] commands the Brigade. He succeeded Brigadier-General Faheem Rao who had earlier replaced General Parvez Musharraf’s loyal Brigadier Aasim Salim Bajwa. The commander of this brigade is also responsible for the security of the President and the Prime minister.[3]

Military operations[edit]

The 111th Brigade is the most well known Army brigade in Pakistani social, public, religious, and political circles. Since its creation, the 111th Brigade has been frequently used to overtake and topple civilian governments. The brigade's first involvement in toppling a government was when General Ayub Khan dismissed the government of Pakistani President Major General (retired) Iskander Mirza.

On July 4, 1977, General Zia-ul-Haq conducted a coup d'état against the government of then-Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The loyalty of the 111 Brigade Commander is crucial to subsequent military regimes. For instance, Zia’s mistrust of Commander X Corps, Chishti led him to removed the commander, Brigadier Mohammad Khan, considered close to Chishti and replaced him with Brigadier Rahat Latif without Chishti’s knowledge. [4]

The 111th Brigade is also responsible for security of the prime minister’s and president’s house which makes it much easier for the army high command to execute coups against elected PMs. The brigade was also used by General Parvez Musharraf in thwarting the Sharif regime after Sharif tried to replace him with Ziauddin Butt. Lt. Generals Aziz and Mahmud reacted quickly after the government broadcast Musharraf’s retirement on television. Mahmud reportedly ordered the 111-brigade commander, Brigadier Salahuddin Satti, to secure the prime minister’s house. The 111 Brigade completed the coup after confining the prime minister and his aides to the PM house. Prime Minister Sharif was arrested and was later exiled to Saudi Arabia. [5]

The brigade's last participation was in Operation Silence, in which the heads of government ordered military police, the Pakistan Army Rangers, and the 111th Brigade to surround the Red Mosque complex.[6] Clashes between Aziz and Ghazi's followers and security forces quickly ensued, and the Islamists opened fire at the security personnel. The 111th Brigade assisted the Army Rangers and the special forces in completing the operation and in capturing high-value targets inside the complex. The brigade's participation in the Red Mosque situation led to a successful special military operation. When the Lawyers' Movement was launched, the Pakistani media speculated that the Zardari government would launch a psychological operation against the movement.[7] However, it was later decided by the Pakistani military leadership not to launch the operation.

In 2010, the 111th Brigade had taken over the control of Islamabad Capital Territory, and provided the intense and tight security to the both Chinese Premier and Pakistan's Prime minister. The brigade was deployed by the order of Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, and it had directly reported to Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Jang News later cited that ISI had learnt that unnamed neighboring country has planned to sabotage the Chinese Premier's state visit to Pakistan.[8]

Composition[edit]

The brigade comprises five Infantry battalions drawn from all the regiments, including two Artillery batteries, one Air Defense battery, one paratrooper battalion, and one armoured squadron. The brigade also includes two SSG companies which are commanded by the Captain according to their ranks.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Owen Bennett (2002), "The 1999 Coup", Pakistan: Eye of the Storm, Yale University Press, pp. 39–307 
  2. ^ "Commander 111 Brigade changed | PAKISTAN". geo.tv. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  3. ^ "Triple One Brigade Commander Replaced | PKPolitics - Pakistan Politics". PKPolitics. 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  4. ^ Lieutenant General Faiz Ali Chishti cited in Aqil Shah, The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan (Harvard University Press, 2014), p. 183. [1]
  5. ^ Shah, The Army and Democracy, pp. 183-184
  6. ^ Bill Roggio (2009-04-15). "Pakistan releases Red Mosque leader who led insurrection in capital". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  7. ^ "Army Sides with Zardari – Plans to Deploy 111 Brigade | PKPolitics - Pakistan Politics". PKPolitics. 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  8. ^ Islamabad Capital Territory was in under controlled by the 111th Infantry Brigade