Pakistan Rangers

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Pakistan Rangers
Founded August 14, 1947
Country  Pakistan
Size 100,000 active troops[1]
Part of Pakistan Paramilitary Forces
Headquarters Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore
Motto Daim's Sahir'n "Ever Ready"
Colour red and blue
Pakistan Ranger wearing a kurta at the Joint Check Post between India and Pakistan at Wagah.

The Pakistan Rangers (Urdu: پاکستان رینجرز‎) are part of the Paramilitary forces of Pakistan, under the direct control of the Ministry of the Interior of the Pakistan Government. The Rangers are an internal security force with the prime objective to provide and maintain security in war zones and areas of conflict as well as maintaining law and order which includes providing assistance to the police. Prior to 1995, the Pakistan Rangers were two separate forces: the Pakistan Rangers Punjab headquartered in Lahore, Punjab, and the Mehran Rangers headquartered in Karachi, Sindh. The two forces maintain their different uniforms and chains of command but work under same ordinances, such as the Pakistan Rangers Ordinance 1959.

Each evening, Pakistan Rangers stationed near Lahore, together with their counterparts in the Indian Border Security Force, participate in a flag lowering ceremony at Wagah.


The origins and roots of Rangers dates back to 1942, when British government established a special unit as Sindh Police Rangers. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the protection of its eastern boundaries was allotted to particular forces, such as the Punjab Border Police Force, Bahawalpur State Police, Khairpur State Police and Sindh Rifles. Because the Rangers were neither correctly structured nor outfitted for a specific duty, in 1958, they were restructured and renamed as the West Pakistan Rangers.

The current Sindh Rangers is a combined force constituted in the early 90's for a strategic anti-dacoit operation in the interior of Sindh. The force operated under the name of Mehran Force and included the then existing Sindh Rangers, 3 Battalions of Pakistan Army (inc. SSG), Northern Scouts. This force was commanded by Major General Saleem Ishaq Khan. It was this force constitution that eventually became the modern day Sindh Rangers.

War performances[edit]

The Rangers had fought together with the Pakistan Army in several conflicts, namely the 1965 Indo-Pak war and 1971 Indo-Pakistan War.[2] After the 1971 war, the force was federalized underneath the Ministry of Defence as the Pakistan Rangers, and, shortly in 1974, it was made a component of the Civil Armed Forces (CAF) under the Ministry of Interior. Pakistan Rangers guard the borders during peace and war. In 1995, the Mehran Force was merged into the Pakistan Rangers (Sindh). The Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) are credited for providing the Pakistan Army troops for Special Police Units in Kosovo and Haiti Peace mission every year.

These troops are entrusted with the task to provide protection and security to UN officials, provide operational and backup support, respond to threats to public order in coordination with the Kosovo administration, and assist humanitarian agencies.[3] The Rangers also had participated in numerous special military operations along with Pakistan Army Special Forces branch in the past. Since their revitalization and re-building after the 1971 war, the Rangers have been involved in the numerous special military operations in Pakistan. The Rangers have also assisted the Army's Special Service Group in performing special operations. They first participated in 1973, when they, based on the intelligence reports, had successfully accompanied the SSGs to raid the Iraqi Embassy. In 1992, the Rangers were deployed to Karachi, and the Government of Sindh had used Rangers to keep peace in the city. The Rangers had also participated in Operation Blue Fox in 1992 along with the Army. Due to their close association with the Army, the Rangers also fought in Indo-Pakistani War of 1999 (Best known as Kargil War) deployed in Jammu and Kashmir. Despite the fact of it being a paramilitary force, the Government of Pakistan had recognized the Rangers as its one its special forces in 2004. The Rangers were among one of the special forces that participated in Operation Silence and accompanied Army Commandos in the operation. During the operation, the Rangers suffered a single casualty.[4] In 2009, Rangers completed a special military operation in Lahore alongside the Special Service Group, when terrorists attacked the Manawan Police Academy. While it was led by the Pakistan Rangers, the operation, codenamed Lahore Police Academy Operation, ended with eight militant deaths with one captured.[5] The same year, the Government of Pakistan deployed the Rangers to secure the outskirts of Islamabad when Taliban forces had taken over the Buner, Lower Dir, Swat and Shangla districts. Its members also participated in Operation Black Thunderstorm while securing the capital.[6]


A Pakistan Ranger's soldier at Wagah Border.

Pakistan Rangers are divided into two separate branches: Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) and Pakistan Rangers (Punjab). Each branch is headed by a Director General appointed by the Pakistan Army after the clearance from the Chief of Army Staff. The Director General of the Pakistan Rangers currently holds the 2-star rank of Major-General. The current Director General of Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) is Major General Bilal Akbar,[7] whereas Director General of Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) is Major General Farooq Berki, ([8]).

The equivalent paramilitary force in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is called the Frontier Corps.


The Rangers are tasked with securing important monuments and guarding national assets in all major cities of Pakistan, including Islamabad. The Rangers have notably contributed towards maintaining law and order in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore in major crises. The Sindh Rangers consist of approximately 25,000 persons whereas almost half of the total force is deployed to Karachi. Due to the unstable situation in Pakistan, the Rangers have become extremely necessary to maintain law and order in all major cities.


Rangers Anti Terrorist Force[edit]

The Rangers Anti-Terrorist Company has been active since early 2004. They were trained by Zarrar Company of Special Services Group (SSG) of the Pakistani Army. This company also participated in a recent exercise with U.K. Special Air Service operators and U.S. Army Rangers.

Training and selection[edit]

The selection for rangers lasts 2–3 weeks. Both male and females can join the Rangers and an applicant must be between 18–25 years old for Punjab Rangers and 18 to 30 years old for Sindh Rangers. In order to apply for the Rangers, the applicant must passed F.A or F.Sc. (an equivalent to U.S. matriculation system) from a government-registered college. An applicant must hold Pakistani citizenship to join the Force. The Rangers can be deployed at any place either in Pakistan or abroad, according to the Rangers Act of 1959.[9]

In spite of its role as paramilitary, the Rangers have been recognized by Government of Pakistan as one of its special forces.


Although the Pakistan Rangers are under the administration of the Interior ministry, key positions in the force, including Director-General of the Rangers, are headed by the members Pakistan Army. The Director General of the Pakistan Rangers is appointed by Pakistan Army's Generals Headquarters (GHQ). The majority of the officers are departmental officers who get promotion from the rank of Sub Inspector.

The rank structure of OR's, NCO's, JCO'S of the force is:-

OR equal to Soldier

Naik equal to Naik

Havaldar equal to Havaldar

Inspectors who get promoted from OR's Ranks are equal to Army JCO's:-

Sub Inspector, Inspector and Senior Ranger Inspector(SRI) Ranks are Equal to Naib Subedar, Subedar, Subedar Major.

Officer Ranks Structure:-

Direct Entry Sub Inspector and Inspector act as Army Second Lieutenant, and Lieutenant

Sub Inspector equal to Second Lieutenant

Inspector equal to Lieutenant

DSR (Deputy Superintendent of Rangers) equal to Army Captain

SR (Superintendent of Rangers) equal to Army Major

SSR (Senior Superintendent of Rangers) equal to Lieutenant Colonel

The ranks insignia are same as Pakistan Army except Sub Inspector and Inspector and then other Senior Ranks officers comes from Pakistan Army.

Each Company is commanded by a DSR (Deputy Superintendent Rangers). The Rangers also maintain a commando unit known as the "red commandos."

Flag lowering ceremony[edit]

Pakistan Rangers at Ramgarh sector.

Wagah, the only road border crossing between Pakistan and India, has been the site of a flag lowering ceremony each evening. During the ceremony, Pakistani Rangers and their counterparts in the Indian Border Security Force carry out a drill in which they mirror each other's drill with foot stamping and aggressive stares. Despite the outward display of aggression, the drill of both sides actually requires a high degree of co-operation.

This drill is having a unique importance that it is the only drill of such a style in the whole world and many tourists attend this to feel that enthusiasim which is unique in its own nature.

Standard equipment[edit]

  • Automatic Rifles - 7.62 mm G3A3, 7.62 mm G3P4 Steyr AUGs and AK-47s
  • Machine Guns - 7.62 mm MG3
  • Sub-Machine Guns - 9 mm MP5A2 & MP5P4, 9 mm SMG-PK.
  • Pistols - Glock series, Sigma series TT pistol
  • Dragunov sniper rifle,PSG 1 (POF made)
  • RPG-7,Carl Gustav recoilless rifle,RPG-29
  • heavy machine gun - 12.7mm DShk
  • Bullet Proof Jackets - Various local and foreign types
  • Helmets - Modular Integrated Communications Helmet and indigenous helmets produced by AWC, Pakistan.
  • Bell 407 Jet ranger
  • APC - Talha, Saad, mohafiz
  • NVG goggles
  • Unknown Mortars

The formal headwear of the Rangers are somewhat similar to the ones worn by the Frontier Corps.

Notable officers[edit]

  • Afridi Brothers - DSR Ibrahim Khan Afridi and DSR Saleem Khan Afridi, two real brothers serving in Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) "embraced Shahadat", murdering 22 of their colleagues in the process on 9 February 2010 in a Suicide Bomb blast in Peshawar.[10][11][12][13]
  • Sub-Inspector Amarjeet Singh- The first Sikh Pakistani Officer of the Pakistan Rangers (Punjab).[14]

In the past there was direct entry through which the cadets were selected for the rank of sub inspector but recently this procedure is closed. The senior most entry is the 3rd and 4th entry and many of them are now serving at the rank of SR or SSR.

Role in peace maintenance in Karachi[edit]

A DBDU wearing Pakistani Ranger (Sindh) on duty.

While kidnapping for ransom, extortion, threats to business community was common in Karachi and industrialists were shifting their investment in Bangladesh and other countries, Chief Of Army Staff, Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani took the notice of dire situation and on request of government and business community, the Rangers were deployed with special powers.[15] The Rangers played a crucial role in maintaining peace and curbed law offenders without any discrimination and consideration of political affiliation. Business community in particular and masses in general took sight of relief and lauded the role of rangers in Sindh. Director General Rangers Sindh Lt.General Ejaz Chaudry visited Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 17 November 2011, on this occasion business community unanimously acclaimed the rangers role in maintaining peace in the city and demanded extension in its stay with special orders for another one year.[16]

Foreign peacekeeping missions for the UN[edit]

The Pakistan Rangers have also been involved in international peacekeeping operations for the United Nations (UN) in a number of countries such as Kosovo, Haiti and others.[17][18]

Notable operations and controversial incidents[edit]

  • More recently in 2011 the Punjab Rangers participated in the Lal Masjid Operation or Operation Silence.
  • Also in 2011 the Sindh Rangers were involved in a controversial shooting of an unarmed civilian which was caught on camera, broadcast by news networks throughout the country and sparked public outcry. All Rangers involved were prosecuted and the one who directly fired the shots was sentenced to death.[19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pakistan Intelligence, security Activities and Operations Handbook, Int'l Business Publications, 2011 Edition, pp. 131, ISBN 0-7397-1194-6
  2. ^ Pakistan Army. "Pakistan Army Rangers (Punjab)". Pakistan Army Press Publications. ISPR. 
  3. ^ Pakistan Rangers (Sindh). "United Nations Peace Mission". Pakistan Army. Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). 
  4. ^ Lal Masjid. "102 killed in Lal Masjid operation, Sherpao". Geo Tv. 
  5. ^ "How Pakistan academy attack started". BBC News. 2009-03-30. 
  6. ^ Bill RoggioApril 24, 2009 (2009-04-24). "Rangers deployed to secure Islamabad outskirts". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  7. ^ "Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) : Official Web Portal". Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Dawn news 19 March 2015
  9. ^ "Pakistan Jobs - Pakistan New Job Vacancies.". Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Salman Masood, "Suicide Attack Kills 17, Mostly Police, in Pakistan", The New York Times, 11 February 2010, page A8.
  11. ^ Khyber Agency suicide bombing toll climbs to 19, The News International, 2010-02-12
  12. ^ Suicide attack on police patrol kills 17 in Pakistan, The Dallas Morning News, 2010-02-11
  13. ^ Ibrahim Shinwari. six-tribal-policemen-in-khyber-ha-01 "Brigadier among 22 killed in Khyber attack " Dawn, 11 February 2010
  14. ^ "First Sikh youth completes training as Pakistan Rangers officer. - Free Online Library". 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  15. ^ "Dunya News: Pakistan:- Rangers get special powers in Karachi ...". Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  16. ^ "Nisar lauds Sindh Rangers’ role in Karachi operation". The Nation. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Welcome to Pakistan Rangers (Punjab)". Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "Pakistan Rangers on UN peacekeeping mission". The News International, Pakistan. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  19. ^ Nelson, Dean (2011-06-10). "Pakistani soldiers arrested after TV footage shows them shooting unarmed man". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  20. ^ AFP. "One Rangers personnel sentenced to death for Sarfaraz killing". Retrieved 2 February 2015. 

External links[edit]