Foreign Service of Pakistan

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Foreign Service of Pakistan
Foreign Service of Pakistan
Service Overview
Establishment 1948
Country Pakistan
Training Ground Foreign Service Academy (FSA) Islamabad
Controlling Authority Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Pakistan)
Cadre Size Posts
Colour White and Green
Website Official Site

Foreign Service of Pakistan was formally created in October 1952, after having been an improvised organization since the creation of Pakistan.


After the initial training period, junior officers join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad and serve as Assistant Directors in the political, administrative or protocol wings. The hierarchy at the Ministry comprises five stages:

  1. Assistant Director
  2. Deputy Director
  3. Director
  4. Director General
  5. Additional Foreign Secretary
  6. Foreign Secretary

Junior officers begin their diplomatic careers abroad as either Third Secretary or Vice Consuls. The hierarchies in Pakistan Embassies/High Commissions/Permanent Missions/Consulates abroad comprise six stages:

 Foreign Appointments
  1. Third Secretary or Vice Consul
  2. Second Secretary,
  3. First Secretary or Consul
  4. Counsellor
  5. Minister or Consul General
  6. Ambassador/High Commissioner/Permanent Representative


Foreign Service of Pakistan was constituted on an ad hoc basis immediately on the birth of Pakistan. The Service was first given an executive fiat in a decision of the Federal Cabinet in July 1948. A formal resolution constituting the service was announced in October 1952. It envisaged diplomatic posts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Diplomatic and consular missions of Pakistan abroad. The resolution provided for the posts of (a) Secretary (1), (b) Joint Secretaries (2), (c) Deputy Secretaries (8), and (d) Under Secretaries (16) Posts for Pakistan Diplomatic Missions abroad provided for Ambassadors (17), High Commissioners (5), Ministers (4), Commissioners (1), Deputy High Commissioners (2), Counselors (15), First Secretaries (10), Second Secretaries (19), Third Secretaries (31), Consul General (3), Consul (4), and Vice Consul (7).

Between 1952 and 1960, the cadre strength was constantly kept under review and was enlarged by executive orders in view of the expanding requirements. However, shortage of personnel continued to plague the service. The total strength of the officers gradually increased both at the Headquarters and the Missions. In 1972 the total strength of the officers at the Headquarters and the Missions grew to 323. At present there are 403 officers both at the Headquarters and in our Missions.

The entry into the former Foreign Service of Pakistan through examination began in 1948. The Recruitment to the Officers cadre (Foreign Service of Pakistan) is through the competitive examination conducted annually by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC). It is among the top three group along with PAS and PSP. The Establishment Division in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces annually the number of vacancies of officers in the Foreign Affairs Group, which vary from year to year. Officers of the Foreign Service of Pakistan undergo common training at the Civil Services Academy, Lahore and later are given six months specialized training at the Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad. The officers also undergo language training which includes Arabic, French, German, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Javanese etc. The training facilities at the National Institute of Modern Languages are availed to train the officers. Fully funded Language scholarships offered by other countries are also availed. The Ministry thus has a rich reservoir of officers who are well versed in different languages.

The Administrative Reforms introduced in 1973 provided for a unified structure of service with distinct specialized groups.