Frontier Corps

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Frontier Corps
سرحد واہنی
Frontier Corps logo.jpg
Country Pakistan
Allegiance Pakistan
Branch Pakistan Army
RoleLaw enforcement and border control
Size110,000 active personnel[1]
Part ofMinistry of Defense
Garrison/HQPeshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Quetta, Balochistan
Website (KPK South) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (Balochistan)
Inspector General, KPK (South)Major-General Azhar Iqbal Abbasi
Inspector General, Bln NorthMajor-General Sayed Fayyaz Hussain Shah
Inspector General, Bln SouthMajor-General Sarfraz Ali

The Frontier Corps (Urdu: سرحد واہنی‎) (reporting name: FC), is a Paramilitary force of Pakistan that is currently stationed in the Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to maintain law and order while overseeing the border control of the country's frontiers with the Afghanistan and Iran. It is an umbrella term for the two western provincial auxiliary forces part of the paramilitary forces of Pakistan along the western provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and are the direct counterparts to the Rangers of the eastern provinces (Sindh and Punjab). The Frontier Corps comprises two separate organizations: FC NWFP stationed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), and includes the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and FC Balochistan stationed in Balochistan province. Each subdivision is headed by a seconded inspector general, who is a Pakistan Army officer of at least major-general rank, although the force itself is under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry.[2]

With a total manpower of approximately 80,000,[3] the task of the Frontier Corps is to help local law enforcement in the maintenance of law and order, and to carry out border patrol and anti-smuggling operations.[4]

Some of the FC's constituent units such as the Chitral Scouts, the Khyber Rifles, Swat Levies, the Kurram Militia, the Tochi Scouts, the South Waziristan Scouts, and the Zhob Militia have regimental histories dating back to British colonial times and many, e.g. the Khyber Rifles, have distinguished combat records before and after 1947. The Khyber Rifles was in fact regularized during the 1965 war and fought with distinction in Kashmir.


A member of the Khyber Rifles circa 1948.

The Frontier Corps was created in 1907 by Lord Curzon, the viceroy of British India, in order to organize seven militia and scout units in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan: the Khyber Rifles, the Zhob Militia, the Kurram Militia, the Tochi Scouts, the Chagai Militia, the South Waziristan Scouts and the Chitral Scouts.[2]

The Frontier Corps was led by an "inspecting officer" who was a British officer of the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1943 the inspecting officer was upgraded to an Inspector General (an officer with the rank of brigadier), and the corps was expanded with new units (the Second Mahsud Scouts were raised in 1944 and the Pishin Scouts in 1946).[2]

After independence in 1947, Pakistan expanded the corps further by creating a number of new units, including the Thal Scouts, the Northern Scouts, the Bajaur Scouts, the Karakoram Scouts, the Kalat Scouts, the Dir Scouts and the Kohistan Scouts. British officers continued to serve in the Frontier Corps up to the early 1950s. The corps was split into two major subdivisions with FC Balochistan incorporating the Zhob Militia, the Sibi Scouts, the Kalat Scouts, the Makran Militia, the Kharan Rifles, the Pishin Scouts, the Chaghai Militia and the First Mahsud Scouts.[2] In 1975 three of the units: the Gilgit Scouts, the Karakoram Scouts and the Northern Scouts; were merged to form a new paramilitary force called the Northern Light Infantry, which is now a full infantry regiment of the Pakistan Army.[5]

In the mid-1970s, the Pakistani government used FC Balochistan to counter the terrorists in Balochistan and the force is unpopular among some of the local population who associate them with human rights violations and heavy-handed operations. To improve the image of the corps, it has been involved in the construction of schools and hospitals, although as of late 2004, corps installations in the province were being routinely attacked by terrorists.[2]

In the late 1990s, the Frontier Corps played an important role in eliminating opium poppy cultivation from Dir District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[2]

In 2007, after the collapse of truce agreements between the Pakistani government and local militants, the Frontier Corps, teamed with regular Pakistani military units, conducted incursions into tribal areas controlled by the militants. The effort produced a series of bloody and clumsy confrontations.[6] On August 30, about 250 Pakistani troops, mostly from the Frontier Corps, surrendered to militants without a fight. In early November, most were released in exchange for 25 militants held by the Pakistan Army.[6]

There is a widespread consensus among United States government military and intelligence experts that the Frontier Corps are the best potential military units against the Islamist militants because its troops are locally recruited, know local languages and understand local cultures. The United States provided more than US$7 billion in military aid to Pakistan from 2002 to 2007, most of which was used to equip the Frontier Corps because it is in the frontline of the fight against the Islamist insurgents. From late 2007, the Pakistani government intended to expand the corps to 100,000 and use it more in fighting Islamist militants, particularly Al-Qaeda, after extensive consultations with the U.S. government and an agreement to start a multi-year effort to bolster it including the establishment of a counterinsurgency training centre.[6] The new US Obama policy for Pakistan is seen as a clear victory for the Pakistan Army lobby in the US. The $1.5billion a year aid recently announced with no strings attached will go a long way in seeing that the Frontier Corps stay at the height of their professional abilities due to new equipment and training.

The Corps has also fired occasionally on the U.S.-assisted Afghan Army."[7]


  • Perform Border Security duties.
  • Assist Army/FCNA in the defense of the Country as and when required.
  • Protect important Communication Centers and Routes.
  • Undertake Counter Militancy/Criminal/Terrorism Operations on orders.
  • Assist Law Enforcement Agencies in maintenance of Law and Order.
  • Safeguard important sites and assets

During times of difficulties, the government occasionally gives the FC the power to arrest and detain suspects such as in late 2012[8] and early 2013 when the Prime Minister of Pakistan granted the FC policing powers.[9] These temporary powers can also be extended on the orders or consent of the provincial government or federal government or both.[10]


US DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy with senior Frontier Corps Balochistan officials and Pakistani Government officials right in front of the Afghan-Pakistani border.

The senior command posts of the Frontier Corps are filled by officers seconded from the Pakistan Army for two to three years.[2]

The Scouts Training Academy, Mirali in North Waziristan is the primary training institution.

The Frontier Corps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is headquartered in Bala Hisar Fort in Peshawar.

The Frontier Corps in Balochistan is headquartered in Quetta and is led by Major General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum. FC Balochistan has a manpower of more than 50,000 troops. The School of Frontier Corps and Training Centre Loralai is the primary training institution, whereas Battle School Belali is for advanced courses.[2]

The corps is divided into thirty four local units—fifteen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and nineteen in Balochistan-and are as follows (with founding date):

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  1. Chitral Scouts (1903)
  2. Khyber Rifles (1878)
  3. Kurram Militia (1892)
  4. South Waziristan Scouts (1900)
  5. Tochi Scouts (1894)
  6. Mahsud Scouts (1944)
  7. Mohmand Rifles
  8. Shawal Rifles
  9. Swat Scouts
  10. Orakzai Scouts
  11. Khattak Scouts
  12. Dir Scouts (1970)
  13. Bajur Scouts (1961)
  14. Thal Scouts (1948)
  15. Bhittani Rifles (2015)
Frontier Corps Balochistan
  1. Zhob Militia (1883)
  2. Noshki Militia (1896)
  3. Sibi Scouts (1971)
  4. Mekran/Makran Scouts(1974)
  5. Taftan Rifles (1977)
  6. Chaman Scouts (1946)
  7. Dalbandin Rifles (2007–08)
  8. Maiwind Rifles (1974)
  9. Ghazaband Scouts (1977)
  10. Bambore Rifles (1977)
  11. Loralai Scouts (1977)
  12. Qilla Abdullah Scouts (2005)
  13. Awaran Militia (2007)
  14. Panjgur Rifles (2005)
  15. Kalat scouts (1965)
  16. Sui Rifles (2011)
  17. Chiltan Rifles (2016)
  18. Kharan Rifles (1965)
  19. Dasht scouts (2018)

Other units also located in Balochistan:

  1. School of FC and Training Centre, Loralai (FCTC)
  2. IAC SQN
  3. Frontier Corps Battle School.
  4. SOW (Special Operation Wing - Janinda).


There were a total 80,000 active personnel as of 2008 and additional wings have been raised to meet the security challenges.[11] Frontier Corps units are locally recruited and are officered by Pakistani Army officers.


Frontier Corps checking their new communications equipment donated by the US.

The equipment of the Frontier Corps includes G3, Type 56 & QBZ-95 assault rifles, RPG 7 rocket-launcher, MG3 general-purpose machine gun, various handguns, short range artillery and mortars as well as aviation support, Medium Tanks, APCs and AFVs.

Inspectors general[edit]

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa[edit]

Frontier Corps headquarters in Bala Hisar Fort, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
A contingent from Frontier Corps, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa marching in black security forces uniform.

After independence in 1947, the Inspectors-General of FC NWFP were:

  1. Brig Ahmad Jan, MBE (1950–51)
  2. Brig K A Rahim Khan (1951–53)
  3. Brig Bakhtiar Rana, MC (1953–55)
  4. Brig Sadiq Ullah Khan, M.C (1955–58)
  5. Brig Rakhman Gul, SQA, S, K, MC (1958–63)
  6. Brig Sadiq Ullah Khan, MC (1963–64)
  7. Brig Bahadur Sher, MC (1964–66)
  8. Brig Mahboob Khan, TQA (1966–69)
  9. Brig Mahmud Jan, SQA (1969–71)
  10. Maj-Gen Shireen Dil Khan Niazi (1971–72)
  11. Brig Iftikhar e Bashir (1972)
  12. Maj-Gen Naseerullah Babar, SJ & Bar (1972–74)
  13. Maj-Gen Ghulam Rabbani Khan, SBt (1974–78)
  14. Maj-Gen Agha Zulfiqar Ali Khan (1978–81)
  15. Maj-Gen Mian Muhammad Afzal (1982–84)
  16. Maj-Gen Arif Bangash, SBt (1984–86)
  17. Maj-Gen Mohammad Shafiq, SBt (1986–88)
  18. Maj-Gen Ghazi ud Din Rana, SBt (1988–90)
  19. Maj-Gen Humayun Khan Bangash, TBt (1990–91)
  20. Maj-Gen Muhammad Naeem Akbar Khan (1991–92)
  21. Maj-Gen Mumtaz Gul, TBt (1992–94)
  22. Maj-Gen Fazal Ghafoor, SBt (1994–97)
  23. Maj-Gen Sultan Habib (1997–2000)
  24. Maj-Gen Tajul Haq (2000–03)
  25. Maj-Gen Hamid Khan (2003–04)
  26. Maj-Gen Tariq Masood (2004–06)
  27. Maj-Gen Alam Khattak (2006–08)
  28. Maj-Gen Tariq Khan (2008–10)
  29. Maj-Gen Nadir Zeb (2010–2012)
  30. Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood, TBt (2012–2014)[12]
  31. Maj-Gen Tayyab Azam (2014-2016)
  32. Maj-Gen Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood(2016-2017)

In 2017 The FC KP was split into:- FC KP (North) and FC KP (South)

IGFC KP (North)

  1. Maj-Gen Naseem Ashraf (2017-2018)
  2. Maj-Gen Rahat Naseem Ahmed Khan (2018 till to date)

IGFC KP (South)

  1. Maj-Gen Azhar Iqbal Abbasi


  1. Maj. Gen. Rehmat Ali Shah (Mar. 1974 to Dec. 1976)
  2. Brig. Shakur Jan, SJ (Fen 1977 to Jul 1978)
  3. Maj. Gen. Alam Jan Mehsud (Jul 1978 to Jun 1980)
  4. Maj. Gen. Khurshid Ali (Jun 1980 to Feb 1984)
  5. Maj. Gen. M. Akram (Feb 1984 to Nov 1985)
  6. Maj. Gen. Shafiq Ahmed, SJ (Nov 1985 to Apr 1985)
  7. Maj. Gen. Sardar M. Khalid (May 1985 to Oct 1990)
  8. Maj.Gen. Chaudhry M. Nawaz (Nov 1990 to Oct 1991)
  9. Maj.Gen. Syed Zafar Mehdi (Oct 1991 to Nov 1993)
  10. Maj.Gen. M. Zia-ul-Haq (Nov 1993 to Oct 1997)
  11. Maj.Gen. Rafiullah Khan Niazi (Oct 1997 to Oct 1999)
  12. Maj.Gen. M. Ziaullah Khan (Nov 1999 to Oct 2001)
  13. Maj.Gen. Syed Sadaqat Ali Shah (Oct 2001 to Oct 2004)
  14. Maj.Gen. Shujaat Zamir Dar (Oct 2004 to Feb 2007)
  15. Maj.Gen. Salim Nawaz (Mar 2007 to Oct 2010)
  16. Maj.Gen. Ubaid Ullah Khan Khattak (Oct 2010 to Aug 2013)
  17. Maj.Gen. Ejaz Shahid (Aug 2013 to Feb 2015)
  18. Maj.Gen. Sher Afghun (Feb 2015 to Dec 2016)
  19. Maj.Gen. Nadeem Ahmed Anjum (Dec 2016- Dec 2018)
  20. Maj.Gen. Fayyaz Hussain Shah (Dec 2018-to date)

Notable Deputy Inspector generals[edit]

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa[edit]

1. Brigadier Tila Mohammad (2007 to 2008)

2. Brigadier Nadir Zeb (2008 to 2010)

3. Brigadier Muhammad Usman Khan SI.M (2010 to 2013)

4. Brigadier Khalid Javed (2013-2015)


1. Brigadier Altaf Ayub Khan (1991 to 1993)

2. Brigadier Furqan (2006 to 2008)

3. Brigadier Sikandar Khan (2008 to 2009)

4. Brigadier Khalid Saleem (2013-2014)

5. Brigadier Tahir Mehmood (2014-2015)

Frontier Corps schools and colleges[edit]

According to former Inspector General FC Major-General Obaidullah Khan Khattak while addressing to students, parents and journalists in a FC sponsored school ceremony in 2012 that more than 22,000 students are getting education in various FC organised Schools and a College in Balochistan. Most of the FC educational institutes are affiliated with Federal board rather than provincial boards in Balochistan. Currently FC funding/governing three schools and a college in Balochistan.

  1. Major Pervaiz shaheed FC School & College, Beleli, Quetta. (Ghazaband scouts)
  2. Lieutenant Safiullah Shaheed FC school, Noshki. (Chaghi Militia)
  3. FC school, Chaman. (Pishin scouts)
  4. FC school, Loralai.

Notable operations, incidents and controversies[edit]


Standard equipment[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Military Balance 2017. 2017-02-14. ISBN 9781857439007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Hassan Abbas (2007-03-30). "Transforming Pakistan's Frontier Corps". Terrorism Monitor. Washington: Jamestown Foundation. 5 (6). Archived from the original on 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  3. ^ "Journey from Scratch to Nuclear Power". Pakistan Army. Archived from the original on 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  4. ^ "Miller, Greg, "U.S. military aid to Pakistan misses its Al Qaeda target"". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ "Northern Light Infantry Regiment". Pakistan Army. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  6. ^ a b c [1] Miller, Greg, "U.S. military aid to Pakistan misses its Al Qaeda target", Los Angeles Times, November 5, 2007, accessed November 7, 2007
  7. ^ [2] Stockman, Farah, "Pakistan aid plan facing resistance / $300m requested for paramilitaries", Boston Globe, July 22, 2007, accessed November 7, 2007
  8. ^ "Balochistan unrest: FC police powers mandate gets one-month extension". The Express Tribune. 3 November 2012.
  9. ^ "No Governor rule, army control: PM gives FC police powers in Quetta". The Express Tribune. 12 January 2013.
  10. ^ The Newspaper's Staff Correspondent. "Police powers for FC extended".
  11. ^ (Iiss), The International Institute of Strategic Studies (2017-02-14). The Military Balance 2017. Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Incorporated. ISBN 9781857439007.
  12. ^ "Major reshuffle in the army". The News.
  13. ^ "UNPO: Balochistan: Frontier Corps Burned Civilian Homes and Abducted Youth".

External links[edit]