Pakistan Ministry of Defence
|Formed||August 14, 1947|
|Headquarters||Calcutta House, Rawalpindi, Punjab Province|
617,000 (active duty military)
|Annual budget||PKR Rs. 860 billion (2016–17)|
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) (Urdu: وزارت دفاع) in Pakistan is a Cabinet-level federal ministry. The MoD plays a major supporting role to the Pakistan Armed Forces in drawing up and administering the defence budget, as well as managing personnel matters (including pay and benefits), the defence estate and legal issues. It is also tasked with coordinating with a range of domestic, foreign and inter-governmental bodies on a range of related matters.
Responsibilities for the procurement, production and disposal of equipment were transferred in 2004 to the newly created Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP).
A Military Department was created by the British East India Company (EIC) in Calcutta in 1776. Its main function was to co-ordinate and record orders, relating to the Army, issued by various Departments of the Government of the East India Company. The Military Department initially functioned as a branch of the Public Department and maintained a list of Army personnel.
Authority over military affairs was vested with two member of the Governor General's Council. One was the Military Member, who supervised all administrative and financial matters through the Army Department based at Government House; the other was the Commander-in-Chief who was responsible for all operational matters. With the abolishment of the EIC in 1858 the Governor-General was re-designated the Viceroy, overseen by the Secretary of State for India, a cabinet minister in London heading the India Office, who was in turn answerable to the British parliament in Westminster.
In 1912, the winter capital of the Government of India (including the Army Department) shifted from Calcutta to North Delhi, occupying temporary facilities in the Civil Lines area until the new Herbert Baker designed Secretariat Building was completed in 1927, part of the larger project to build New Delhi from scratch as a showcase for imperial grandeur. Simla remained the summer capital of the British Raj from 1863 until independence in 1947.
The Army Department was re-designated as the Defence Department in January 1938 in recognition of its broader responsibilities following the establishment and expansion of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
In 1941 Sir Malik Feroz Khan Noon, a senior member of the Indian Civil Service became the first native South Asian Member for Defence of the Viceroy's Council in response to nationalist demands for greater control over the military and over the war effort. He went on to serve as Chief Minister of Punjab and Prime Minister after Partition.
From September 1946 onwards the Viceroy governed through an all-South Asian Executive Council that served as the cabinet of the interim government; the defence portfolio was held by Baldev Singh, associated at the time with Master Tara Singh's Shiromani Akali Dal.
Following Independence and Partition Pakistan's Ministry of Defence was established in Karachi in August 1947, with Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan also holding the ministerial portfolio for defence while Iskander Mirza served as defence secretary. British flag officers remained commanders-in-chief of the army, navy and air force in Pakistan as well as India for several years following Independence.
The MoD is led by the Defence Minister (Def Min), an elected Member of the National Assembly belonging to the sitting government. The current Def Min is Khawaja Muhammad Asif, part of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). He is assisted by two junior ministers, the Minister of State for Defence, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence.
The Secretary of Defence is the senior-most administrative figure within the ministry, who in recent decades has typically been a retired Pakistan Army general officer. The assistant secretaries serving under him are serving flag-officers belonging to the respective services being administered.
The following is a simplified representation of the MoD's senior leadership:
- Minister of Defence
- Minister of State for Defence
- Parliamentary Secretary for Defence
- Secretary of Defence
- Assistant Secretary I (Army)
- Joint Secretary I (Army)
- Joint Secretary III (Coordination)
- Assistant Secretary II (Admin / PAF)
- Joint Secretary V (Budgets & Public Accounts Committee)
- Joint Secretary VII (Air Force)
- Assistant Secretary III (Navy)
- Joint Secretary II (Navy & Maritime)
- Joint Secretary IV (Inter-Services)
- Assistant Secretary I (Army)
It should be noted that by the now restored terms of Pakistan's 1973 constitution, the President is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, although the service chiefs are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee as the senior-most serving officer in the country in normal times provides definitive military advice to the Def Min, PM and President. However, in reality, the Chief of Army Staff retains the decisive voice.
It is questionable what if any operational authority the Def Min exercises over the Pakistan Armed Forces, although he or she is a standing member of the National Command Authority (NCA).
The MoD is located at "Calcutta House" in Rawalpindi. Other related top-level head offices based in Rawalpindi include the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP), Joint Staff HQ (JSHQ) and the Army's General Headquarters (GHQ). Air Headquarters (AHQ) and the Naval Headquarters (NHQ) are located in Islamabad.
Following independence in August 1947 the MoD was based in the newly established capital, Karachi. However, in December 1959 the Ministry of Defence shifted along with the rest of the Pakistani government to the temporary capital of Rawalpindi while plans for Islamabad were drawn up by then-General Ayub Khan's military government. The proximity to GHQ in Rawalpindi played a major role in the decision to relocate the capital.
In March 1972, President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in response to criticism over the difficulties in inter-service coordination in previous wars decreed that all service HQs were to move to Islamabad. The Navy was the first to comply, with NHQ moving from Karachi to Islamabad 1974, while Air HQ moved from Peshawar to an adjoining sector in Islamabad in 1983.
Following two failed assassination attempts in Rawalpindi, President Pervez Musharraf mooted plans in 2004 for GHQ, JSHQ, MoD and MoDP to finally follow suit with the construction in Islamabad of a massive new Pentagon-style integrated complex to house both ministries and the four service HQs, but this was subsequently cancelled in 2008 on cost grounds following Musharraf's forced resignation.
The following are the major organisations within the MoD:
- Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC)
- Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR)
- Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB)
- National Defence University (NDU)
- Strategic Plans Division (SPD)
- Military Engineering Services (MES)
- Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI)
- Pakistan Army
- Pakistan Air Force
- Pakistan Navy
- Pakistan Armed Services Board (PASB)
- Military Accounts Department
- Military Lands and Cantonments Department (MLCD)
- Survey of Pakistan
- Many of Pakistan's paramilitary organisations such as the Rangers, GB Scouts, Frontier Corps and Coast Guards although officered and operationally directed by the Pakistan Army are administered and paid for by the Ministry of the Interior.
- The Special Communications Organization (SCO) is administratively part of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication but is maintained by Pakistan Army Corps of Signals. It was established in July 1976 with the mission of providing telecommunication services for civil government and the general population in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.
- In 2013 the Airports Security Force (ASF), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) were transferred from the MoD to the newly formed Aviation Division of the Cabinet Secretariat. Overseen by a senior civil servant it is ultimately answerable to the Prime Minister.
- The MoD's Defence Production Division was established in 1972 by President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto which absorbed existing facilities such as Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) as well as overseeing the establishment of enterprises such as Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). In 2004 under President Pervez Musharraf the division was upgraded to a separate Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP).
- Following the establishment of the National Command Authority (NCA) in February 2000 the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) oversees the security of enterprises involved in research, development and production related to Pakistan's nuclear deterrent including the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), the Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) and the MoDP.
- Ministry of the Interior
- Ministry of Defence Production
- Ministry of Science & Technology
- Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication
- Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission
- National Command Authority