Structure of the Pakistan Army

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The Structure of the Pakistan Army can be broken down two ways, administrative, and operational. Operationally the Pakistan Army is divided in 11 Corps having areas of responsibility (AOR) from mountainous regions of northern Pakistan to the desert and coastal regions of the south. Administratively it is divided in different regiments (details below). The General Headquarters (GHQ) of Pakistan Army is located in the garrison city of Rawalpindi in Punjab province. It is planned to be moved to the capital city of Islamabad.

Army headquarters and staff[edit]

From left, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen and Rear Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, commander of Carrier Strike Group 9, speak with Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and Pakistani Maj. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, director general of military operations, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) while under way in the North Arabian Sea Aug. 27, 2008.

The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), formerly called the Commander in Chief (C in C), is challenged with the responsibility of commanding the Pakistani Army. The COAS operates from army headquarters in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. The Principal Staff Officers (PSO's) assisting him in his duties at the Lieutenant General level include:

Post Name
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), GHQ. General Qamar Javed Bajwa
Chief of General Staff (CGS) Lt Gen Bilal Akbar
Chief of Logistics Staff (CLS) Lt Gen Qazi Muhammad Ikram Ahmad
Inspector General Arms (IG Arms) Lt Gen Sadiq Ali
Adjutant General (AG) Lt Gen Anwar Ali Hyder
Quarter-Master General (QMG)/Engineer-in-Chief (E-in-C) Lt Gen Javed Mahmood Bukhari
Inspector General Training and Evaluation (IG T&E) Lt Gen Hidayat ur Rehman
Military Secretary (MS) Lt Gen Ghayur Mahmood
Inspector General Communications and IT (IG C&IT) Lt Gen Hamayun Aziz

The Military Operations and Intelligence Directorates function under the Chief of General Staff (CGS). A major reorganization in GHQ was done in September 2008 under General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, when two new PSO positions were introduced: the Inspector General Arms and the Inspector General Communications and IT, thus raising the number of PSO's to eight.[1]

The headquarters function also includes the Judge Advocate General (JAG), and the Comptroller of Civilian Personnel, the Chief of the Corps of Engineers (E-in-C) who is also head of Military Engineering Service (MES), all of them also report to the Chief of the Army Staff.

Operational structure[edit]


  • Corps: A Corps in the Pakistani Army usually consists of two or more Divisions and is commanded by a Lieutenant General (equivalent to Federal Secretary). Currently the Pakistani Army has 11 Corps. The eleventh one is the recently raised Army Strategic Force Command (ASFC), responsible for bearing the national strategic and nuclear assets. Initially a Division, but then raised to the status of a Corps.
  • Division: Each division is commanded by a Major General (equivalent to BPS-21 grade), and usually holds three Brigades including infantry, artillery, engineers and communications units in addition to logistics (supply and service) support to sustain independent action. Except for the Divisions operating in the mountains, all the Divisions have at least one armoured unit, some have even more depending upon their functionality. The most major of all ground force combat formations is the infantry division. Such a division would primarily hold three infantry brigades. There are 19 Infantry Divisions, 1 Special Operations Elite Combat Para Infantry Division (initially a brigade sized group but recently (January 2003) raised to a Division size group), two Mechanized Infantry divisions, two Armoured Divisions, 1 Engineers Division, 2 Artillery Divisions (which are widely believed to be in possession of Ballistics Nuclear Missiles - Therefore these Artillery Divisions are equivalent of Modern Ballistics Missile Artillery Division instead of traditional Artillery role usually associated with them) in the Pakistani Army.
  • Brigade: A Brigade is under the command of a Brigadier (equivalent to BPS-20 grade) and comprises three or more Battalions of different units depending on its functionality. An independent brigade would be one that primarily consists of an artillery unit, an infantry unit, an armour unit and logistics to support its actions. Such a brigade is not part of any division and is under direct command of a corps.
  • Battalion: Each battalion is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and has roughly 600 to 900 soldiers under his command. This number varies depending on the functionality of the battalion. A battalion comprises either three batteries (in case of artillery and air defence regiments - generally named Papa, Quebec, Romeo, and Headquarters Battery) or four companies (in case of infantry regiments - generally named Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta - and other arms excluding armored units that are organized into squadrons) each under the command of a major and consisting of individual subunits called sections (which are further divisible into platoons and squads).[2]


There are 11 Corps located at various garrisons all over Pakistan.

Corps HQ Location Current Commander Major Corps Formations Notes
I Corps Mangla, Punjab Lt. Gen. Azhar Saleh Abbasi 6th Armoured Division (Gujranwala), 17th Infantry Division (Kharian), 37th Infantry Division (Kharian) Formed 1958 in Abbottabad, now is in Mangla; Fought in the 1965 and 1971 wars, as well as sent replacements to Kashmir for LOC.
II Corps Multan, Punjab Lt. Gen. Abdullah Dogar[3] 1st Armoured Division (Pakistan) (Multan), 14th Infantry Division (Okara), 40th Infantry Division (Okara) Formed 1971
IV Corps Lahore, Punjab Lt. Gen.Aamer Riaz[4] 2nd Artillery Division (Pakistan) (Gujranwala), 10th Infantry Division (Lahore), 11th Infantry Division (Lahore) Formed 1966
V Corps Karachi, Sindh Lt. Gen. Shahid Baig Mirza 16th Infantry Division (Pano Aqil), 18th Infantry Division (Hyderabad), 25th Mechanized Division (Malir) Formed 1975. 16, 18 IDs are all mechanized. Has a lot of independent Brigades as well, since it has all of Sindh to cover.
X Corps Rawalpindi, Punjab Lt. Gen. Nadeem Raza Force Command Northern Areas(Gilgit), 12th Infantry Division (Murree), 19th Infantry Division (Mangla), 23rd Infantry Division (Jhelum), Special Security Division( Chilas) Raised in 1975 by Lt. Gen. Aftab Ahmad Khan
XI Corps Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Lt. Gen. Nazir Ahmed Butt 7th Infantry Division (Peshawar), 9th Infantry Division (Kohat) Formed 1975. Presently engaged in fighting in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
XII Corps Quetta, Lt. Gen.Asim Saleem Bajwa, HI(M), T Bt, Punjab[4] Balochistan 33rd Infantry Division (Quetta), 41st Infantry Division (Quetta) Formed 1985.
XXX Corps Gujranwala, Punjab Lt. Gen. Aamir Abbasi[citation needed] 8th Infantry Division (Pakistan) (Sialkot), 15th Infantry Division (Pakistan) (Sialkot) Formed 1987. Each division has 4 brigades and an armoured division is in the process of raising.
XXXI Corps Bahawalpur, Punjab Lt. Gen. Lt Gen Sher Afgun 26th Mechanized Division (Bahawalpur), 35th Infantry Division (Bahawalpur) Formed 1988.
Army Air Defence Command Rawalpindi, Punjab Lt. Gen.Hamood Uz Zaman Khan|[citation needed] 3rd Air Defence Division (Sargodha), 4th Air Defence Division (Malir) Formed 1990.
Army Strategic Forces Command Rawalpindi, Punjab Lt. Gen. Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain, HI(M), Arty[citation needed] 21st Artillery Division (Pano Aqil), 22nd Artillery Division (Sargodha) Formed 2000.

Air Defence Divisions[edit]

Division HQ Location Brigades Notes
4 AD Division HQ Malir AD Brigade, Malir; AD Brigade, Quetta Part of Army Air Defence Command
3 AD Division HQ Sargodha 3 AD Brigade, Sargodha; 4 AD Brigade, Lahore Part of Army Air Defence Command

Artillery Divisions (Modern Ballistics Missile Artillery Division)[edit]

Division HQ Location Brigades Notes
21 Artillery Division HQ Pano Aqil Classified under Army Strategic Forces Command (Pakistan)
22 Artillery Division HQ Sargodha Classified under Army Strategic Forces Command (Pakistan)

Independent brigades[edit]

There are seven Independent Mechanized Infantry Brigades, eight Independent Armoured brigades, 4 Artillery Brigades, and nine Engineer brigades. These include 105 Independent Brigade Group in XXXI Corps, 111 Independent Infantry Brigade at Rawalpindi with X Corps, 212 Infantry Brigade at Lahore with IV Corps and 105 Independent Infantry Brigade under V Corps. Nine independent signal brigade groups are also present (one in each corps).

Former formations[edit]

Eastern Command was a Corps level formation in the former East Pakistan consisting of 14th, 9th and 16th Infantry Divisions. All three were re-raised after the war and exist today.

36 ID and 39 ID were raised to command the Paramilitary troops and a few loyal battalions. Were later reinforced with a couple of other battalions each. They were not re-raised after the war.

Administrative structure[edit]

The Pakistani Army is divided into two main branches, which are Arms and Services.

Infantry, Armour, Artillery and Army Air Defence[edit]

The Army's infantry force includes two Special forces Brigades with 5 Battalions, The Pakistan Armoured Corps includes eight Armoured Reconnaissance regiments, while the Air Defence also includes three Strategic Defence and 12 Self Propelled (SP) Regiments

  • Armoured Corps:
    • President's Bodyguard
    • 4th Cavalry (Valiants)
    • 5th Horse (Probyn's Horse)
    • 6th Lancers (Fateh Khem Karan)
    • 7th Lancers
    • 8th Cavalry (Izz-Ul-Khail)
    • 9th Horse (The Arabian Horse)
    • Guides Cavalry (Frontier Force)
    • 11th Cavalry (Frontier Force)(PAVO)
    • 12th Cavalry (Frontier Force)(Sam Browne Cavalry)
    • 13th Lancers (Spearheads)
    • 14th Lancers
    • 15th Lancers (Baloch Horse)
    • 16th Horse (al Mugheerat)
    • 17th Lancers
    • 18th Horse
    • 19th Lancers
    • 20th Lancers (Haideri)
    • 21st Horse (Murtajiz)
    • 22nd Cavalry (Death or Glory)
    • 23rd Cavalry (Frontier Force)
    • 24th Cavalry (Frontier Force)(Chargers)
    • 25th Cavalry (Frontier Force)(Men of Steel)
    • 26th Cavalry (Mustangs)
    • 27th Cavalry (Steeds of war)(Ribat-ul-Khail)
    • 28th Cavalry (Chhamb Hunters)
    • 29th Cavalry (Tigers)
    • 30th Cavalry (Bold Till Death)
    • 31st Cavalry (Sprocketeers)
    • 32nd Cavalry
    • 33rd Cavalry (Fortunes with the Bold)
    • 34th Lancers (Dragoons)
    • 35th Cavalry (AL-MUBARIZUN)(Raised 1 November 2014.)
    • 36th Cavalry
    • 37th Cavalry (Ribat-us-Sehra)
    • 38th Cavalry (Desert Hawks)
    • 39th Cavalry (the Vanguards)
    • 40th Horse (Scinde Horse)
    • 41st Horse (Frontier Force)
    • 42nd Lancers (Punjab Lancers)
    • 43rd Cavalry (al-Zarib)
    • 44th Cavalry (Pioneers)
    • 51st Lancers (Silver Eagles)
    • 52nd Cavalry (Howal mastan)
    • 53rd Cavalry (Golden Eagles)
    • 54th Cavalry (Hizbullah)
    • 55th Cavalry
    • 56th Cavalry (Raad-ul-Harb)
    • 57th Lancers
    • 58th Cavalry
  • Army Air Defence:
    • 5 Lt AD (Fakhar e Quaid)
    • 6 Lt AD (Glorious)
    • 13 Lt AD
    • 19 SP AD
    • 20 Medium AD (Sky Saviors)
    • 36 Lt AD
    • 43 Lt AD (Teer-Ba-Hadaf)
    • 44 SP AD
    • 52 Medium AD
    • 58 Medium AD
    • 67 SP AD
    • 75 Lt AD (Katiba Mujahid)
    • 88 Lt AD (Mardan-e-Haq)
    • 90 Lt AD
    • 100 Lt AD (Centurians)
    • 102 Lt AD
    • 103 Lt AD
    • 104 Lt AD (Fakhar e Chaman)
    • 127 medium AD
    • 133 RCG AD
    • 134 RCG AD
    • 135 Missile AD
    • 136 RCG AD
    • 97 RCG AD
    • 140 Lt AD
    • 141 Lt AD
    • 142 Missile AD
    • 143 Missile AD
    • 144 SP AD
    • 145 Lt AD
    • 146 SP AD (Bahimmat)
    • 147 Lt AD
    • 148 SP AD (AK)
    • 151 SP AD (The Pioneers)
    • 152 Lt AD
    • 153 SP AD (Ek Tarwanja)
    • 154 SP AD
    • 155 SP AD (Ek Pachwinja)
    • 157 Lt AD
    • 156 Lt AD
    • 158 Lt AD
    • 159 Lt AD
    • 161 Lt AD

*The President's Bodyguard formed at independence from members of the Governor General's Bodyguard, itself successor to the Governor's Troop of Moghals raised in 1773
*5th Horse is the successor to the 1st Sikh Irregular Cavalry (Wales's Horse), and the 2nd Sikh Irregular Cavalry, both raised in 1857
*6th Lancers is the successor to The Rohilkhand Horse raised in 1857, and the 4th Sikh Irregular Cavalry raised in 1858
*Guides Cavalry (Frontier Force) is the successor to the Corps of Guides raised in 1846
*11th Cavalry (Frontier Force) is the successor to 1st Regiment of Punjab Cavalry and 3rd Regiment of Punjab Cavalry, both raised in 1849
*13th Lancers is the successor to the 1st Native Troop raised in 1804, and the 2nd Native Troop raised in 1816. It is also the senior most armour regiment of the Indian Sub-Continent.
*19th Lancers is the successor to the 2nd Mahratta Horse (Tiwana Horse) raised in 1858, and Fane's Horse raised in 1860
*25th Cavalry (Frontier Force) is the famous unit which stopped Indian armour thrust in Chawinda in 1965
*29th Cavalry Regiment, nicknamed as 'Royal Bengal Tigers' was the armored regiment stationed in former East Pakistan. Entire regiment was lost in 1971 war and was raised later with nickname 'Tigers'. Currently the regiment forms part of 6th Armored Division and is stationed at Kharian.
*6 Light Air Defence (Glorious) is the famous unit which downed more than 36 IAF Fighter Jets during Battle of Dhaka in 1971, it was the 1st ever Anti Aircraft Regiment of the United India raised in 1912
*5 Light Air Defence (Fakhar e Quaid) was the first ever Army unit to be inspected by Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Founder of the Nation in 1948, this unit can be traced back to 125th Royal Heavy Anti Aircraft Artillery Raised at Woolwich England in 1918
*19 SP Air Defence was the 1st Self Propelled Air Defence Unit attached to Armored Formation
*153 SP Air Defence (Fakhar e Tabuk) raised in 1990 took active part in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 over Saudi Iraqi Border and Intercepted Number of Iraqi Scud Surface to Surface Missiles
*The Punjab Regiment formed in 1956 from the 1st, 14th, 15th and 16th Punjab Regiments; can be traced back to the 3rd Battalion of Coast Sepoys raised in 1759
*The Baloch Regiment formed in 1956 from the 8th Punjab Regiment, The Baloch Regiment, and The Bahawalpur Regiment; can be traced back to the 3rd Extra Madras Battalion raised in 1798
*The Frontier Force Regiment is the successor to the Frontier Brigade raised in 1846
*The Azad Kashmir Regiment was raised in 1947, became part of the army in 1971
*The Sindh Regiment was raised in 1980 from battalions of the Punjab Regiment and Baloch Regiment
*The Northern Light Infantry was formed in 1977 from various paramilitary units of scouts, became part of the army in 1999 after the Kargil War
*The Special Service Group was formed in 1959 around a cadre from the Baloch Regiment

Fighting Arms[edit]

Pakistan Army aviation squadron's Mil Mi-17 helicopter at the Skardu Airport.
Bell 206L
  • Infantry
  • Armoured Corps
  • Artillery
  • Army Air Defence
  • Corps of Engineers

Supporting Arms[edit]



  1. ^ Iftikhar A. Khan. "Kayani shakes up army command" Dawn, 30 September 2008
  2. ^ "Subdivisions of the army". Archived from the original on 2006-11-16. Retrieved 2007-01-21.
  3. ^ [1]Dawn 19th October , 2017
  4. ^ a b "Three top army officers including ex-DG ISPR Asim Bajwa reshuffled" Dawn, 28 September 2017