Published on Feb 2, 2013
The Pakistan Army (Urdu: پاک فوج Pak Fauj (IPA: Pɑkʰ fɒ~ɔd͡ʒ); reporting name: PA) is the land-based uniform service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. The Pakistan Army is a volunteer professional fighting force. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) it has an active force of 725,000 personnel in April 2013. In addition there were around 500,000 reserves bringing the total to 1,225,000. The Constitution of Pakistan contains a provision for conscription, but it has never been imposed.
The primary mandate and mission of the army is to “dedicated to the service of the nation.” Since establishment in 1947, the army (along with its inter–services: Navy, Marines and PAF) has been involved in four wars with neighboring India and several border skirmishes with Afghanistan. Since 1947 it has maintained strong presence along with its inter-services in the Arab states during the past Arab-Israeli Wars, and aided the coalition in the first Gulf War. Recently, major joint-operations undertaken by the army include Operation Black Thunderstorm and Operation Rah-e-Nijat. Apart from conflicts, the army has been an active participant in UN missions and played a major role in rescuing trapped American soldiers from Mogadishu of Somalia in 1993 in Operation Gothic Serpent.
Under the Article 243, the Constitution of Pakistan appoints the President of Pakistan as the civilian Commander-in-Chief. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), by statute a four-star general, is appointed by the President with the consultation and confirmation needed from the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Chief of Army Staff (In article 6 of Warrant of Precedence of Pakistan) is subordinate to the civilian Defence Minister (In article 5 of Warrant of Precedence for Pakistan) and senior to Secretary of Defence (In article 16 of Warrant of Precedence for Pakistan, the Secretary of Defence is even junior to a Lieutenant General who is placed in article of Warrant of Precedence of Pakistan) commands the army. Although it is currently commanded by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the highest ranking army officer in the army is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne.