Top 5 Facts About Pakistan’s Military
The military of Pakistan has played a critical role since its inception in 1947. Amidst the 2018 General Elections, the Pakistani military is very much part of the debate due to its historical influence in shaping governance in Pakistan. Here are five top facts about the Pakistani military you need to know.
Fact 1: Pakistan has the 6th largest available manpower in the world
According to global fire power, the Pakistani military is one of the largest forces in the world, in terms of active personnel.
Fact 2: Pakistan is the third largest contributor to United Nations "peacekeeping missions."
Pakistan is the third largest contributor to United Nations’ peacekeeping missions the world over, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Senate.
Officials said that as many as 7,123 Pakistani peacekeepers – including 6,703 personnel of armed forces, 74 military experts, 66 staff officers and 280 police officials – were currently deployed for seven different UN peacekeeping missions in Congo, Darfur, Haiti, Liberia, West Sahara, Central African Republic and Sudan.
Fact 3: Pakistan will deploy the largest number of troops on polling day of the 2018 General Elections in its history
Over 370,000 troops have been deployed for Pakistan’s General Elections 2018. This is the largest military deployment on a polling day in the nation’s history. The army said it would deploy 371,388 troops at 85,000 polling stations.
The military said in a statement that the troops along with local security agencies will provide a “safe and secure environment” for voting amid concerns over terror attacks.
Fact 4: Pakistan's Military has ruled Pakistan for nearly half the country’s history
The military has ruled Pakistan, a nuclear-armed country, through various coups for nearly half the country’s history since it gained independence in 1947. Even during civilian rule, the country’s generals have wielded enormous power, setting the agenda for the country’s foreign and security policies.
Muhammed Ayub Khan rose to power in 1958. He suspended the constitution which had been adopted two years earlier and ensured that the new one gave him ample powers.
In 1977, Muhamed Zia-ul-Haq grabbed power in a coup. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the ousted prime minister, was sentenced to death and executed in 1979.
Pervez Musharraf toppled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999 just when Sharif had decided to fire him as top army leader after a failed military campaign in the Kargil region of Kashmir. Musharraf held onto power until 2008.
Fact 5: Pakistan was the first country in South Asia to test the “Ultimate Nuclear Missile”
Pakistan tested a ballistic missile with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV), the United States confirmed.
During testimony to Congress outlining worldwide threats on March 6, Robert Ashley, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), stated : “In January 2017, Pakistan conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-capable Ababeel ballistic missile, demonstrating South Asia’s first MIRV payload.”
It appeared to be the first time a U.S. official publicly confirmed that Islamabad tested a MIRVed missile; however, in a report last year on missile threats around the world, the Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee noted, “In January 2017, [Pakistan] began testing the MIRVed Ababeel MRBM.”