Pakistan Armed Forces The Pakistan Armed Forces (; ) are the Military, combined military forces of Pakistan. They are the List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel, sixth-largest in the world in terms of Active duty, active military personnel ...
deployments include all Pakistani
military deployment Military deployment is the movement of armed forces and their Military logistics, logistical support infrastructure around the world. United States The United States Military Joint Publication 1-02, United States Department of Defense, Departmen ...
s that are stationed outside
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English language, English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries by population, fifth-most populous country with a popul ...
and serving in other countries. The sixth largest military power in terms of active troops, Pakistan has an extensive history of overseas military presence, especially in the
Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region in Afro-Eurasia which generally includes Western Asia (except for Transcaucasia), all of Egypt (mostly in North Africa), and Turkey (East Thrace, partly in So ...

Middle East
, where it has maintained military contingents, missions and battalions in several states. As part of its
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Polic ...
efforts to expand its military relations and influence in the region, Pakistan signed defence protocols during the 1970s with several Arab countries including
Saudi Arabia (Shahada) , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates = , largest_city = Riyadh , official_languag ...
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībīyā), officially the State of Libya, ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībīyā) is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, t ...
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ( ar, المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية; tr. '), is an Arab country in the Levant The Levant () is an approximate historical geographical ...
Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran ...
Oman Oman ( ; ar, عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar, سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia and the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Located in a ...

, the
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; Arabic: الإمارات العربية المتحدة '), sometimes simply called the Emirates (Arabic: الإمارات '), is a country in Western Asia located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It b ...
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, bordering Iraq to the ...
, under which members of the armed forces of these countries were imparted professional training by Pakistani advisers and military trainers. Saudi Arabia signed a bilateral agreement with Pakistan on defense cooperation; during that time, there were 50,000 to 60,000 Pakistani military personnel serving abroad with the largest number of these, about 20,000, deployed in Saudi Arabia.


The oil boom in the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=Xalij-e Fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enc ...
during the 1970s and 1980s brought rapid economic growth and geostrategic importance to the region. During this period, many Gulf states sought regional neighbour Pakistan's assistance in the formation of their military capabilities. A number of Pakistan Air Force, Army and Navy personnel were deputed to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq and Syria, primarily to train and establish local security forces, as well as provide technical assistance.

History of deployments


Air Force of Zimbabwe File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosphere (0.04402961% at April 2019 concentration ). Number ...
(AFZ) underwent a series of restructuring in the early 1980s, following its reconstitution from the previously-existing Rhodesian Air Force. During this period, the AFZ sought Pakistani and foreign assistance to remain operational. Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe Robert Gabriel Mugabe (; ; 21 February 1924 – 6 September 2019) was a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as President of Zimbabwe, President from 1987 to 2017. He ser ...
requested Pakistan to detach an officer to head the AFZ and serve as its commander. Subsequently, Air Vice-Marshal Azim Daudpota was appointed Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, serving in the position from July 1983 to January 1986. He remains the first and only non-local commander of the AFZ. A large number of other PAF officers were deployed in Zimbabwe as well, along with Daudpota.


Defence cooperation between Pakistan and Kuwait dates back to the late 1960s. Officers from the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Air Force and Pakistan Navy, Navy have been deployed in Kuwait to provide training and instruction to Kuwaiti forces. In 1990, up to 700 personnel of the Pakistan Armed Forces were stationed in Kuwait. Pakistani officers served in technical and advisory roles in the Kuwaiti Army during the Gulf War. Pakistan was a member of the coalition forces against the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and Pakistani personnel took part in UN mine hunting operations in Kuwait.


There are close to 650 Pakistani troops stationed in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has historically remained Pakistan's closest defense partner in the Middle East, with both countries sharing extensive military and intelligence cooperation. Military relations between the two were expanded in 1967. Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Sultan described the level of cooperation as "probably one of the closest relationships in the world between any two countries" while Pakistan's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Naeem Khan, stated that Pakistan considered Saudi Arabia's security as a "personal matter". The Pakistan Air Force has been in contact with the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) since the early 1960s. Following grievances over British military cooperation in the 1960s, Faisal of Saudi Arabia, King Faisal turned to Pakistan's assistance for air force training and maintenance. In the 1960s, Pakistan helped the RSAF build and pilot its first jet fighters. Pakistan Air Force pilots flew RSAF English Electric Lightning, Lightnings in 1969 to repel Al-Wadiah War, South Yemeni incursions on Saudi Arabia's southern border. Many Pakistanis continue to serve in the Saudi Army and as combat pilots in the Saudi Air Force. Pakistan deployed troops in Saudi Arabia for "security duties" in the wake of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. A protocol was signed between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on 14 December 1982 following the latter's request for military manpower assistance. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, up to 15,000 Pakistani troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia, to provide defense to the country. Some of them were part of a brigade combat force positioned near the Israeli-Jordanian-Saudi border. As of the Gulf War in 1991, up to 13,000 troops and 6,000 advisers from Pakistan were posted in Saudi Arabia. Under the 1982 protocol, cooperation was widened to include military training, defense production and sharing, and joint exercises. Contingents of the
Pakistan Armed Forces The Pakistan Armed Forces (; ) are the Military, combined military forces of Pakistan. They are the List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel, sixth-largest in the world in terms of Active duty, active military personnel ...
have frequently participated in joint military exercises inside Saudi Arabia in conjunction with the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Armed Forces. Pakistani military presence in the kingdom continues presently, providing Riyadh support against internal and external regional threats. The Pakistan Navy and Royal Saudi Navy also share wide-ranging maritime cooperation, having conducted a series of joint naval exercises. Officers of the Royal Saudi Navy were provided training by the Pakistan Navy during the RSN's formative years.

United Arab Emirates

Defence relations between Pakistan and the UAE began shortly before the UAE's formation in 1971. Pakistani troops imparted training to members of the Abu Dhabi defence forces as far back as 1968, upon the request of the founder of the UAE Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Sheikh Zayed, as the British were about to hand over command of the Gulf Trucial States. A protocol was signed in the mid 1970s, and defence cooperation continued for the succeeding decades. Both countries share geographical proximity and a longstanding history of bilateral relations. The Pakistan Army established an armour training school in the UAE, and provided training to UAE commando battalions, as well as all armed and artillery corps officers. Pakistani personnel also held prominent positions as advisers and trainers in the United Arab Emirates Air Force, UAE Air Force (UAEAF). The UAEAF is dubbed by Pakistani author Shahid Amin to have been "an extension of the Pakistan Air Force" at one point. The first Chief of Air Staff of the UAE, appointed by Sheikh Zayed, was Air Cdre Ayaz Ahmed Khan, followed by Ghulam Haider, Jamal A. Khan and Feroz A. Khan, all of whom were Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officers. In total, the first five Chiefs of Air Staff of the UAE Air Force were Pakistanis. The succeeding commanders were native officers, although group captain ranked officers of the PAF continued serving as Deputy Chief of Air Staff. As of 2004, the UAEAF had around 55 Pakistani flying instructors, and there were a few number of Pakistani personnel serving in the United Arab Emirates Army, UAE Army and United Arab Emirates Navy, Navy. Officers of the Pakistan Navy have served in the UAE while training the local naval force.

During active conflicts

*Six-Day War: During the Six-Day War, Pakistani flying ace Saiful Azam shot down two Israeli aircraft and was awarded Jordan's List of military decorations, Order of Istiqlal and Iraq's medal of bravery, the List of medals for bravery, Nut al-Shujat as well as becoming the only Pilot with kills against two airforces (India and Israel) and highest shooter of Israeli aircraft to date. *Battle of Mogadishu (1993): More commonly known as ''Black Hawk Down'', a Pakistani soldier was killed and two Pakistanis were wounded in support of United States. *Black September in Jordan: Then Brigadier Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (later Chief of Army Staff and President of Pakistan), played a key role in planning the offensives in this conflict in support of Jordan. *Operation Gothic Serpent: One of the deadliest attack and encirclement of UN forces (also comprising Pakistan Army troops), later relieved by a heavy rescue convoy of US, Pakistani and Malaysian troops. *Grand Mosque Seizure: Pakistani Special Services Group lead the charge to free the Mosque of the militants, by flooding the mosque and using electrical charges. As per the Trofimov, Yaroslav (2007). The Siege of Mecca: The 1979 Uprising at Islam's Holiest Shrine, Only French military advisors help was sought and troops or army from any other country was not used. *Unified Task Force: After the killing of several Pakistani peace keepers in the task force, the task force's mandate was changed to using 'all necessary measures' to deliver humanitarian aid resulting in mission success. and is regarded as a success.

Current deployments

UN missions

A large number of Pakistan Armed Forces personnel are deployed overseas as part of the United Nations' peacekeeping missions. In 2010, an estimated 12,000 personnel were serving abroad, making Pakistan a large contributor of troops to the UN: * The total number of troops currently serving in peacekeeping missions is 10,173 (as of March 2007).

Notable deployments with United Nations

* United Nations Mission in Liberia * United Nations Mission in South Sudan * United Nations Mission in Sudan * MONUSCO * United Nations Operation in Burundi * United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire * United Nations Protection Force

Anti-piracy operations

Pakistan Navy has been a major participant of Combined Task Force 150, based in Bahrain, established to monitor, inspect, board, and stop suspect shipping associated with terrorism in the Horn of Africa. This task force comprising warships of Italy, France, Germany,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English language, English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries by population, fifth-most populous country with a popul ...
, Canada, the United Kingdom and United States has also been commanded by a Pakistani Admiral. On the announcement of Pakistan taking the command, several other nations have also expressed their interests in participating in Combined Task Force 150 in some way.

See also

*United Nations peacekeeping


Further reading

* * Ayub, Muhammad (2005). ''An army, Its Role and Rule: A History of the Pakistan Army from Independence to Kargil, 1947–1999''. RoseDog Books. .

External links

Ministry of Defence of Pakistan
* * *
UN peacekeeping website
{{Foreign relations of Pakistan Military deployment Pakistan military presence in other countries,