The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Like their rivals, the Indian Army
, the Pakistani military is directly descended from the British Indian Army
before it was partitioned with the rest of India. It is among the largest military forces in the world. For their equipment, they use weaponry from several countries (notably the US and France), but increasingly rely on supplies from China, particularly for their air force. They are based in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, next door to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.
The largest of the three branches at 500,000 strong, the Pakistan Army is considered the most powerful institution in Pakistan and whose chiefs have been the author of all three of Pakistan's coups. Maintains a nuclear capability, and is always preparing for the next war with India, whenever and wherever that might be. Currently focusing on the War On Terror
along the Afghan-Pakistan border. It's use of Turkish Panter howitzers gives the page title its name. It is divided into 11 Corps, one dedicated to nuclear warfare
, one to anti-air defence, two for offensive "strike" capability, and the rest for defence.
The Pakistan Navy consists of 72 ships overall, including 9 diesel submarines, most of them of British and French origin, (though as with all the other branches, they have started to buy from the Chinese in recent years). Currently trying to strengthen the submarine fleet into becoming nuclear launch capable. Of the three branches, it the smallest and least funded. Maintains a land-based naval aviation unit that performs patrols. It has only one kill to its name, when submarine PNS Hangor sunk the INS Khukri in 1971. However, it was the first such kill to be successfully conducted since WWII.
Pakistan Air Force
The Air Force, like the Army, is nuclear capable and currently flies fighters such as the Chinese/Pakistani JF-17 Thunder, the French Mirage III and the US F-16. It is generally considered the most advanced and capable of the three branches. Maintains ten major airbases and countless smaller airfields.
While technically not part of the military (the Interior Ministry officially commands them), the various paramilitary units in Pakistan are all officered by the Army (and in the case of the Coast Guard, the Navy) and as such are considered to be auxillary forces generally used for internal order.
- Pakistan Rangers
: Internal security force for Punjab and Sindh provinces, they handle border duties, reinforcements for local law enforcement, and handle security for monuments and important government structures in their area of operation.
- Frontier Corps
: Internal security force for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan that is heavily involved in the War on Terror and the Balochistan Insurgency, having taken the brunt of enemy attacks. Handles all the same duties as the Rangers.
- Coast Guard
: Handles maritime security.
- Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts
: Internal security force for Pakistani-held Kashmir.
- National Guard
: Reserve military unit charged with law and order (when the other units can't do it for some reason) and air defence. Recruited locally.