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Friday, July 17, 2009

Golden Jubilee Celebrations - Defence Services of Pakistan. (1998-2)

The history of Pakistan Army is the saga of the creative of Pakistan itself against heavy odds. It is a story of unflinching determination of the founding fathers led by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and of officers and men to create a nation and its armed-forces.
At the time of independence Lord Mountbatten was totally against division of Indian Army but Quaid-e-Azam foiled the evil designs of the viceroy and the All India Congress. However, still they succeeded in creating a situation where all possible frictions and retarding tactics were employed so that the / Pakistan Army, when commissioned in to operation, would not be in a position to provide security to the newborn country.
The legitimate share of weapons and armaments were denied to Pakistan / on a very flimsy ground that Partition Councils decision pertained to the division of personnel and not to equipment and stores. Resultantly, Pakistan Army right from the outset faced critical deficiencies.
Just to give an over view, against Pakistan\'s authorized share of 40 to 60,000 tons of ammunition, / 249 armed vehicles, Pakistan did not receive any quantity against the share of 1461 soft vehicles. Pakistan was given only 74 vehicles. Out of 30 military training establishments in British India, only five came to us. Out of 19 ordinance factories, Pakistan did not get a single factory. Against 18 Ordnance depots, only 5 were located in Pakistan territory and those too were without any stores since 1946.
In addition to the stores there was acute shortage of officers. Against the requirement of 7750 officers only 3450 were available. The aforementioned state indicates that Pakistan Army started its journey of development practically from scratch. By the grace of God over a period of time Pakistan Army has expanded into a reckon able force and through sheer commitment and dedication it has performed tasks which have no parallel in the annals of history.
Pakistan Army in the initial stages depended on foreign sources of supply even for small arms and ammunition. But it has now almost reached the threshold of self-reliance in these fields.
The indigenously produced surface to air \'Anza I\' and \'II’ missiles, long range surface to surface \'Hataf\' series missiles and anti tank \'Baktar shikan missiles are some landmark achievements. Main battle tank \'Al-Khalid\' is likely to roll out in 1998, which will have a significant impact on the formation of armoured forces. In addition, Pakistan Army has made advances in manufacturing of armoured personnel carriers e.g. \'Yasoob\' heavy duty truck and quite a few such other projects.
1947-48 Kashmir war, Ran of Kuch, 1965 war, 1971 war and now war about the clouds, i.e. Siachen Glacier, are hallmarks in Pakistan Army\'s history and by the grace of Allah, the nation and the Armed Forces always stood together to thwart enemy-designs.
Above all the nuclear ambiguity which has emerged as nuclear deterrence has not only added to the stature of Pakistan but has also ensured a climate of peace in south Asia after the war of 1971.
The performance of Pakistan Army contingents in UN peacekeeping operations in the strife-ridden spots around the globe has earned international recognition and applause due to its dedicated service.
In situations of natural calamities and peacetime national service, the government frequently calls in the army for assistance. In addition to the duties during the floods, earthquake, locust control, the Army has also performed duties in holding impartial elections, riot control, anti smuggling and census duties. On all these occasions, Army came out with an unblemished record.
Pakistan Army has aligned itself totally with professionalism, It is committed safeguarding country\'s territorial integrity and ideological entity against all internal and external threats posed to Pakistan.
Pakistan Air Force, at its inception was known as Royal Pakistan Air Force. It constituted a group of over 2,000 men of strong mettle controlling an Air Force comprising l6Tempests, 11 fighter bombers, 2 Dakota aircraft, 12 T-6G Harwards and 7 Tiger Moth aircraft. Pakistan, by dint of its geographic location, inherited 7 operational air fields. Some of these even lacked the barest minimum facilities of an Operational Base.
From 1947 to 1957 the PAF was the Royal Pakistan Air Force and was commanded by four British C-in-Cs in a row. 1957 was a momentous year for the Pakistan Air Force. The induction of 100 F-86, Sabres under the US aid programme was completed in the same year. The new C-in-C of PAF Asghar Khan established a Fighter Leaders School aimed at producing a class of air warriors. The induction of Sabres was followed by 8-57 Light Bombers and the F-i 04 Star Fighters.
By the end of August 1965 the War between India & Pakistan seemed inevitable. On 1st September, PAF was on a high state of alert. On 6 September 1965 Indian Army invaded the then West Pakistan.
At this juncture the IAF did not strike PAF bases. The opportunity was thus availed by PAF which attacked IAF bases to reduced the threat posed by IAF. On 7th September it was the IAF\'s turn. As was expected the main thrust of IAF strikes was Sargodha, the hub of PAF’s operational activity. Sqn Ldr Alam established a combat record which has few equals in the history of jet warfare. Alam claimed shooting down up to 5 enemy aircraft of superior performance within a few minutes. This includes destroying of atleast three IAF hunters within a span of 30-40 seconds.
In response to the US aid embargo of 1956 the PAF had to look for alternatives. The Chinese F-6 entered the PAF inventory in early 1966. The arrival of Mirages in mid 1967 represented a new but limited addition to its counter air and air defence capabilities. Although it assimilated all its new acquisitions yet, on the eve of the 1971 war, the odds were set heavily against the PAF. It fought the unevenly matched duel fiercely, and successfully contained an adversary four time its size.
After the 1971 war, PAF launched a programme to revitalize itself. New operational bases were built, Mirage and F-6 Rebuild Factories were established along with a factory for production of MFI-1 7 Trainer. The Air Defence System was modernized by inducting latest radars linked with computerized data processing and display equipment. In 1980 A-5 Ground Attack air craft were bought in from china. The F-16 Fighting Falcon entered the PAF inventory in 1982. Due to US embargo on further induction of F-i 6 air-craft the PAF is now in the process of evaluating other hi-tech fighter aircraft for induction.
In fifty years, PAFs transformation has taken it from Tempests to F16s, from MOUs to Doppler radars, from laborious hand scribing of air defence data to fully automated real time displays, from WW II ack acks to sophisticated SAMs, from a single small Air Headquarters to four autonomous air commands - the myriad facel of its transformation go on ceaselessly. The PAF of today has come a long way since 1947. The history of PAF is a story of dedication, motivated by the will to be the best and second to none acquired eight Broke and Gracia-class frigates from the US Navy on a five year lease in 1988.
The Navy\'s prime role and responsibility is to protect Pakistan\'s Strategic lines of Communication (SLOC5), its 960 Km long coastline and ports, especially the port of Karachi.
Barely 100 miles from the Indian border, Karachi has the only developed berthing facilities for handling the bulk of Pakistan\'s trade, naval dockyard, repair and overhauling facilities as well as the strategic national petroleum reserves. Other port of consequence is Port Qasim, a more modern commercial port designed primarily for grain exports, but without naval shore facilities.
The Naval Headquarters is situated at Islamabad but the fleet and logistic commands are in Karachi, together with most of the training facilities. In late 1980s, with the expansion of the fleet, the Pakistan government ordered the construction of a new major naval base at Ormara, 200 Km west of Karachi. The Ormara Project is making considerable progress. In the long term Government plans to move the Navy out of Karachi to Ormara.
The main strength of the submarine force consists of 2 Hashmat class (Agosta class) submarines built between 1976 and 1980, 4 Hangor class (Daphne-class) submarines, now close to obsolescence, will be replaced by 3 new Agosta 90B class submarines.
The six Tariq class frigates were purchased from the Royal Navy. The two ex-RN Leander-class frigates, bought in 1988 and extensively refitted in 1991/93, are still in commission. The patrol and fast attack craft constitute a wide array of Chinese vessels, about half of which are armed with anti-ship missiles.
The main assets of the naval air wing currently consist of four Improved Breeziest Atlantic ASW MPAS, four F-27 maritime surveillance and Electronic Warfare EW aircrafts, plus ten ship-borne helicopters, comprising six MK45 Sea King ASW/attack helicopters, four SA31 9B Aloutte III helicopters and three P3-C Orion ASW MP. As purchased from Lockheed USA in 1990.
The marine Corps, is the youngest force in the Pakistan Navy. With the induction of the Marine Corps the Pakistan Navy has become capable of four dimensional defence, i.e. at sea with the surface ships, under the sea with the submarines, in the air with the naval air wing and on the ground with the Marine Corps.
The Pakistan navy is moving from the old to new technologies at a rapid pace. The Navy will have to consolidate the new weaponry, which will take time as this will involve a basic restructuring of personnel and logistics to suit future needs.
Contributed by \"Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate.
To commemorate the Golden Jubilee Celebrations - Defence Services of Pakistan, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a Commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 7/- denomination on March 23,1998.