India-Pakistan: May 5, 2000



SOUTHERN SECTOR (INDIAN BORDER): 5th Corps: two infantry divisions, two armored brigades, one infantry brigade 31st Corps: two infantry divisions, one mechanized division, one armored brigade. 2nd Corps: one armored brigade, one mechanized division 

NORTHERN SECTOR (INDIAN BORDER): 4th Corps: two infantry divisions, one armored brigade, two infantry brigades. 30th Corps: two infantry divisions, one mechanized division, one armored brigade. 1st Corps: one armored division, one mechanized division, one infantry division, one armored brigade.

OTHER FORCES:10th Corps (Kashmir): three infantry divisions, one armored brigade, two infantry brigades, plus the Northern Light Infantry (effectively another infantry division). 11th Corps (Afghan border): two infantry divisions. 12th Corps (Afghan-Iranian border): two infantry divisions

NOTES: The "northern" and "southern" army commands exist only informally; all nine corps report directly to national headquarters. The Pakistanis admit that they need to form the two army headquarters but lack the trained staff officers it would take to run them. Total Army strength is 520,000. While this is less than India's 980,000, India has hundreds of thousands of troops tied up on its northern and eastern borders. There are 500,000 Army Reserve troops who could fill out existing units, activate several more infantry divisions, and provide a pool of replacements for casualties. There are 180,000 National Guard troops that could be used only for internal security. of these, 60,000 are in security battalions to defend key facilities, 20,000 are university students who would be quickly commissioned to replace officer casualties, and 100,000 volunteers who amount to little more than village militia and local guards. There are also 65,000 border guards divided into two commands (Baluchistan and Northwest) which parallel the 12th and 11th Corps, respectively. These border guards are organized into corps commanded by colonels that are divided into wings commanded by majors. (Northwest has 12 of these units, Baluchistan has 11.) These units have been deployed in the same areas for decades. New recruits arriving at their units are trained in the local terrain, people, and problems by soldiers who have spent their entire careers in the same hundred square kilometers. While these units are lightly armed, they are well led and highly motivated and provide (within their areas) the best light infantry Pakistan has. When taken out of their areas and sent elsewhere for emergencies, these units tend to be overly
enthusiastic about using their weapons. There are 5,000 constabularies in the northwest and 2,500 in Baluchistan. There are thousands of tribal levies who provide what passes for security in the tribal areas. Law in those areas is whatever the nearest tribal warlord says it is. There are 2,000 Coast Guard troops who patrol the coastlines for smugglers. There are 12,000 Northern Light Infantry in 13 battalions; these are officially police units but have been under control of the 10th Corps for years. Like the constabularies in the Northwest and Baluchistan, these are recruited in their local areas and the troops spend their entire careers in the area they were born. These troops are well led and highly motivated, and are regarded as outstanding mountain infantry. Due to their background, however, these troops cannot readily be trained to use any kind of advanced technology. The provision of advanced weapons to these units (even mortars used for indirect fire) is primarily limited by how many of these troops can grasp higher mathematics.

The 30,000 Pakistani Rangers are divided into three units, one as a local security force in Karachi and the other two providing increased security on the Indian border, where they effectively serve as border guards. They back up the local police against armed smugglers and local bandits. The Rangers pride themselves on their connections with the local populations and rely on them for information on the activities of smugglers, criminals, and the Indian Army. Civilians living within sight of the Indian border routinely record any Indian troop movements and report these to the Rangers. The Airport Security Police are adequate to search and guard passengers but would not be able to defend the airports against Indian paratroops. While India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons and are developing missile units, neither has anything remotely approaching a civil defense infrastructure. Any nuclear exchange would send millions of refugees onto the roads of both countries, and the governments have absolutely no plans on how they would manage (let alone feed and house) such masses. 

Army doctrine in the event of war with India is to advance into India on two fronts, seizing as much territory as possible for use as later bargaining chips. Due to logistical limitations, these penetrations could not exceed 100km. This is a considerable improvement over the wars of 1965 and 1971; staff officers have been intensely trained in modern military logistics through the use of computer simulations. The four infantry divisions on the western borders would have almost no possibility of reaching the front with India due to poor road conditions, refugee traffic, lack of trucks, and Indian air strikes. The military takeover of the civilian government has, in the past, robbed the Army of thousands of capable officers and sergeants who were assigned to running civilian operations. Training is more than adequate. Each infantry regiment has its own training center and trains its recruits to its own standards; a national inspectorate assures that standards are as uniform as could be expected. Armor, artillery, and engineer soldiers are trained in centralized schools before going to their units. Selected infantry soldiers are sent to the School of Infantry and Tactics for advanced training, which they take with them back to their units. In some ways, this matches the official US Army policy that 10% of sergeants in infantry units are supposed to be graduates of the Ranger School. The Army is short thousands of officers because the sons of officers (the traditional source for officer cadets) have been taking better-paying civilian jobs in the booming economy. With the recent military coup, however, almost every military family has suddenly found sons who are willing to join the colors, even several years after finishing school and starting business careers. Regular officers are trained in the military academy at Kakul; reserve officers receive training in their universities. Training at all levels is largely by rote, drilling the "school solution" into officers, sergeants, and private soldiers instead of encouraging initiative. Officer cadets are graded on how well their proposed tactical solutions match those of previous graduating classes; finding a new tactical solution to the same problem is penalized.-Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

India-Pakistan: Current 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close