Paramilitary forces of Pakistan

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The paramilitary forces of Pakistan consist of various uniformed organisations largely equipped with light infantry weapons and charged with a range of internal and external duties.


Federal Paramilitaries

Paramilitary Forces of Pakistan
Service branchesFederal Paramilitary Forces

Pakistan National Guard
Frontier Corps
Frontier Constabulary
Sindh Rangers
Punjab Rangers
Pakistan Coast Guard
Airport Security Force
Anti Narcotics Force

Gilgit Baltistan Scouts
Headquarters Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Gilgit
Frontier Corps Colonel Masud, Commandant of the Pishin Scouts (right), presents US DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy (left) with his unit ballcap at Chaman, Balochistan, Pakistan. Frontier corps 006.jpg
Frontier Corps Colonel Masud, Commandant of the Pishin Scouts (right), presents US DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy (left) with his unit ballcap at Chaman, Balochistan, Pakistan.

The federal paramilitary forces current strength is approximately 330,000 personnel, [1] divided into two categories:

In addition the provincial governments also control a number of specialised police forces.


Executive DepartmentService branchAuthorityTotal active duty personnel
Defence National Guard Federal185,000 [2]
DefenceDefence Service GuardFederalN/A
Defence Maritime Security Agency Federal2,500 [2]
Defence & Interior Pakistan Rangers Federal/Punjab/Sindh 25,000 [3]
Defence & Interior Frontier Corps Federal/Balochistan/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 60,000
Interior Pakistan Coast Guards Federal/Balochistan/Sindh7,000 [2]
Interior Frontier Constabulary Balochistan/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa26,000
Interior Gilgit Baltistan Scouts Gilgit-Baltistan 2,481 [2]
Narcotics Control, Defence & Interior Anti-Narcotics Force Federal3,100
Aviation Division Airports Security Force Federal8,930

Civil Armed Forces (CAF)

CAF units are authorised by the Constitution of Pakistan with border security and internal security duties, but can be "regularised" i.e. attached to regular Army as necessary.

The CAF are paid for from the budget of the Ministry of Interior which also provides administrative support. However they are (with the exception of the Frontier Constabulary) commanded by officers on secondment from the Pakistan Army. They function under the operational control of army corps headquarters, not just in war time but whenever Article 245 of the Pakistani Constitution is invoked to provide 'military aid to civil power', for example in Karachi since 2015, and in Punjab since February 2017 .

The CAF are currently undergoing significant expansion of some (57) additional 'wings' approved for raising in the 2015-16 to deal with the challenging internal and border security environment and to provide security for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), co-ordinated by a new 2-star command raised in September 2016, the Special Security Division. [4]

Many CAF units were originally raised in the colonial era on the frontiers of the empire, and played a key role in the consolidation of control by building a link between the state and communities in strategically sensitive frontier areas through recruitment to government service. In many areas paramilitary units continue to play exactly the same historical role decades after independence.

MoD Paramilitary Forces

Note that the Northern Light Infantry and the Azad Kashmir Regiment were once considered paramilitary forces until their promotion into the Pakistan Army in 1999 [6] [7] [8] [9] and 1972 [10] respectively.

Other Federal Paramilitary Forces

Provincial Paramilitary forces

The police forces of the Provinces of Pakistan & Federal Capital maintain paramilitary arms which act as a mobile armed reserve. They are not usually in contact with the public except during public events, civil unrest, and natural disasters. They maintain key guard posts and participate in antiterrorist operations. Depending on the type of assignment, they may be or may not be carrying firearms.


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Note that the Levies and Khasadar will now fall under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police. [23]



Islamabad Police

Other territories

Azad-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan are not officially provinces of Pakistan but both have limited self-rule and hence their own police forces each of which maintains paramilitary branches.

Azad Kashmir

Azad Kashmir is the Pakistani portion of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own Azad Kashmir Police who maintains several paramilitary forces within it.


Gilgit-Baltistan is the currently independent northernmost portion of the Pakistan which maintains the Gilgit-Baltistan Police and is home to the Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts.

See also

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