Country report and updates: Pakistan

Last revision: 27 Mar 1998
27 Mar 1998

1 Conscription

conscription does not exist

Conscription has never existed in Pakistan.

The 1952 Pakistan Army Act does provide for the possible introduction of compulsory military service in times of emergency, but this has never been contemplated by the authorities. Voluntary applications to join the armed forces are usually sufficient to achieve the requisite number of recruits. [2]


Most recruits come from northern Punjab and the North-West Frontiers province. This was already the case when Pakistan was still part of the British Empire. [2]

Legal enlistment age is between the ages of 17 and 22 for officers, and between 16 and 25 for soldiers. [1]

2 Conscientious objection

There is no known legal provision for conscientious objection.

3 Desertion

No information available.

6 Annual statistics

The armed forces are 587,000-strong - that is, 0.43 percent of the population. [4]


[1] Permanent Mission of Pakistan in Geneva 1997. Response to a Quaker United Nations Office enquiry, Geneva, 16 December 1997. [2] US Library of Congress 1994. Pakistan - a country study. Area Handbooks, State Department, Washington DC. [3] UN Commission on Human Rights 1997. The question of conscientious objection to military service, report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to Commission resolution 1995/83. United Nations, Geneva. E/CN.4/1997/96. [4] Institute for Strategic Studies 1997. Military Balance 1997/98. ISS, London.