Urdu: جامعہ قومی دفاعِ پاکستان
|National Defence College|
|Motto||Arabic: عَلَّمَ الْإِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ (al-Quran (30:96:5))|
Motto in English
|"taught man which he knew not"|
|Established||28 May 1970|
|Higher Education Commission|
|Vice-president||RADM Zain Zulfiqar Qureshi|
|Dean||Lubna Abid Ali|
|Colors||Green, White, Khaki|
The National Defence University (NDU), formerly introduced as Army War Course (1963–70),[a] the National Defence College (1970–2007), is the military university with additional status of public university of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan focused on military education and training for the armed forces, including Pakistan military forces and two hundred foreign participants. Formerly established on 28 May 1970 at Rawalpindi, its academic principles are focused on command instructions, national security, military strategy, and war studies among other specified academic disciplines. It is one of the oldest military education and training institutes in the country with additional enrolments reserved for the civil servants.
Major general, then general Abdul Hamid Khan served its first commandant, while brigadier Muhammad Ahmed was appointed the first chief instructor. The president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is appointed its chancellor while the chief of staff recommends appointment and the removal of its president, usually a three star armed officer. Nearly 44 years later of its establishment as Armed War Course, it was awarded the status of university after being recognised by the education commission of Pakistan on 5 February 2007 while the former Armed War Course (later re-designated as Armed War Forces Course) became one of its components.
The origin of the National Defence University is historically associated with major general, the then lieutenant general, Sahabzada Yaqub Khan and Command and Staff College who introduced Army War Course on 1 May 1963 to Command and Staff College after he was asked in 1962 to establish a separate and a single purpose war course to that college. It initially comprised twelve participants (known as students and faculty members), including two from armed forces – one from navy and other from air force. With the continuation of war studies, its participants were increased to sixteen in 1965. However, staff college was left without war course faculty following the 1965 conflict between India and Pakistan. The discontinuation of the faculty gained attention of the authorities, and the National Defence College (NDC), a stand-alone institute was established on 28 May 1970 at Lalkurti area of Rawalpindi Cantonment. It was housed in the Ayub Hall, the old National Assembly Building. The institute was later shifted to its permanent building where it worked for nearly 25 years.
During that 25 years, the college was re-designated multiple times, including in 1971 when the Army War Course was awarded the status of the Armed Forces War Course to serve for armed forces than only army. The number of faculty participants were increased from sixteen to twenty, with three officers from navy and air force.
To award the officers MSc degree in war studies, the prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto signed an order in 1975 to affiliate the NDC with Federal University of Islamabad (in modern-day Quaid-i-Azam University). Five years later of affiliation with Quaid university, military dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the then 6th president of Pakistan signed an order in February 1980 to shift the college to the capital city Islamabad for its space expansion. Following that order, it was shifted to the new building on 17 August 1995.
The government of Pakistan upgraded it to university in 2007, while the Naval War College gained the status of Armed Forces War College, which is now a component of the National Defence University. As of March 2007, the NDU acts as a nation university in the country, and the two years later of its upgradation, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee redesignated both Army War Course, Armed Forces War Course, and National Defence Course faculties into one single component of the university, which is now known as National Security and War Course.
Since its formation as a faculty and then college in Rawalpindi, it was shifted several times from one building to other, including the old national assembly near Rawalpindi Cantonment until it was permanently shifted to Islamabad in 1995. The main building is now located in Sector E-9, Islamabad near Margalla Hills.
The emblem (generally identified as logo, although the official description of emblem do not mention "logo") of the NDU depicts the concept of national security, defence and ideological foundation of the organisation, consisting an Islamic shield with three-service colors, encircled by a black border with silver edges. It is surrounded by a golden wreath with a star and crescent presented on the top of emblem. It is placed on a green background, depicting the national color of Pakistan. The lower portion of the Islamic shield is occupied by the two swords placed in the form of crossed sword and a pen, which occupies the upper portion. The pen and crossed sword and their placements represent "honour, strength and achievement through learning".
The motto is inscribed inside the shield which is placed on top centre printed in gold letters.
The National Defence University consists two heads – the president of Pakistan who acts as chancellor and a three star military officers, usually a lieutenant general or a vice admiral who acts a president of the university, sometimes referred to as commandant university. The organisation consist four main faculties/branches such as Faculty of Security Studies (FSS), Faculty of Contemporary Studies (FCS), Institute for Strategic Studies, Research & Analysis (ISSRA), and National War Gaming Center (NWGC). The academic administration of FSS and FCS are headed by a dean.
The National Security College, Armed Forces War College, and Allied Officers Division (AOD) are headed by two star officer that works under FSS faculty. Its academic discipline is focused on national security and its elements, in addition to military, operational, and nuclear strategies. It also involves in preparedness of command and staff assignments.
The FCS awards academic degrees to the participants. It includes five departments such as Leadership and Management Studies (LMS) – which awards bachelor's degree, master of philosophy, master's in project management, and doctor of philosophy. The Government and Public Policy (GPP) awards same degrees as to LMS, however, it is focused on government and public policy and also excludes master's in project management. The Strategic Studies (SS), International Relations (IR), and Peace and Conflict Studies (PCS) award the officers same degrees as to GPP, however their branches of studies varied.
The ISSRA organization is headed by a two star officer who acts a director general. It is further divided into seven branches such as Global and Regional Studies, Internal Studies, Defence Studies, Coord & Collaboration, Research & Publication, Keystone Capstone & Pinnacle Program, and Sahabzada Yaqub Khan (SYK) library. At staff, ISSRA is primarily focused on seminars, discussions, conferences, visiting briefings, and to interact with think tanks within the country.
The National War Gaming Center (NWGC) do not have other branches likewise FCC or FCS. Based on strategic thinking, it was created to run wargames focused on to execute military operation plans, disaster, and emergency management. It uses the NATO-based computer network to execute military tactics.
Its digital library consists print material from 70,000 books, periodicals, contemporary journals, pamphlets, government and daily newspaper publications. One of its major print material resources is Higher Education Commission of the country. It has also a fictional library which consists data from books, concerning women and children.
Its mapping section is intended for the creation of maps, and draughtsmen or other persons specialized in that area participates in that section designed for the production of graphic works.
The National Defence University's contemporary studies faculty award bachelor's, master of philosophy and doctorate degrees in various academic fields such as international relations, and public policy among others.
Faculty of Contemporary Studies
The NDU's wing Institute for Strategic Studies, Research & Analysis (ISSRA) acts as a national think tank on national security matters, and is reportedly an internal part of the National Security Division, headed by a national security division secretary. Inputs are provided to the government and armed forces to maintains academic links with domestic and foreign think tanks and defence universities with which Pakistan shares friendly relations.
The parliament of Pakistan introduced an act in 2011 titled National Defence University, Act 2011, outlining the academic, administration, and financial amendments, in addition to establishment of the NDU. It was formerly signed by the president on 14 May 2011 after majlis-ash-shura such as the national assembly and the senate passed the bill. It functions under that act, however employing officers, teacher and other staff members are sanctioned by the Higher Education Commission Ordinance, 2002. The act restrict government and other authorities to qualify or disqualify the officers, teachers, students, or any other participant associated with the university, on the grounds of their "gender, religion, race, creed, class, colour, or domicile".
The act identifies the chancellor, president, dean, commandant (director general), chairperson (chief instructor), registrar, controller examination, director administration and director finance as the principal officers and also determines their powers and the functions.
The act allows the president of Pakistan to act as the chancellor, while the president of the university is recommended by the chief of army staff for the final approval of the chancellor. If the post of university president falls vacant due to any uncertainty such as health complications or death, it is not assumed by the other members with an additional charge of the president. The post is generally assumed for the term of five years, however the incumbent may be terminated if recommended by the army chief.
|#||Name||Picture||Start date||End date||Ref(s)|
|1||Lt Gen Abdul Hameed Khan||19 July 1970||7 December 1970|||
|2||Maj Gen Nasir Ahmad Chaudhri||3 April 1972||19 July 1974|
|3||Maj Gen M. Rahim Khan||20 July 1974||31 August 1975|
|4||AVM Michael John O'Brian||1 September 1975||9 April 1976|
|5||Lt Gen Azmat B. Awan||9 April 1976||30 October 1978|
|6||Maj Gen Anwar Masood||1 October 1978||1 September 1979|
|7||Lt Gen Ejaz Azim||10 September 1979||9 April 1980|
|8||Maj Gen Nishat Ahmed||10 April 1980||20 June 1984|
|9||Lt Gen S M H Bokhari||21 June 1984||4 January 1988|
|10||Lt Gen Muhammad Safdar||5 January 1988||31 July 1989|
|11||Lt Gen Zakir Ali Zaidi||1 August 1989||18 June 1990|
|12||Lt Gen Rehmdil Bhatti||8 September 1990||9 February 1993|
|13||Lt Gen Asad Durrani||10 February 1993||14 May 1993|
|14||Lt Gen Iftikhar Ali Khan||15 May 1993||17 June 1993|
|15||Lt Gen Syed Tanwir Husain Naqvi||18 June 1994||31 January 1996|
|16||Lt Gen Muhammad Maqbool||1 February 1996||4 June 1998|
|17||Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmed||5 June 1998||25 October 1998|
|18||Lt Gen Salahuddin Tirmizi||25 October 1998||2 March 2000|
|19||Lt Gen Saeed Uz Zafar||13 March 2000||29 October 2000|
|20||Lt Gen Javed Hassan||30 October 2000||3 January 2004|
|21||Lt Gen Tariq Waseem Ghazi||3 January 2004||16 October 2004|
|22||Lt Gen Shahid Hamid||17 October 2004||4 November 2005|
|23||Lt Gen Raza Muhammad Khan||7 November 2005||30 June 2007|
|24||Lt Gen Muhammad Hamid Khan||1 July 2007||11 October 2009|
|25||Lt Gen Muhammad Yousaf||12 October 2009||15 September 2010|
|26||Lt Gen Agha Muhammad Umer Farooq||8 October 2010||21 July 2012|
|27||Lt Gen Nasir Khan Janjua||30 July 2012||26 August 2013|
|28||Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday||26 August 2013||30 April 2015|
|29||Lt Gen Anwar Ali Hyder||1 May 2015||10 April 2016|
|30||Lt Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt||11 April 2016||19 December 2016|
|31||Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar||20 December 2016||9 October 2017|
|32||Lt Gen Majid Ehsan||24 October 2017||14 December 2018|
|33||Lt Gen Aamer Riaz||15 December 2018||04 October 2019|
|34||Lt Gen Muhammad Saeed||28 November 2019||07 November 2021|||
|35||Lt Gen Nauman Mehmood||22 November 2021||Present|
Throughout its history from a college to university, some of its alumni and faculty members became notable in academic, politics, military and many other varied fields.
Many Pakistani generals, including Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Ehsan ul Haq, and Raheel Sharif attended the National Defence University. Kayani graduated from National Defence College and also remained faculty member of the university. Ehsan ul Haq graduated from NDU and Command and Staff College, Quetta, an affiliated institute of the university. Raheel Sharif is among the other generals who attended the university.
In addition to Pakistani generals, some alumni from the naval department became notable in their respective fields. Admiral Afzal Tahir graduated from the National Defence College, while Shahid Karimullah, attended armed forces war course department of the National Defence College. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi is also an alumnus of the university while Amjad Khan Niazi graduated from NDU and Command and Staff College.