Foreign Policy

A Matter of Time not Capability

On September 26, 2014: Pakistan conducted a successful test fire of Short Range Surface to Surface Missile ‘Hatf IX’ (NASR). The test fire was conducted with successive launches of 4 x Missiles from a state of the art Multi Tube Launcher with Salvo Mode. NASR, with a range of 60 km and in-flight manoeuvre capability is a quick response system, with shoot and scoot attributes. It contributes to the full spectrum deterrence against the prevailing threat spectrum.

This is latest addition to the military assortment of weapons that Pakistan Forces boast. Pakistan’s military capability can be considered quite considerable when compared with other Muslim countries, in fact, even when compared with some non-muslim states too.

Pakistan’s defence industry consists mainly of state owned enterprises and a small number of private companies. The defence industry also includes seven specialized organizations devoted to research and development, production and administration. State owned enterprises include:

  • Air Weapons Complex (AWC) – development and production of various airborne weapon systems and avionics.
  • Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) – maintenance, overhaul, modernisation, development and production of armoured vehicles including main battle tanks, self-propelled artillery, armoured personnel carriers (APC) and armoured cars.
  • Kahuta Research Laboratories – Development and modernization of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal
  • Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) – production of civilian and naval vessels, including surface warships and submarines.
  • National Defence Complex (NDC) – development and production of tactical and strategic ballistic missiles for the countries military.
  • National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) – Science and research
  • Kahuta Research Laboratories – Development and modernization of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal
  • Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) – production of civilian and naval vessels, including surface warships and submarines.
  • National Defence Complex (NDC) – development and production of tactical and strategic ballistic missiles for the countries military.
  • National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) – Science and research organisation carrying out research in engineering and scientific areas such as IT, fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, aerospace, electrical, engineering and chemical engineering
  • Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) – maintenance and overhaul of various aircraft, production of aircraft and components.
  • Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) – production of various ammunition types, small arms and explosives.

Private companies include:

  • SATUMA – design and production of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) for sale to domestic and foreign customers.
  • Global industrial defence solutions (GIDS) – designs and produces UAV platforms, flight control systems, C4I systems and data-links.
  • Integrated Dynamics – design and production of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles for sale to domestic and foreign customers.


The basic infantry weapon is the Heckler & Koch G3 rifle which was developed in the 1950s by the German armament manufacturer Heckler & Koch. However, variants of this are now locally produced by Pakistan Ordnance Factories in Wah Cantt.

As for Pakistan’s tank inventory, Pakistan has been able to modernise the 1,100 aging type-59 tanks (first produced by China in 1958) at Heavy Industries Taxila. Calling it al-Zarrar, the design was an improved rebuild by way of more modern armament, fire control and defensive equipment such as explosive reactive armour and anti-mine cover.

Also, Pakistan is replacing its aging Russian T-80s tank fleet with a new Main Battle Tank (MBT) named after the Sahabi – Khalid bin Waleed, the al-Khalid tank, was developed with Chinese cooperation for domestic production. An evolution of Chinese and Soviet tanks, the design is considerably smaller and lighter than the most Western main battle tanks. It is based on the Chinese Type 90-II, which combined technologies from several Soviet and Western tanks. The Al-Khalid is unique in that it was designed to be adaptable for manufacture, so that it can be easily integrated with a variety of foreign engines and transmissions. The current production variant of the Al-Khalid use a diesel engine and transmission supplied by the KMDB design bureau of Ukraine. The first production models entered service with the Pakistan Army in 2001.

In addition to its MBTs, the Pakistani army has armoured personnel carriers (APC) for troop movements.

In order to replace this aging American M113 APC’s, Pakistan developed the Talha, its first indigenously developed APC. The Talha uses chassis of the US M113 APC, but is better protected. The APC is fully amphibious and can cross water obstacles without any preparation.

Air Force

Pakistan’s Air Force pilots have demonstrated on a number of occasions that they have deservedly been recognised as being from amongst some of the world’s highest rated. Their feats are not just celebrated during the wars against India when our pilots were titled ‘the saviours of the nation’ and heroes such as Squadron Leader M.M. Alam (Commander of No. 11 Squadron) flying his F-86 Sabre, is known for downing five Indian fighter aircraft in less than one minute (first four within 30 seconds), in the 1965 war against India, but even in the Arab lands we witness outstanding performances.

During the Arab-israel war of 1967, PAF sent a contingent of its pilots and airmen to Egypt, Jordan and Syria. PAF pilots performed excellently and downed about 10 Israeli planes including Mirages, Mysteres, Vautours without losing a single plane of their own. Flt.Lt. Saif-ul-Azam was decorated by Jordan and Iraq. The performance of PAF pilots was praised by the enemy Israelis too. Eizer Weizman, then Chief Of Israeli Air Force said once about Air Marshal Noor Khan (Commander PAF at that time): “…He is a formidable person and I am glad that he is Pakistani not Egyptian…” On 07 June 1967 Flight Lieutenant Saiful Azam, PAF, destroyed an Israeli Mirage in Iraq. In his second encounter with Israelis in the Middle East, he despatched one of the Mirages that were escorting the Israeli Vatour bombers. Moments later, he shot down one of the two escaping Vatour bombers. Two days earlier he had shot down an Israeli Super Mystere over Mafrak Air Base, Jordan. The officer was decorated with gallantry awards after the war both by Jordan and Iraq. He had already earned Sitara-i-Jurat during the ’65 war when he shot down an Indian Gnat.

In fact it is reported that the US refused the sale of Block 60 F16s to the UAE because the UAE had offered the PAF pilots to train on these planes as it would have given them an advantage over the Indian pilots.

On an equipment front, currently, Pakistan’s aircraft inventory consists of a mix of US and Chinese jets made up of 400 aircraft and over 200 trainer, transport, communication, helicopter and force multiplier aircraft. Pakistan’s air force is dominated by China’s Chengdu F-7 and French mirages. The F-7 is Pakistan’s primary combat fighter. This jet was based on the Soviet MiG-21.

The French-designed Dassault MirageIII and Dassault Mirage 5, are geared towards performing multiple mission types, including interception and strike, whereas Mirage 5 fighters are more focused towards strike missions. Around 150 Mirage fighters are in service, though many of which are second-hand procured from other countries, they make the Pakistan Air Force the largest operator of the type in the world.

However, the above-mentioned ageing fleets are supplemented by 63 F-16’s and the indigenously produced JF-17, with China. Joint production and further development of the JF-17 Thunder light-weight multi-role fighter is ongoing replacing all F-7’s and Mirages. Around 150 JF-17 are expected to be inducted by 2015 featuring upgraded avionics and weapons system. Block-II will be manufactured at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex west of Islamabad, which has so far produced 50 older-model Block-I JF-17s for the air force.

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has made several strategic acquisitions that are characteristic of projecting power. These procurements include a fleet of aerial refuelling aircraft, airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems, long-range air-to-surface weapon-systems and as of late, a renewed effort to develop armed-UAVs similar to the US Predator.

Pakistan has no indigenous helicopter capability of its own and has relied on foreign purchases. Currently its most advanced platform is the US Bell Cobra, from the Vietnam era. Pakistan has however developed an indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capability. Pakistan’s Global industrial defence solutions developed the Uqab in 2008, which was primarily a reconnaissance platform lacking any offensive capability. Its 50hp engine gives it a ceiling of 3,000m and an endurance of six hours. Uqab takes off on a wheeled undercarriage from conventional runways, but the Pakistan Navy had a requirement for a zero-length launch version, primarily for shipboard use. A modified Uqab to cater for a rocket-boosted launch and parachute recovery, is undergoing trials now. This also led to the development of the Shahpar, a medium range tactical UAV System with autonomous take-off and landing. It can carry various types of payloads integrated for reconnaissance and day and night surveillance. Other features include accurate lateral, longitudinal trajectory control, mission planning, management & control, geo-referencing and geo-pointing for terrestrial targets.


Since 1998 Pakistan has been rapidly developing and expanding its nuclear arsenal. Pakistan, as a nation has been able to demonstrate considerable determination to be able to develop nuclear capability, despite its standing as a developing third world country. Pakistan is moving from an arsenal of weapons based wholly on highly enriched uranium (HEU) to greater reliance on lighter and more compact plutonium-based weapons. The shift to plutonium based weapons is being made possible by a rapid expansion in plutonium production capacity, with two production reactors under construction to add to the two reactors that are currently operating.

Pakistan continues testing and deploying a diverse array of nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles, with ranges from 60 km to 2000 km. The use of plutonium allows for the production of lighter and more compact nuclear warheads, more suitable for use in ballistic and cruise missile warheads. Pakistan has cooperated closely with China and North Korea in nuclear weapon design and delivery system development which relies largely on expanding Scud technology. On the delivery front Pakistan has a number of short-range, medium, and longer range, road-mobile ballistic surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs) and both liquid and solid-fuelled missiles. The maximum range among Pakistan’s missiles is by Hatf V (Gauri) which is reported to do over 2200 kilometres. Pakistan’s Hatf missiles are based on North Korean Rodong series of IRBMs. Pakistan has also developed a cruise missile – its Babur cruise missile has a reported range of 700 km and a maximum speed of 880 km/h (Mach 0.7).


Pakistan has a border along the major Sea Line of Communication (SLOCS). At present, Pakistan’s navy owns around 71 vessels, most of them of US or European origin which include submarines, destroyers, frigates, patrol and mine warfare boats. It operates from its sole naval port in Karachi. Surface vessels consist of 11 Frigates and destroyers. Pakistan’s brought 6 ex-royal British navy type-21 frigates, which Britain decommissioned in the early 1990’s. These are now being replaced with the modern F-22P Zulfiquar-class frigate. This class of ship is a general purpose frigate built by Pakistan and China, production has taken place at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) with technology transfer.

Pakistan’s navy has 5 submarines in service. These are diesel electric submarines with an additional three mini submarines. The navy operates 3 Khalid class submarines, which are French Agosta-class submarines. Modernised versions were built for Pakistan by France – the Agosta 90B has a crew of 36 plus 5 officers and can be equipped with the MESMA air-independent propulsion (AIP) system. The French transferred the technology for this submarine to Pakistan, which in the medium to long term will allow Pakistan to develop its indigenous maritime capability.

Considering how we have managed to contain India with the above mentioned defense equipment technology and the strength of our Imaan; whilst fully acquainted with the cowardice of US troops as witnessed in two Gulf wars and Aghanistan, one can objectively arrive at the conclusion that Pakistan alone, coupled with a standing force of 617,000 troops and reserves of 513,000, commands sufficient technological and military capability to announce the return of the much anticipated Khilafah state, without any fear of reprisals.

وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُم مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللَّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِن شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ

“Arm yourselves against them with all the firepower and cavalry you can muster, to terrify the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides them whom you do not know. Allah knows them. Anything you spend in the Way of Allah will be repaid to you in full. You will not be wronged. “

(Al Anfal 60)

It leaves no doubt that Pakistan possesses the grounding for the introduction of the Khilafah State’s Industrial and Military policy, which will further benefit from harnessing the vast reserves of natural resources and the currently untapped, potential of the Ummah’s knowledge in the field of Science and Technology under the capable political minds prepared by Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Kindly refer to the book “Return of the Khilafah” for the industrial policy and military doctrine of the imminent Khilafah State.

Book download link: 

Central Contact Committee – Hizb ut-Tahrir Wilayah Pakistan

For further reading see: Constructing the Khilafah’s Defences