The Pakistani Armed Forces are the military forces of Pakistan. They are the seventh largest in the world in terms of active troops. The armed forces comprise three main branches: the Pakistan Army, the Pakistan Navy (including the Pakistan Marines) and the Pakistan Air Force, together with a number of paramilitary forces. The armed forces were formed in 1947 when Pakistan became independent from the British Empire. Since then, the armed forces have played a decisive role in the history of Pakistan. A sense of national unity and identity was forged out of the wars of 1947 and 1965 against India. Border clashes with Afghanistan led to the creation of the paramilitary forces to deal with civil unrest as well as secure the border areas. The Marines were commissioned in 1971, however due to a poor performance in the 1971 war they were disbanded. In 1990, they were commissioned again and serve as part of the Navy
The Pakistani Armed Forces are led by an officer corps that is not restricted by social class or nobility and are appointed from a variety of sources such as service academies and direct appointment from both civilian status and the enlisted ranks. The Pakistan Army is the best organized group in the country and is highly respected in civil society and the social ranks as an institution. Since the founding of Pakistan, the army has been key in holding the state together, promoting a feeling of nationhood and providing a bastion of selfless service.
The Pakistani Armed Forces are the largest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping efforts, with more than 10,000 personnel deployed in 2007. Other foreign deployments have consisted of Pakistani military personnel as advisers in African and Arab countries. The Pakistani military maintained division and brigade strength presences in some of the Arab countries during the Arab-Israeli Wars, and the first Gulf War to help the Coalition as well as the Somalia and Bosnian conflicts.
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (more commonly known as the Inter-Services Intelligence or the ISI), is the premier intelligence service of Pakistan, responsible for providing national security and intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan. The ISI is the largest of the three intelligence services of Pakistan, the others being the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Military Intelligence (MI).
The ISI is the successor of the IB and MI formed after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 to co-ordinate and operates espionage activities for the three branches of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The ISI was established as an independent intelligence service in 1948 in order to strengthen the sharing of military intelligence between the three branches of Pakistan’s armed forces in the aftermath of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, which had exposed weaknesses in intelligence gathering, sharing and coordination between the Army, Air Force and Navy. From its inception, the agency has been headed by an appointed three-star general officer in the Pakistan Army, despite officers from all three branches of the Pakistan Armed Forces being served and hired by the ISI.