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Pakistan Table of Contents


Ministry of Defence

The minister of defense is a civilian member of the cabinet, chairs the Defence Council, and is in turn a member of the higher-level Cabinet Defence Committee. The Ministry of Defence has a permanent staff of civil servants headed by the defense secretary general. Of particular importance to the Ministry of Defence is the adviser for military finance, who heads the Military Finance Division in the Ministry of Finance but is attached to the Ministry of Defence. The adviser functions as the principal financial officer of the defense ministry and the subordinate services.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee deals with all problems bearing on the military aspects of state security and is charged with integrating and coordinating the three services. In peacetime, its principal function is planning; in time of war, its chairman is the principal staff officer to the president in the supervision and conduct of the war. The secretariat of the committee serves as the principal link between the service headquarters and the Ministry of Defence in addition to coordinating matters between the services. The three branches within the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee deal with planning, training, and logistics. Affiliated with the committee are the offices of the engineer in chief, the director general of medical service, the director of inter-services intelligence, and the director of inter-services public relations. The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee supervises the National Defence College, the Joint Services Staff College, and the Inter-Service Selection Board. )

The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence is of particular importance at the joint services level. The directorate's importance derives from two sources. First, it is the agency charged with managing covert operations outside of Pakistan--whether in Afghanistan, Kashmir, or farther afield. Second, in the past it was deeply involved in domestic politics and kept track of the incumbent regime's opponents. In addition, when the regime was unpopular with the military and the president (as was Benazir Bhutto's first government), the agency helped topple it by working with opposition political parties.

Data as of April 1994