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National Defence University

The genesis of the National Defence University was commencement of Army War Course at the historic Command and Staff University, Quetta in 1963. Subsequently, realizing the need for a higher educational institution for the Armed Forces of Pakistan, the University was formally established at Rawalpindi on l4th February 1971. Two new courses called National Defence Course (ND Course) and Armed Forces War Course (AFWC) were introduced in the same year. These included participants from the Armed Forces and the Civil Services of Pakistan. Since 1988, the National Defence Course was opened to participants from the friendly countries as well. On 14th August 1995, the University was shifted to its present premises at the foothills of Margallas in Sector E-9, Islamabad. The University has the distinction of training about 200 foreign participants, entire senior leadership of the Armed Forces of Pakistan and a large number of senior bureaucrats.                                  





The University is located in Sector E-9 of Islamabad at the foot of the scenic Margalla hills. Islamabad being the capital of the Pakistan is strategically located keeping in view all aspects that are of significance in a capital city of any nation. The weather in Islamabad is quite hot as the mercury touches 47°C during the summers, while it almost touches the freezing point during winters.

It is a city which is at par with any capital city of the world extending all basic amenities of life. Being the Federal Capital it is easily accessible by all modes of transportation. It is also the home for all the foreign missions, consulates and embassies of various countries and has evolved into a city which enjoys a diverse culture, an amalgamation of various cultures of the world. National Defence University is 25 kilometers from Islamabad International Airport.




 Educational Philosophy

The aim of the course is to enable senior officers of the Armed Forces, Civil Services of Pakistan and friendly countries to study factors bearing on national security and defence with a view to preparing them for formulation of national strategy and assignments at the policy planning level.






The faculty which comprises the Commandant, chief instructors and selected senior officers of the Armed Forces and civil services of Pakistan play a significant part in the grooming of participants of the courses. Other than organizing lectures, discussions and numerous other activities for the participants, the faculty grooms them to shoulder assignments at policy planning level in their respective fields. The faculty is the inspiration behind all curriculum activities which are intellectually very stimulating. Finally the faculty also carefully evaluates abilities of each participant and recommends his or her future employment.         



 The Courses

The management of the NDU is vested in a Lieutenant General from the Pakistan Army who is called the Commandant. He is also the head of the faculty. The University is organized into four wings. The academic wings are designated as National Defence Wing (ND Wing) and War Wing, while other two are Research Wing and Headquarters Wing.

The ND Wing and War Wing are the main instructional wings for conducting National Defence Course and Armed Forces War Course respectively. The University conducts these courses concurrently during the academic year i.e. August-June for a duration of 44 weeks.

ND Wing is headed by a Chief Instructor who is an Air Vice Marshall from Pakistan Air Force or a Rear Admiral from Pakistan Navy. Similarly Chief Instructor of War Wing is a Major General from Pakistan Army.

The Research Wing provides research support to the Academic Wings while Headquarters Wing provides the administrative support to the entire University. Both these wings are managed by Brigadiers of Pakistan Army.

  • National Defence Course

The participants of the ND Course comprise Brigadiers from the Army and equivalent rank from the Navy and Air Force as well as the civil services having 25-27 years of service. Only those officers are selected who have a demonstrated potential for rising to higher level of responsibilities in their respective fields. The course comprises 50 participants including 16 overseas military officers of the rank of Colonel and above.

The studies in the ND Course are conducted through individual and collective research assignments and intensive interaction with the fellow participants, members of the faculty, the visiting scholars and guest speakers. National Strategy Paper is presented at the end of the course which is the sum total of all curriculum activities.

Graduates of the course are authorized to use military qualification symbol ‘NDU' against their names and are also awarded MSc degree in Defence & Strategic Studies from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

    • Curriculum
      • Contemporary Strategy
      • Military and Defence
      • Socio-political Environment
      • Economy
      • Defence Management
      • International Relations
      • Internal and Foreign Study Tours
      • Individual and Group Research National Strategy Paper


 Armed Forces War Course

The Armed Forces War Course is aimed at enabling selected senior officers of the Armed Forces to deepen the comprehension of military and operational strategy with a view to preparing them for assignments at higher command, leadership and staff level.

The course comprises Brigadiers, Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels from the Army and equivalent ranks from the Navy and the Air Force. They are selected on the basis of their demonstrated performance throughout their careers. The present intake of the course is 50 officers from the three services.

The course is essentially self-generating. Freedom of thought and critical evaluation of hard-core professional issues of higher dimensions of war at tri-service level are the guiding principles. The officers also undertake individual and group research work and deepen their understanding of professional subjects through intensive interaction among themselves, with the members of the faculty and the visiting senior government officials, scholars and professionals. The essence of the entire course is the Military Strategy Paper, which is presented at the end of the academic year by a selected panel.

Graduates of the course are awarded military qualification symbol 'afwc'. A degree in M.Sc War Studies is awarded to successful candidates by Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

    • Curriculum
      • War, National Policy and Strategy
      • Military Strategy
      • Operational Strategy and Military Methodology
      • Nuclear Strategy
      • Strategic Leadership
      • Land, Maritime and Air Warfare
      • Exercises/War Games
      • Inland and Foreign Study Tours
      • Military Strategy Paper
      • Individual and Group Researchtop
 Extra-Curricular Activities
  • Sports Facilities
    • Cricket Ground
    • Tennis Courts
    • Gymnasium
    • PAF Golf Club
    • Naval Sports Complex
  • Hiking

Hiking and walk is periodically organized in Margalla Hills surrounding NDU.

  • Movies

Movies are screened weekly in the University Auditorium. A children Cinema Club has also been established for young children residing in the campus.

  • Ladies Club

Regular meetings of wives of the faculty members, staff and the participants are held in the exclusive Ladies Lounge.  




The University is administered through the Headquarters Wings headed by a Brigadier. Most of the faculty, participants and staff of the University are accommodated within the University campus. The peaceful surroundings provide ideal for study. The University management, support in the form of telecommunications, computers facility and printing press. General staff branch looks after the staff work aspects while administrative aspects are managed by another dedicated branch. The upkeep and maintenance of the campus is carried out through Maintenance Engineer Services. Medical facilities are available through two medical officers. Similarly dining facilities can be availed from the Officers Mess.



A well stocked library supports all the research activities at the University. It has over 50,000 volumes of and reference material books on various disciplines. The library is fully computerized in terms of cataloguing, bibliographical data and indexation of magazine based articles. The Library Automation and Management Programme (LAMP) offers search and reference facilities to the users. A magazine section, comprising over 100 professional magazines, provides a data bank of articles which are very helpful for research purpose.

The documentation section of the library consists of about 200 folders containing newspapers clippings covering subjects of topical interest.                                                   top


The research conducted by the participants is preserved in the newly established archives besides other old reference material pertaining to the University. The members are provided access to old records for their research


Internet facility is provided to all members through a local area network (LAN) installed at the campus. The facility is available during library hours free of charge. The facility can also be provided at individual residences at nominal