Command and Staff College Quetta



May 20, 2023

Command And Staff College Quetta

Malik Nasir Mahmood Aslam casts a glance at an excellent military institution

Command And Staff College Quetta – The concept of dynamically trained military personnel is as old as the military profession itself. Defence forces place decisive emphasis on command and staff functions because both these positions form the gist of any military action. Accordingly Pakistan army inherited and then dedicatedly developed an exceptional modern institution in shape of Command and Staff College, Quetta whose efficacy is acknowledged widely in military circles. It is a well-organised tactical platform imparting training to a cohort of 400 officers of Pakistani military as well as sizeable number of officers from 30 countries whose presence adds flavour to the proceedings.

In the light of the rich military traditions Staff College is dedicatedly oriented to adhere to the highest traditions of professional excellence and it takes pride in its exquisite standards. At the College attention is paid to hone the faculties of rational reasoning and independent decision making with a view to produce minds that are pragmatically discerning. The underlying tone of the institution pertains to intellectual honesty as it is supposed to make the crucial difference in human thought process. The institution is highly rated in the region and is also appreciated globally.

The College is proud of its unique campus and possesses large residential facilities for the faculty and students. It is headed by a two-star major general as its Commandant and is organised into two wings: Headquarters Wing and Instructional Wing. Instructional Wing, headed by the Chief Instructor, is the mainstay of the College catering for curriculum management and programming. The Faculty of Research and Doctrinal Studies, commonly known as FORADS, is headed by a Director of the rank of Colonel or Brigadier. The Instructional Wing has four instructional Divisions, each under a Senior Instructor of the rank of Colonel. Headquarters Wing provides administrative support to the Instructional Wing. The latest addition is of the Examination Cell, headed by a Director of the rank of Colonel. This Cell has been assigned the responsibility of preparing the Staff Course Entrance Examination based on the modern system of multiple choice questions.

The College has changed its nomenclature many times since the last 100 years and finally settled down as Command and Staff College, Quetta in 1957. The College owes its establishment to Field Marshal Kitchener as Commander-in-Chief in India, whose reorganisation of the Army in 1902 created more staff appointments and revealed a dearth of trained staff officers necessitating its establishment that was done in 1905 at the cost of Rs.6,33,440. Kitchener, who drowned during the First World War, also picked up a quarrel with Lord Curzon, the Viceroy over appointment of the military member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council constraining Curzon to resign from his position. The areas of study for the College were earmarked as Military History and Strategy, Geography, Tactics, Military Engineering, Staff Duties, Administration, Economics and Law.

Up till the inception of Pakistan the College trained excellent officers who proved their worth in military matters particularly Field Marshals Bernard Montgomery, Claude Auchinleck, William Slim, Cariappa, Ayub Khan, Sam Manekshaw and Abdul Hafiz Khannan of Jordan. All heads of Pakistan army since Gen Douglas Gracey to Gen Raheel Sharif were trained at this prestigious institution with the exception of Gen Bajwa who is a graduate of Command and Staff of Canada.

The modern history of the College begins with the arrival of first two officers, later to become part of Pakistan Army, Captain (later Brigadier) K. M. Idris and Captain (later Major General) Nazir Ahmed that provided a special significance to the July 1940 Course. The first Pakistani to serve on the faculty was Lieutenant Colonel (later Major General) Muhammad Iftikhar Khan who was posted as Directing Staff in 1943. At the inception of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah along with Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah specifically visited the College highlighting its significance and prestige.

Another milestone was achieved when the College got its first Pakistani Commandant in 1954 and the honour went to Major General M.A. Latif Khan heralding a new era in its life. On 1 July 1955, the College marked its Golden Jubilee as a 50 year-old premier institution and the celebrations went on for three days involving extensive preparations by the staff and students. It was in 1955 that the College started receiving students from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the United States, France, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. This conduct of Senior Officers’ Course continued for next few years, as and when required.
In 1956 the College shifted into the New Building that was required to cater to its growing needs and the college started awarding students ‘psc’ sobriquet. The year 1968 saw the recommencement of regular, one-year Staff Courses. The intake too was increased to 120 students which included 16 officers from allied countries. Consequent to this increase in the intake the Course was divided into A and B Divisions.
The typical location of Quetta made the College to construct an earthquake proof building and the shifting took place in 1976 setting in motion a sequel of changes in various other spheres as well. The student’s intake jumped to 230 in 1977 and has risen steadily. The Course is of 62 weeks with 14 weeks of non-resident course and 48 weeks of resident course distributed into four terms. Four weeks of resident course are utilised for technical orientation term conducted by College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

The Faculty of Research and Doctrinal Studies, commonly known as FORADS, was established in 1985 to identify and formulate goals for research and doctrinal evaluation. The College also created a specific Exam Cell to conduct the new MCQ based SCEE/Regime. In 2003, the College started conferring Master’s of Science degree in Art and Science of Warfare to the graduates. Another milestone arrived in 2005 when the College completed 100 years of its existence, quite an achievement in the fast changing world. The College has taken great strides in bringing at par its curriculum with international standards and has included Operations at higher Level, Attack, Defensive Operations, Desert Warfare, Joint Warfare, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence, Training and Strategic Studies. The revised curriculum has provided the training officers with necessary wherewithal to proceed ahead in their careers.

The only two Pakistani Commandants who are not the graduates of the College are Major General Riaz Azim (1972-1974) and Lieutenant General Tariq Waseem Ghazi (2000-2001). Interestingly, both are staff course graduates from Canada. General Ahsan Saleem Hyat is the only Chief Instructor who later rose to the rank of a General. Lieutenant General Habib Ullah (1943) and Lieutenant General Ali Kuli Khan Khattak (1973) are the only father and son who are the graduates of the College and later rose to be three star generals. The only brothers who remained as Chief Instructor are Brigadier Muhammad Ahmed, SJ and Brigadier (later Lieutenant General) Syed Muhammad Amjad. Lieutenant Colonel Agha Ahmad Gul (later Brigadier) was the first member of faculty who belonged to Quetta. Brigadier (Retired) Agha Ahmad Gul and Wing Commander Agha Mehr Gul are the only father and son who belong to Quetta and both are graduates and remained on the faculty of the college. The Weekender

Malik Nasir Mahmood Aslam is a seasoned social activist


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