Command and Staff College

Command and Staff College
Command and Staff College

Command and Staff College Emblem
Motto "Pir Sho Biyamooz - Saadi"
Established 1905
Type Constituent college of the National Defence University, Islamabad
Commandant Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani
Location Quetta, Pakistan
For other similarly named Institutions, see Staff College

The Command and Staff College was established in 1907 at Quetta, Balochistan, British Raj, now in Pakistan, and is the oldest and the most prestigious institution of the Pakistan Army. It was established in 1905 in Deolali and moved to its present location at Quetta in 1907 under the name of Quetta Cadet College[1] by Lord Kitchener, Commander-in-Chief, India. It has been the alma mater of many renowned soldiers from countries all around the world.

The College was previously affiliated with University of Balochistan but has recently been affiliated with the National Defence University (NDU) along with other staff and war colleges of Pakistan Navy and Air Force.



The Command and Staff College is located at Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan, at the entrance to the picturesque Urak Valley. To the north, south-east and south-west stand the lonely sentinels of Takatu, Murdarghar and Chiltan, rising to heights of 930–1020 metres (10-11,000 ft). Lower than the Murdarghar and closer to the Staff College, is the Sleeping Beauty, which takes its name from its uncanny resemblance to a lady in repose. She is at her best when the first winter snow throws her in sharp contrast against the skyline.


A scroll runs through the swords on which are inscribed the Persian words Pir Sho Biyamooz - Saadi. Its literal translation is Grow old by learning - Saadi, who was a famous Persian poet. When paraphrased, it means, "Go on learning and acquiring knowledge until you are old."


The College is headed by a commandant who is a general officer, and is organised into two wings, namely, the Headquarters Wing and the Instructional Wing. The Instructional Wing, headed by a Chief Instructor, is the mainstay of the college. The Senior Instructor Training of the rank of Colonel is responsible for curricular management and programming of all related activities, he is assisted General Staff Officer Grade 2, trainging 1. The faculty of research and doctrinal studies, commonly known as FORADS, is headed by a director of the rank of Colonel or Brigadier with four research sections, each being managed by a Directing Staff.

The Instructional Wing has four instructional divisions, each under a Senior Instructor of the rank of Colonel. The Headquarters Wing provides administrative support to the Instructional Wing.


Since the Staff College is concerned with inculcating professional wisdom in the students, the 'OWL' was considered, at the time of its inception, to be the most appropriate symbol for the College. The emblem of the College perched on crossed swords. The 'OWL', symbol of learning and wisdom, and the swords, the Greek god of War, combined, thus, depict the character of this institution - the seat of military knowledge and wisdom.

The same emblem was retained till 1950 when the Latin motto 'By the Pen as much as by the Sword' was replaced by the Persian Couplet, "Pir sho, beyamoz - Saadi".

In 1956, as Pakistan became a Republic, the crown was removed.

The symbol "Owl" for 74 years, was replaced by "Iqra", which symbolises the first word of command of Allah to Prophet Muhammad "IQRA BE ISME RABBEK ALLAZI KHALAQ" (Read in the name of thy Lord who created). It implies constant quest for multi-dimensional knowledge, application and effort. This centre-piece stands emblazoned on a gold and silver base which symbolizes molten earth in a perpetual state of evolutionary flux. Molten earth has been shown golden in the centre and light silvery at the circumference since a person of genuine scholarship and enlightenment ought to glow and serve as a beacon for others. The cross swords of the emblem are the traditional symbol of the Pakistan Army.


The Command and Staff College prepares its students not only to handle and employ their outfits confidently, but more importantly, provides them a broad outlook and intellectual depth to deal efficiently with more complex modes and methods of warfare under challenging leadership environment. At the end of the year, our graduate should:

  • Possess a deep insight into the employment of forces in tactical operations under prevailing battlefield environment.
  • Be able to confidently and imaginatively handle all operational and administrative staff functions and prepare his outfit to cohesively perform its challenging peace and war time roles.
  • Be able to discern the place of tactical plans within the ambit of operational strategy and joint services warfare.
  • Be able to thoughtfully apply modern leadership and management skills within our socio-religious setting.
  • Cultivate interest in broadening his vision, professional base and outlook and be able to research wide ranging issues of professional import.
  • Be able to comprehend the intricacies of international and regional political order, and its compulsions and implications.
  • Develop the acumen to identify the central issue of military and general problems and present clear and innovative options for their resolution.

Selection criteria

The Pakistani officers who attend the Course must meet the following prerequisites and qualifications:-

  • Rank/Service: Captains/Majors with 8–12 years service.
  • Courses: Respective arm/service Mid Career Course and Promotion Examinations.
  • Selection Criteria: Based on merit list of a competitive examination, service record and professional standing.
  • Civil: Preferably Bachelor of Arts/Science to qualify for the award of Master of Science degree in Art and Science of Warfare from the National Defence University, Islamabad.

Notable alumni

Field Marshals


  1. Brigadier General A.W.L. Bayly
  2. Brigadier General Sir Thompson Capper
  3. Brigadier General W.P. Braithwaite
  4. Major General Sir L.R. Vaughan
  5. Major General Sir Gerald F. Boyd
  6. Major General C.A.C. Goodwin
  7. Major General E.T. Humphreys
  8. Major General R.C. Wilson
  9. Major General G.C. Williams
  10. Major General A.B. Haig
  11. Brigadier Sir Philip Christison
  12. Brigadier C.A. Osborne
  13. Brigadier G.C. Evans
  14. Brigadier B.H. Chappel
  15. Brigadier H.V. Collingridge
  16. Major General S.F. Irwin
  17. Major General H.L. Davies
  18. Major General I.C.A. Lauder DSO,OBE,PJK
  19. Major General A. Tilly
  20. Major General M.A. Latif Khan
  21. Major General Mian Ghulam Jilani
  22. Brigadier S.A.A. Bilgrami
  23. Major General Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
  24. Major General Akhtar Hussain Malik
  25. Major General Abrar Hussain HJ, MBE
  26. Major General Muhammad Shariff
  27. Major General Azmat Bakhsh Awan
  28. Major General Riaz Azim
  29. Major General S. Wajahat Hussain
  30. Major General Muhammad Iqbal
  31. Major General Ahmad Shamim Khan
  32. Major General Muhammad Safdar
  33. Major General Rehm Dil Bhatti
  34. Major General Muhammad Amin Khan Burki
  35. Major General Syed Tanwir Husain Naqvi
  36. Major General Ali Kuli Khan Khattak
  37. Major General Saeeduz Zafar
  38. Major General Syed Muhammad Amjad
  39. Major General Javed Afzal Khan
  40. Major General Tariq Waseem Ghazi
  41. Major General Malik Arif Hayat
  42. Major General Mohsin Kamal
  43. Major General Ahmad Shuja Pasha
  44. Lieutenant General Khalid Nawaz Khan
  45. Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani

Notable Instructors

  • General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1962–1966 and the Military Governor of Hyderabad State from 1948-1949.


  1. ^ The Military History of India, T.A. Heathcote, 1995


  • The Staff College, Quetta. The First Fifty Years of The Staff College Quetta, 1906-1955. (Quetta: The Staff College, 1962). 80 pages.

External links

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