National Defence University, Pakistan


The National Defense University (NDU) is an institution of higher education funded by the Ministry of Defence of Government of Pakistan, intended to facilitate high-level training, education, and the development of national security strategy. The NDU is chartered by the President of Pakistan as its Chancellor, and the management of the NDU is vested in a three Star General from the Pakistan Armed Forces who is called the President of the University. Army’s Lieutenant General Agha Muhammad Umer Farooq is serving as its current President. It is located in Islamabad, Pakistan.

The university’s mission is “to impart higher education in policy and strategy formulation at various tiers with emphasis on national security and defence, and act as a national think tank”. The school’s master program is two-year long intensive study program.

Most of the students are selected civilians in Islamabad, and highly capable and educated military officers, graduated from the military institutions. Students take classes in advanced strategic methods, conflict resolutions, nuclear politics and diplomacy. The NDU’s institutes serve the university in developing policies of the government, while also creating simulations and war games to help keep the military current with specific concerns.


Motto “Taught Man Which He Knew Not” [Al-Quran (30:96:5)]
Established January 27, 2007
Type Public
President Lieutenant General Agha Muhammad Umer Farooq, HI(M)
Location Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan



The NDU is a Pakistani military institution founded in 1963, when the 1st Army War Course started at the Command and Staff College, Quetta. Subsequently, in 1971, a dedicated National Defence College was established at the old building of the National Assembly of Pakistan in Rawalpindi. In 1995, the National Defence College shifted to its present campus at the foothills of Margalla, Islamabad.

By a decree of the Government of Pakistan, the National Defence College was upgraded as the National Defence University. An Ordinance to this effect was signed on 27 January 2007, by the President of Pakistan. The NDU will continue to operate from the same campus.

The management of the National Defence University is vested in a three Star General from the Pakistan Army, who is called the President. He is also the head of the faculty. The University is organized into four Constituent Colleges / Institutes:

  • National Security College
  • Armed Forces War College
  • Faculty of Contemporary Studies (FCS)
  • Institute of Strategic Studies; Research and Analysis (ISSRA)

Organization of NDU

There are three affiliated colleges:

  • Command and Staff College, Quetta
  • Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore
  • PAF Air War College, Karachi

The National Security College, Armed Forces War College and Faculty of Contemporary Studies (FCS) are the instructional Colleges for conducting various courses / studies in Defence and Social Sciences, whereas the ISSRA acts as a brain and think-tank apart from conducting the National Security Workshops, Capstone Courses and Symposia / Seminars.

The Headquarters/Administrative Wing provides administrative and technical support to the entire University. The Wing is headed by a one Star General officer.


The origin of the National Defence University (NDU) goes back to the year 1963, when the 1st Army War Course started at the Command and Staff College, Quetta. Subsequently, in 1971, a dedicated National Defence College was established at the old building of the National Assembly of Pakistan in Rawalpindi. In 1995, the National Defence College shifted to its present campus at the foothills of the Margalla, Islamabad. The NDU stands established in the same campus.

Three cources of 44 weeks each were run at the NDU on annual basis till June 10. The National Security and War Course which has commenced from Aug 10 will be an amalgamation of National Security and War Course and will be of 48 weeks duration.Two / three Security Workshops, each of 6 weeks duration, are also held yearly. Since 1988, officers from friendly countries (such as Nigeria) have also been attending courses at the National Defence University. So far 3061 participants have graduated from the National Defence University. This includes, 469 officers from the 39 friendly countries and 570 participants of National Security Workshops. Today, the entire military and bulk of civil leadership are graduates of this institution.

Emblem / Logo


National Defence University Building

The Jasmine wreath in gold is placed upon the green background of the national color. Three services colors are represented in the centre, signifying inter-services organisation.A crossed sword and pen placed up the lower portion of the shield represent honour, strength and achievement through learning. The motto is inscribed in gold letters on the top centre of the shield.


Prepare future leadership from public and private sectors of Pakistan and other friendly countries through multi disciplinary educational and research programmes, professional exchanges and out reach, focusing on security, defence and strategic studies.


NDU as centre of excellence in academic and research pursuits in diversified disciplines will provide well thought out inputs on national security at strategic level, promoting the cause of a free, open and critical inquiry and scholarly debate in the service of society.

Role as a Think Tank

The NDU also acts as a national think tank on national security matters. Input is provided to the Government and armed forces on required basis. The NDU maintains academic links with national think tanks and defence universities of friendly countries. Close interaction with these seats of learning adds richness and depth to quality research work.


Taught man that which he knew not [Al-Quran (30:96:5)]


  • National Security and War Course (NSWC)
  • National Security Workshop (NSW)
  • National Media Workshop (NMW)
  • Peace and Conflict Studies (PCS)
  • Leadership and Management Sciences (LMS)
  • International Relations (IR)
  • Strategic and Nuclear Studies (SNS)
  • Government and Public Policy (GPP)
  • Information Operations Course (Info Ops)
  • Pinnacle Course

Commandants / Presidents


  • Lt Gen Agha Muhammad Umer Farooq
  • Lt Gen Muhammad Yousaf
  • Lt Gen Mohammad Hamid Khan
  • Lt Gen Raza Muhammad Khan


  • Lt Gen Raza Muhammad Khan
  • Lt Gen Shahid Hamid
  • Lt Gen Tariq Waseem Ghazi
  • Lt Gen Javed Hassan
  • Lt Gen Saeed Uz Zafar
  • Lt Gen Salahuddin Tirmizi
  • Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmed
  • Lt Gen Muhammad Maqbool


National Defence University at night

  • Lt Gen Syed Tanwir Husain Naqvi
  • Lt Gen Iftikhar Ali Khan
  • Lt Gen Asad Durrani
  • Lt Gen Rehm Dil Bhatti
  • Lt Gen Syed Zakir Ali Zaidi
  • Lt Gen Muhammad Safdar
  • Lt Gen S M H Bokhari
  • Maj Gen Nishat Ahmed
  • Lt. Gen Jamshed Gulzar Kiani
  • Lt Gen Ejaz Azim
  • Maj Gen Anwar Masood
  • Lt Gen Azmat B Awan
  • AVM M.J. O’Brian
  • Maj Gen M Rahim Khan
  • Maj Gen Nasir Ahmad Chaudhry
  • Lt Gen Abdul Hameed Khan


  • NDU Journal is an annual feature of the University which is based on the individual research papers by the participants of National security and war Course. The publications provide a forum for expression of thought provoking ideas on the issues of national, regional and international significance.
  • Margalla papers is an annual publication of National Defence University based on articles written by the prominent scholars and eminent writers of the country.
  • NDU Newsletter provides a forum for information, discussion and debate on topical issues impacting the national security.
  • ISSRA Paper is a bi-annual paper based on research carried out by researchers of Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA).
  • The University engages itself voluntarily in bringing the insights of scholarship to bear upon the advance research on development of policies on key issues facing the country through its publication.

Notable Alumni and Faculty

Pakistan Army


  • General Rahimuddin Khan (Chief Instructor)
  • General Pervez Musharaf
  • General Ehsan ul Haq

Lieutenant Generals

  • Lieutenant General Zahid Ali Akbar Khan
  • Lieutenant General Syed Tanwir Husain Naqvi
  • Lieutenant General Tariq Waseem Ghazi
  • Lieutenant-General Jamshed Gulzar Kiani

Major Generals

  • Major General Raza Muhammad
  • Major General Athar Abbas
  • Major General Zafar Abbas
  • Major General Mohammad Bajwa

Pakistan Air Force

  • Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed
  • Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat

Pakistan Navy

  • Admiral Afzal Tahir
  • Admiral Shahid Karimullah
  • Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza

Civil Servants

  • Ambassador Syed Mohammad Inaamullah


  • Dr Shahzad Waseem
  • Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri
  • Mr Sanaullah Baloch
  • Mr Babar Khan Ghauri
  • Mr Omar Ayub Khan
  • Mr Muhammad Hanif Abbasi
  • Mr Amanullah Kanrani
  • Engineer Aamir Muqam
  • Miss Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli

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