The Pakistan Army (Urdu: پاک فوج Pak Fauj (IPA: pɑk fɒ~ɔd͡ʒ); Reporting name: PA) is the land-based service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. It came into existence after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. The Pakistan Army is a volunteer professional fighting force. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) it had an active force of 642,892 personnel as of 2012. In addition there were around 500,000 reserves bringing the total available troops to 1,142,000. The Constitution of Pakistan contains a provision for conscription for times of possible need, but it has never been imposed.
Since its establishment in 1947, the Army (along with its inter–services: the Navy, the Marines and the Air Force) has been involved in three wars with neighbouring India and several border skirmishes with Afghanistan. Since 1947, it has also maintained a strong presence along with its inter-services in the Arab states during the past Arab-Israeli Wars, and aided the coalition in the first Gulf War. Recently, major joint-operations undertaken by the Army include Operation Zarb e Azb Operation Toar-e-Tander (Black Thunderstorm) and Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation). Apart from conflicts, the Army has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions, including playing a major role in rescuing trapped US soldiers in Operation Gothic Serpent in 1993.e Under Article 243 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the President is appointed the civilian Commander-in-Chief. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), by statute a four-star general, is appointed by the President with the consultation and confirmation needed from the Prime Minister. The Pakistan Army is currently commanded by General Raheel Sharif.
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