The Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul (PMA), also known as PMA Kakul, is a two-year accreditedfederal service military academy. It is located at Kakul in Abbottabad. The Pakistan Military Academy is similar in function to Sandhurst, Saint-Cyr, and West Point, and provides training to the officers of Pakistan Army and Allied countries. The academy has three training battalions, and 12 companies. Another 2,000 guests each year, from over 34 countries, receive some training at PMA.
Before Partition in 1947, the location had initially been used as the premises of a PT and Mountaineering School of the British Indian Army, on the site of an old POW Camp for prisoners from the Boer War, and later it became the premises of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps. After the division of the old Indian Army between India and Pakistan in 1947, Brigadier Francis Ingall, an officer of the British Indian Army, was selected by the C-in-C India, Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, as first commandant of the Pakistan Military Academy, established at Kakul. He determined to model the Pakistan Academy on Sandhurst and requested a regimental sergeant major from the Brigade of Guards to help with training. He was lucky, too, to have the support of a number of old Indian Army officers who were transferred to the Pakistan Army, among them Lieutenant-Colonel Attiqur Rahman. In spite of facilities which were nowhere near the level of those enjoyed by the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun, Ingall won the confidence of his cadets and instructors. When, late in 1947, the dispute over the accession of Jammu and Kashmir led to armed conflict between India and Pakistan, he was able to structure the Academy’s training to enable newly commissioned officers to be immediately effective when they joined units on active service. Ingall was appointed OBE after completing his term as commandant in 1950. What probably gave him more satisfaction was the decision to name Kakul’s central lecture theatre Ingall Hall – though this was not built until many years after he had left. He kept in touch with the academy for the rest of his life, making his last visit in November, 1997 where he said:
|“||I have given many addresses from this position here and from 1948 to 1951 I was very keen on the question of Pakistan and believed in it. I believed what the Quaid-e-Azam preached. I believe in Islam.||”|
Cadets from IMA (66) arrived in October 1947 and new cadets for Ist PMA Long Course (78) and Ist Graduates Course (63) were selected in Pakistan and training started officially in January 1948. Two hundred and seven cadets started their training in January 1948. On January 25, 1948, “The First Pakistan Battalion” was instituted. This battalion has four companies which were “named after the luminaries of Muslim military history” (e.g., Khalid, Tariq, Qasim, and Salahuddin). In March 1948, the First Battalion “was bestowed with Quaid-e-Azam’s patronage as Colonel-in-Chief, and the most coveted claim “The Quaid-e-Azam’s Own”.
Khawaja Nazimuddin gave the Quaid-e-Azam banner to the Pakistan Military Academy on behalf of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah. The Quaid-e-Azam banner is held aloft by the champion company at every passing out parade. “Regimental colours presented in 1950 by Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan and the National Standard in 1961 by General Muhammad Musa, the then-Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, have been some of the honours showered on the Academy, which it has always jealously guarded and kept high in letter and spirit.”The 1965 war led to expansion of the academy, and the second battalion of the academy was created in December 1965. This battalion consisted of four companies, called Ghaznavi, Babur, Aurangzeb, and Tipu. In early 1989, the third battalion of the academy was founded. The third battalion’s four companies are Haider, Ubaida, Saad, and Hamza.
The academy is located in Abbottabad, at an elevation of 1,220 meters (4,000 feet). Abbottabad, named after the British administrator James Abbott in the year 1853, is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, 50 kilometres (31 miles) northeast of the capital Islamabad and 150 kilometres (93 miles) east of Peshawar at an altitude of 1,260 metres (4,134 ft) and is the capital of the Abbottabad District. It borders Azad Kashmir to the east. The city is well known throughout Pakistan for its pleasant weather, high-standard educational institutions and military establishments as it has a robust presence of soldiers engaged in various activities. The cantonment area of Abbottabad is a beautiful place that is full of greenery, magnificent bungalows and trees. Pine trees are especially common in the area, whereas the climate is moderate both in winters and summers. The city is equipped with markets and all sorts of transport facilities. The city is only at a short distance from the academy. The academy provides an excellent environment for the grooming of young cadets.
The educational philosophy of the academy is to impart more than just combat training. The academy provides such an environment that every cadet develops attributes of Courage, Discipline, Integrity, Dignity, Honour and Patriotism. The academy provides all sorts of knowledge and wisdom that will be necessary for the cadets of today to implement when they become officers and are entrusted with an authority. In army all young officers have great respect for their seniors and this character is imparted during their stay at the academy. Every cadet must be clear of his/her aim of joining the army. With a clear mindset every cadet is required to work hard and with zeal. He should be willing to take risks and lead his team from the front. Team work is an essential part of the extra-curricular activities and field exercises.
The academy offers a 4 years undergraduate program which is Bachelors of Military Arts And Sciences[BMAS] including some common subjects as English, Military Geography, National and International Affairs, Islamic Studies, Military and General Science or Social Science.The long course cadets study two years for the degree before commissioning and complete their degree in their units.Every Gentleman Cadet passing out of the academy has a minimum graduation(from MCE,CEME,MCS,AM College or civil institutes) except for Long Course cadets who complete their degree after their passing out.
The academy also has a Central Library that has a large collection of books on nearly every subject. The library also has journals and research materials. Along with the library the academy also has three massive computer laboratories and four latest computer-controlled Language laboratories. It is important that the cadets be aware of the current national and international news, for which PMA has set up its own broadcast channel.
Apart from the above courses and facilities, Pakistan Military Academy also has a range of clubs and societies which are:
- Science Club
- Fine Arts Club
- Crafts Club
- Drama Club
- Debating Club
- Music Club
- Camera Club
- Literary Club
- Graphics Club