Islamic Republic of Pakistan
The modern state of Pakistan was carved out of two predominantly-Muslim regions in 1947, in what was then British India. The country became a republic in 1956, but was frequently drawn into regional conflicts such as the Indo-Pakistani War (1971) which led to the independence of Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan). The nation is officially known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (اسلامی جمہوریہ پاکستان or Islāmī Jumhūrī-ye Pākistān), and it maintains the seventh largest armed forces in the world. Although militarily supportive of Arab nations in conflicts such as the Arab-Israeli Wars and the Soviet-Afghan Wars, the nation is in fact the largest contributor of military personnel to United Nations-sponsored peacekeeping efforts throughout the world.
Pakistan has a very large textile and garment production industry, and is one of the few countries in the world that still produces its own military uniforms. Additionally, Pakistani factories supply combat uniforms to many other nations in Asia and parts of Africa.
Pakistani Camouflage Patterns
- The oldest Pakistani-produced camouflage pattern appears to be a copy of the British three-color brushstroke design. Several variations of the pattern have been documented, varying somewhat in colors used as well as the shapes employed. Use of this pattern dates back to the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1972-1977), when it was employed by the Special Service Group (SSG - the Army special forces), but it saw service into the 1980s and uniforms were later exported to Somalia.
- In the mid-1980s, the Army Special Service Group (SSG) began wearing British style DPM camouflage smocks as their standard uniform. The tradition continued into the 1990s. Although surplus stocks of British uniforms were probably made available originally to members of the SSG (as part of a British military aid program), ultimately the smocks were copied and produced more cheaply in country.
- Appearing first in the 1990s, a locally-produced copy of US m81 woodland camouflage has been in service with the Army ever since. Initially worn by the SSG, the pattern has also been used by conventional forces and personnel serving abroad with the United Nations. As with all Pakistan-produced textiles, there is considerable variability among production runs.
- One of the many camouflage patterns that appears to have been produced for export is a dense leaf design of mottled black, brown and olive green leaf shapes on a khaki background. The pattern was first documented in the late 1990s, but was reportedly worn by Pakistani troops serving in Africa at that time. This pattern has also been attributed to some countries in the OAU.
- Another leaf pattern worn by Pakistani troops is seen here, based more or less around the US m1948 ERDL drawings, but having black, brown & olive green leaf shapes on a khaki or tan background. This pattern is almost always encountered on Pakistani personnel serving abroad.
- Using a different set of drawings, a series of three-color "arid" camouflage patterns have been worn by Pakistani peacekeeping personnel since approximately the year 2000. Varying considerably, these generally incorporate russet & olive green shapes on a khaki background.
- A variation of the above was introduced around 2004, having a similar colorway but using a different set of drawings. This pattern is still widely encountered.
- The Marines of the Pakistani Navy have their own woodland pattern featuring light brown, olive green & blue shapes on a tan or light olive background. Slight color variations have been noted, no doubt a product of different manufacturers.
- Some units of the Paksitani Army such as the SSG and the Rangers wear a locally-produced copy of the US six color desert camouflage pattern.
- Units of the Pakistani Air Force begam wearing this variation of the six-color desert pattern in the late 1990s and continued its use into the 2000s. It was still being worn in 2013.
- Additionally, some units of the Pakistani Army also wear a copy of US tricolor desert pattern.
- Some members of the Maritime Security Agency (a Coast Guard type unit) wear an arid pattern seen here.
- Yet another desert pattern worn by Pakistani forces is seen here. A three-color design, incorporating russet and light brown shapes on a sand-colored background, the pattern has been fielded by elements of the Frontier Corps (سرحد واہنی) serving in the Balochistan regions of Pakistan. The FC Balochistan are a reserve paramilitary force that assists in law enforcement, carries out border patrols, and conducts anti-smuggling operations.
- Elements of the Pakistan Navy also issue a camouflage pattern uniform to some personnel. Seen here, the design incorporates sparse black and medium grey shapes on a light grey background.
- First appearing in late 2012, the Army now has adopted a semi-pixelated version of their arid/desert pattern.
- Members of the Airport Security Force (ASF) have been issued the camouflage design seen below, consisting of black, blue and grey blotches on a light grey background.
- The Pakistan Strategic Plans Division Force, charged with providing protection to their nuclear facilities, has adopted a pixelated camouflage design copied from the USMC MARPAT.
- Air Force personnel officially adopted a new camouflage design circa 2016. It appears to be a copy of the US Air Force "digital tiger pattern" camouflage.
- Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel now wear a pixelated camouflage design with a much darker scheme than previously issued. This pattern also appeared circa 2016. Having a dark brown base, the design incorporates black, dark olive green, and light grey or tan patches.
- Since at least 2016, the Frontier Corps (سرحد واہنی) North-West Frontier Province (FC NWFP - now known as Frontier Corps Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) have adopted a pixelated camouflage design incorporating green, black, brown and tan or khaki shapes. This replaces the solid khaki uniform previously worn.