1. Soon after the establishment of National Defence and Armed
Forces War College at Ayub Hall (old National Assembly Building at
Lalkurti) in May 1970, the first Commandant, Maj Gen Abdul Hamid
Khan, constituted a research cell headed by Brig Hassan Abdul Khalid,
Lt Col Anwar Sher and Mr Pervaiz Ahmed Butt as members. Since
1971-72 National Defence and Armed Forces War Courses had to be
terminated prematurely on 4 December 1971, therefore, the first
research cell had hardly any time to organize itself. In fact, with
the departure of Maj Gen Abdul Hamid Khan, the research cell also
ceased to exist. From 1972 to 1976 there was no research cell as
such. A Directing Staff each from both the wings worked as Directing
Staff Research for his respective wing. During this period, the
student participants were required to write papers on given topics
without any fixed parameters. It was after the affiliation of the
College with the Quaid-e-Azam University in 1976 that the College
evolved a research system compatible with postgraduate academic
2. In 1980, Brig Muhammad Aslam was posted as Director Research but
the old system did not change. Director Research continued looking
after the National Defence Wing, and the War Wing utilized the
services of one member of its faculty, who acted as the Directing
Staff Research. Lt Col Syed Iqbal Ahmed was the first GSO-1
(Research) posted in 1985.
3. In 1984, the charter of duties of the Research Cell, comprising a
Brig and a Lt Col (GSO-1 Research), were revised. Director Research
was made responsible for the following:
a. Organization and co-ordination of all research work at the
b. Allocation of research topics and evaluation of Individual
Research Papers for both National
Defence Course and Armed Forces
c. Provision of latest reference material related to various studies
and individual research.
d. Publications of the College magazine.
4. In October 1989, a case was taken up through Joint Staff
Headquarters for the sanction of an additional officer of the rank
of Brig/Col/Lt Col or equivalent as Directing Staff Research War
Wing. It was emphasized that the Research Cell comprising 1x Brig &
1x Lt Col was barely meeting the research needs of National Defence
Wing. With this organization, no research work of doctrinal and
conceptual nature could be carried out. Therefore, it was proposed
to create a Research Training Team (War Wing) to be expanded into a
Research Wing subsequently.
5. The post of an additional Brigadier as Directing Staff Research
War Wing was sanctioned on 28 July 1990. Since then, both National Defence and War Wing have their Directing Staff Research.
New Dimension to Research
6. In January 1991 the War Wing suggested a new Research Faculty for
the National Defence
College as under:
was visualized that after the proposed organization was fully
functional, it would be considered to place the institute of
Strategic Studies, Islamabad under its supervision. The ND Wing did
not support the proposal for various reasons. In 1995 the Commandant
Lt Gen Tanvir Husain Naqvi ordered following changes in the Research
a. The Research Faculty will function as an independent wing.
b. The Research Faculty will comprise the existing Directing Staff
Research of National Defence
Wing and War Wing. The Senior Directing
Staff Research will directly report to the
c. The library will from part of the Research Wing and the Library
Officer will perform the additional
task of General Staff Officer-I
8. The concept, aim and scope of research at the National Defence
College were thoroughly deliberated upon. Consequent to these
deliberations, the following decisions were taken:
a. Creation of Faculty of Research in Operational Policy and
b. Restructuring of the Group Research Paper (GRP).
c. Presentation of Individual Research Papers.
d. External Sponsors.
e. Establishment of National Defence College Archives.
Faculty of Research in Operational Policy and Strategy
9. It was felt that in addition to research by the participants, the
National Defence College research faculty, in keeping with the
requirements of the state and armed forces, should also undertake
research in operational policy and strategy. It was thus decided
that the Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) of National
Defence College should cater for an appropriate research faculty.
The proposed research faculty was accordingly named “Faculty of
Research in Operational Policy and Strategy” or FROPS. The
organization of FROPS, as envisaged in the proposed TO&E of NDC, was
10. The faculty of research and analysis was meant to:-
a. Supervise and refine the research by participants of the two
b. Conduct research on strategic issues of national and
c. Act as a think tank for studies in policy and strategy.
d. Conduct national / international symposia / seminars on issues of
policy and strategy at the College.
e. Participate in national and international symposia / seminars in
the country and abroad
organized by various agencies.
f. Publish and circulate research work to government departments /
agencies and Armed
New Research Policy
11. Research dominated almost all activities at the NDC. However, it
was never given the importance it deserved. Accordingly it was
decided by Lt Gen Muhammad Maqbool to give research a new
orientation both in terms of its place in the college curriculum as
well as its conduct and application. The new policy emphasized
enhanced interaction between the faculty and participants,
meaningful evaluation of the Individual Research Papers and overall
co-ordination of research work done at the NDC. Salient aspects of
the new policy were:-
a. Further enhancing interaction between the participants and the
b. Providing adequate time for meaningful evaluation of IRPs at all
c. Ensuring systematic development and effective monitoring of
progress on IRPs by the
12. The new system followed a graduated pattern as explained below:-
a. The participants of both National Defence and War Wings will be
divided in two groups in
their respective wings with a laid down
schedule of work.
b. Where possible, the participants in each group will be given
lighter assignments during their
peak research period to allow them
maximum time to work on the IRPs.
c. The submission of IRPs for both groups was staggered by four
13. In the wake of structural changes brought about in the research
policy and methodology, it was decided to establish a separate
research wing as envisaged in the concept of FROPS. Accordingly,
requisite set up was created in the central wing, next to the
College Library. Brig Muhammad Zakir (Dir Research) was tasked by
the Commandant, Lt Gen Muhammad Maqbool, to arrange inauguration of
the wing by 21 January 1998. This set the things in motion and a
separate Research Wing was fully functional in its new location on
the given date. The Wing housed Director Research, his staff and
scholar rooms for guest scholars. Lt Gen Muhammad Maqbool formally
inaugurated the Wing on 21 January 1998. Maj Gen Hamid Nawaz Khan
was posted as first DG Research and assumed the appointment on 29
Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA)
14. With the up gradation of NDC as NDU on 27 Jan 2007, the Research
Wing of ISSRA was established. ISSRA within after its establishment
of over three years, is seen globally as well as domestically as one
of the effective think tanks of Pakistan. ISSRA has been and is
making substantial contributions both at services as well as
ministerial levels in the domains of its relevance. With this
recognition and trust, institute from across the globe seek NDU’s
participation or view point especially once it comes to aspects
related to security, counter terrorism and nuclear issues.
15. The third meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) chaired by the Prime Minister on 17 April 2014, approved the composition and functions of the Planning Committee and the Advisory Board of the NSC, in which Director General ISSRA has been incorporated in Advisory Board with mandate to conduct research on national security issues under the supervision of the National Security Division, brief the Planning Committee on national security issues as and when required; and organize national and international seminars on national security issues.