|Branch||Paramilitary forces of Pakistan|
|Role||Law enforcement/Border patrol|
|Size||70,000 active personnel|
Ministry of Interior (MoI)|
Ministry of Defence (MoD)
|Website||http://www.frontiercorpskpk.com/ (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) http://www.fcbalochistan.gov.pk (Balochistan)|
|Inspector General, Peshawar||Major-General Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood|
|Inspector General, Bln North||Major-General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum|
|Inspector General, Bln South||Major-General Sardar Tariq Aman|
The Frontier Corps (Urdu: ? ) (reporting name: FC), is an umbrella term for the two western provincial auxiliary forces part of the paramilitary forces of Pakistan along the western provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and are the direct counterparts to the Rangers of the eastern provinces (Sindh and Punjab). The Frontier Corps comprises two separate organizations: FC NWFP stationed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), and includes the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and FC Balochistan stationed in Balochistan province. Each subdivision is headed by a seconded inspector general, who is a Pakistan Army officer of at least major-general rank, although the force itself is under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry.
With a total manpower of approximately 80,000, the task of the Frontier Corps is to help local law enforcement in the maintenance of law and order, and to carry out border patrol and anti-smuggling operations.
Some of the FC's constituent units such as the Chitral Scouts, the Khyber Rifles, Swat Levies, the Kurram Militia, the Tochi Scouts, the South Waziristan Scouts, and the Zhob Militia have regimental histories dating back to British colonial times and many, e.g. the Khyber Rifles, have distinguished combat records before and after 1947. The Khyber Rifles was in fact regularized during the 1965 war and fought with distinction in Kashmir.
The Frontier Corps was created in 1907 by Lord Curzon, the viceroy of British India, in order to organize seven militia and scout units in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan: the Khyber Rifles, the Zhob Militia, the Kurram Militia, the Tochi Scouts, the Chagai Militia, the South Waziristan Scouts and the Chitral Scouts.
The Frontier Corps was led by an "inspecting officer" who was a British officer of the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1943 the inspecting officer was upgraded to an inspector general (an officer with the rank of brigadier), and the corps was expanded with new units (the Second Mahsud Scouts were raised in 1944 and the Pishin Scouts in 1946).
After independence in 1947, Pakistan expanded the corps further by creating a number of new units, including the Thal Scouts, the Northern Scouts, the Bajaur Scouts, the Karakoram Scouts, the Kalat Scouts, the Dir Scouts and the Kohistan Scouts. British officers continued to serve in the Frontier Corps up to the early 1950s. The corps was split into two major subdivisions with FC Balochistan incorporating the Zhob Militia, the Sibi Scouts, the Kalat Scouts, the Makran Militia, the Kharan Rifles, the Pishin Scouts, the Chaghai Militia and the First Mahsud Scouts. In 1975 three of the units: the Gilgit Scouts, the Karakoram Scouts and the Northern Scouts; were merged to form a new paramilitary force called the Northern Light Infantry, which is now a full infantry regiment of the Pakistan Army.
In the mid-1970s, the Pakistani government used FC Balochistan to counter the terrorists in Balochistan and the force is unpopular among some of the local population who associate them with human rights violations and heavy-handed operations. To improve the image of the corps, it has been involved in the construction of schools and hospitals, although as of late 2004, corps installations in the province were being routinely attacked by terrorists.
In 2007, after the collapse of truce agreements between the Pakistani government and local militants, the Frontier Corps, teamed with regular Pakistani military units, conducted incursions into tribal areas controlled by the militants. The effort produced a series of bloody and clumsy confrontations. On August 30, about 250 Pakistani troops, mostly from the Frontier Corps, surrendered to militants without a fight. In early November, most were released in exchange for 25 militants held by the Pakistan Army.
There is a widespread consensus among United States government military and intelligence experts that the Frontier Corps are the best potential military units against the Islamist militants because its troops are locally recruited, know local languages and understand local cultures. The United States provided more than US$7 billion in military aid to Pakistan from 2002 to 2007, most of which was used to equip the Frontier Corps because it is in the frontline of the fight against the Islamist insurgents. From late 2007, the Pakistani government intended to expand the corps to 100,000 and use it more in fighting Islamist militants, particularly Al-Qaeda, after extensive consultations with the U.S. government and an agreement to start a multi-year effort to bolster it including the establishment of a counterinsurgency training centre. The new US Obama policy for Pakistan is seen as a clear victory for the Pakistan Army lobby in the US. The $1.5billion a year aid recently announced with no strings attached will go a long way in seeing that the Frontier Corps stay at the height of their professional abilities due to new equipment and training.
During times of difficulties, the government occasionally gives the FC the power to arrest and detain suspects such as in late 2012 and early 2013 when the Prime Minister of Pakistan granted the FC policing powers. These temporary powers can also be extended on the orders or consent of the provincial government or federal government or both.
The senior command posts of the Frontier Corps are filled by officers seconded from the Pakistan Army for two to three years.
The Frontier Corps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is headquartered in Bala Hisar Fort in Peshawar.
The Frontier Corps in Balochistan is headquartered in Quetta and is led by Major General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum. FC Balochistan has a manpower of more than 50,000 troops. The School of Frontier Corps and Training Centre Loralai is the primary training institution, whereas Battle School Belali is for advanced courses.
The corps is divided into thirty local units--fourteen in the North-West Frontier Province and sixteen in Balochistan-and are as follows (with founding date):
Other units also located in Balochistan:
There are a total of 40 battalions and 1 recce squadron with 70,000 active personnel.
After independence in 1947, the Inspectors-General of FC NWFP were:
1. Brigadier Tila Mohammad (2007 to 2008)
2. Brigadier Nadir Zeb (2008 to 2010)
3. Brigadier Muhammad Usman Khan SI.M (2010 to 2013)
4. Brigadier Khalid Javed (2013-2015)
1. Brigadier Furqan (2006 to 2008)
2. Brigadier Sikandar Khan (2008 to 2009)
3. Brigadier Khalid Saleem (2013-2014)
4. Brigadier Tahir Mehmood (2014-2015)
According to former Inspector General FC Major-General Obaidullah khan khattak while addressing to students, parents and journalists in a FC sponsored school ceremony in 2012 that more than 22,000 students are getting education in various FC organised Schools and a College in Balochistan. Most of the FC educational institutes are affiliated with Federal board rather than provincial boards in Balochistan. Currently FC funding/governing three schools and a college in Balochistan.