Command and Staff College,
Quetta, Pakistan

History Command and Staff College, Quetta



MARCH TOWARDS A NEW DAWN (1956 - 1976)

b1This section of the book illustrates beginning of another period in the College history wherein it was shifted into New Building, a true reflection of the College aspirations for future. The tone for this change was set by change of emblem in 1956 as Pakistan became an Islamic Republic. The College transited towards its new attire with lot of hope, spirit and ambition to provide Pakistan with a trustworthy training institution for middle tier of officers' leadership hierarchy. This period is also important from the viewpoint that Pakistan went into war with India twice i.e., 1965 and 1971, which afforded our Graduates an opportunity to bring laurels to themselves and the Alma Mater, and demonstrate excellence of training acquired at the College.

b1In 1957, the College was visited by a special United States Nuclear Warfare Team. This visit proved most useful and resulted in modification and revision of the old syllabus. In 1959, for the first time in the history of the College, there was a joint exercise with the Pakistan Air Force Staff College. This served as a forerunner for such exercises to be held every year, thereafter such interaction helped nurture a closer and warmer relationship between the sister services. Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Phillip visited the College on 5th February 1961 whereas Mr Tunku Abdul Rehman Putra, the Prime Minister of Malaya visited in October 1962. The Staff College had the privilege of receiving in 1963 Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck. He had been a student of this College and later a member of the Directing Staff. His visit and a few days stay at the College proved inspiring for everyone.b1

With the outbreak of 1965 war, the normal Staff Course was terminated earlier and students were awarded the 'psc'. The staff moved to the war front and the College remained closed till it was reopened in April 1966 for three short courses of six months. The year 1968 saw the recommencement of regular, one-year Staff Courses. The intake too was increased to 120 students which included 16 officers from allied countries. Consequent to this increase in the intake, the Course was divided into A and B Divisions.

The morning of 26 March 1971 holds particular significance in the history of the College as a sombre demolition ceremony held in the College lawns bade farewell to the Old Building to give way to an earthquake proof modern Building. Dressed in ceremonial attire, the officers drew up in three ranks with a pipe band of the Punjab Regiment in the centre and paid homage to the Old Building. Each one of the assembled officers understood the law that the old must give way to the new, but all were also conscious of the fact that the silent building which faced them was the symbol of a bygone era in which men like Montgomery, Auchinleck, Slim and Ayub Khan walked its corridors.b1 To the traditionalists, the College could never be the same again but to the more modernists it was imperative to stay abreast with contemporary environment. The oldest buildings, a reminiscent of our past, include the Main Mess building and 30 earthquake-proof concrete bungalows, presently occupied by the Directing Staff. In 1971 again, the call for the defence of the motherland interrupted the Staff Course. It was cut short by a few weeks and dispersed in early November. The usual post war change over to the short courses held good for 1972; however, this time only one short Staff Course was conducted.