Engineer-in-Chief (Pakistan Army)

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Military Engineering Services Pakistan Army
Lt Gen Moazam Ejaz
FormationAugust 1947
First holderGeneral Muhammad Anwar Khan
WebsiteOfficial Website

'Engineer-in-Chief or E-in-C', is a Colonel Commandant of the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers, Frontier Works Organisation and the Military Engineering Services of Pakistan. In the Pakistan Army, the Engineer-in-Chief is a chief engineer and topographer of the Army and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant General, advises the Pakistan Army in matters of science, engineering, and technology.[1]

Major General Ajmal Iqbal is current Acting E-in-C of Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers, Military Engineering Service, and Frontier Works Organisation.

The Engineer-in-Chief commands the Corps of Engineers, Pakistan Army and other military engineering and maintenance corps of the Army. As a senior commander and senior staff officer at the Army General Headquarters (GHQ), the Engineer-in-Chief advises the Army on science and engineering matters and serves as the Army's topographer.

The E-in-C also serves as the proponent for real estate and other science and engineering programs of the Army. As commander of the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers, the Engineer-in-Chief leads a major Army Engineering command in civil and military infrastructure programs. This office defines policy and guidance and plans direction for the organizations within the Corps.

History of MES (Military Engineering Services)

Birth of MES – Our Predecessors

The concept of the Military Engineer Services dates back to the creation of the Indian Army under the British Crown. In the 18th century and the earlier part of the 19th century, the engineering requirements of the army preponderated over those of other departments, and there came into being a Public Works Department (PWD) under the control of the Military Board in the middle of the 19th century. The Corps of Engineers who were entirely military in character manned the department. In 1866, the PWD, which was manned largely by the Military Engineers, was divided into Military Works Branch, Civil Works Branch including Irrigation and Railway Branch.

Military Works Branch was designated as Military Works Services in 1899, and its head, the Director General Military Works (DGMW) had the right of direct communication with the Commander-in-Chief on all matters affecting his Department. Military Works Services was further designated as Military Engineer Services in 1923 and its role is briefly described in the following except taken from Army Instruction of 4 December 1923.

“It has been decided, with the approval of the Right Honorable the Secretary of State of India, to organize the Engineer Services in India under an Engineer-in-Chief who will be borne upon the establishment of Army Headquarters, and will be directly responsible to the Commander-in-Chief. The Engineer Services in India consist of the Corps of Sappers and Miners and the Military Works Services. The Military Works Services will be designated as the Military Engineer Services, and will cease to be administered as a Directorate of the Quartermaster General's Branch. The Engineer-in-Chief will be the head of the Corps of Royal Engineers in India, and will retain all the powers and privileges that have from time to time been granted to the Director of Military Works, whose appointment is now abolished"

The organization of the Engineer-in-Chief India during the period 1924 to 1947 was based on the workload of the MES. The whole of India was divided into four MES Commands as follows:-

  1. Northern Command (Headquarters at Rawalpindi)
  2. Central Command (Headquarters at Agra)
  3. Southern Command (Headquarters at Poona)
  4. Eastern Command (Headquarters at Calcutta)

MES after Independence

At the time of Independence in 1947, when the armed forces of India were reconstituted for allocation to the dominions of Pakistan and India, a broad formula was adopted for distribution of the MES. It was decided that territorially, Northern Command cantonments, with the inclusion of East Bengal and exclusion of East Punjab, would become MES of the Pakistan Army. In consequence of it, mostly, the Northern Command of the MES came under the control of the Engineer-in-Chief of Pakistan.

The control of the Engineer-in-Chief over the Corps of Engineers and MES, as a whole, remained total in all aspects as in India, till 1960. He had only one Director of Works for the three services i.e., Army, Navy and Air Force. The Engineer-in-Chief could expand, detract or reorganize the MES according to the workload in each area.

The period from 1958 to 1960 was of a great reorganization shake-up for the Pakistan Army and MES. The offices of Engineer-in-Chief and MES branches of the Army, Navy and Air Force, under their respective Director of Works & Chief Engineers (DW&CEs) were approved in 1960 by the Ministry of Defence. They were placed under the functional control of their Service Headquarters. Stores and MES workshops were transferred to Ordnance and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) respectively. Furniture was transferred to the Quartermaster General’s Branch. Although Engineer in-Chief’s technical control remained ostensibly undisturbed, his practical link with DW&CEs was reduced to a mere technical formality.

DW & CE (Defence Production) was also raised to execute the works for the Defence Production Division in 1972. In the year 2001, re-structuring of MES Army Wing was approved by the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) and implemented with a view to improve the efficiency of MES. It was also aimed at direct interaction between the main user i.e. formations and MES executives.

MES as a Department

MES as a department deals with designing, construction and maintenance of buildings, road, airfields, bridges, electricity, water supply, sewerage, Sui gas, drainage, furniture and stores etc. To handle all these services, MES has different cadres like Building and Roads (B&R), Electrical and Mechanical (E&M), Furniture and Stores (F&S), which are considered to be specialists in their respective fields. It is an inter services organization responsible for such services for Army, Navy, Air Force and DP Division. In 1960, Director of Works and Chief Engineer with requisite organization was established at each Service HQ for close liaison, effective control, deliberate planning and efficient execution of work services. Responsibility for furniture in Navy, PAF and DP Wings rests with MES whereas in Army it is handled by QMG’s Branch. Maintenance/repairs and minor works in MES Army wing are controlled by Formations HQ. Similarly there is an MES School at Military College of Engineering (MCE) Risalpur where different types of courses are being run for the MES officers and other supervisory and technical staff.

MES as an Organization

Military Engineer Services is organized on inter-services basis and consists of the following:-

  1. The office of the Engineer-in-Chief
  2. Four MES Wings, one each for Army, Navy, PAF and Ministry of Defence Production, each wing is headed by a DW&CE who is of the rank of Brigadier/ Commodore/ Air Commodore /Chief Engineer.

Rank Lieutenant General (3-Star)
NATO Equivalent OF-8
Uniform Insignia

Rank Structure and Uniform Insignia[edit]

Pakistani Officer Ranks
Rank Field Marshal (5-Star) General (4-Star) Lieutenant General (3-Star) Major General (2-Star) Brigadier General (1-Star) Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant 2nd Lieutenant
NATO Equivalent OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF-1
Uniform Insignia
Pakistani Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and Enlisted Ranks
Rank Subedar Major (JCO) Subedar (JCO) Naib Subedar (JCO) Battalion Havildar Major Battalion Quartermaster Havildar Company Havildar Major Company Quartermaster Havildar Havildar Naik Lance Naik Jawan
NATO Equivalent None None None OR-9 OR-8 OR-8 OR-7 OR-5/6 OR-4 OR-3 OR-1/2
Uniform Insignia No Insignia

Notable Engineers-in-Chief[edit]


  1. ^ "Maj-General Ashfaq Nadeem made DG MO". The Nation (Pakistan). 16 April 2011. Retrieved 2019-11-29.