The genesis of the National Defence University was commencement of Army War Course at the historic Command and Staff University, Quetta in 1963. Subsequently, realizing the need for a higher educational institution for the Armed Forces of Pakistan, the University was formally established at Rawalpindi on l4th February 1971. Two new courses called National Defence Course (ND Course) and Armed Forces War Course (AFWC) were introduced in the same year. These included participants from the Armed Forces and the Civil Services of Pakistan. Since 1988, the National Defence Course was opened to participants from the friendly countries as well. On 14th August 1995, the University was shifted to its present premises at the foothills of Margallas in Sector E-9, Islamabad. The University has the distinction of training about 200 foreign participants, entire senior leadership of the Armed Forces of Pakistan and a large number of senior bureaucrats.
The University is located in Sector E-9 of Islamabad at the foot of the scenic Margalla hills. Islamabad being the capital of the Pakistan is strategically located keeping in view all aspects that are of significance in a capital city of any nation. The weather in Islamabad is quite hot as the mercury touches 47°C during the summers, while it almost touches the freezing point during winters.
It is a city which is at par with any capital city of the world extending all basic amenities of life. Being the Federal Capital it is easily accessible by all modes of transportation. It is also the home for all the foreign missions, consulates and embassies of various countries and has evolved into a city which enjoys a diverse culture, an amalgamation of various cultures of the world.
The aim of the course is to enable senior officers of the Armed Forces, Civil Services of Pakistan and friendly countries to study factors bearing on national security and defence with a view to preparing them for formulation of national strategy and assignments at the policy planning level.
The faculty which comprises the Commandant, chief instructors and selected senior officers of the Armed Forces and civil services of Pakistan play a significant part in the grooming of participants of the courses. Other than organizing lectures, discussions and numerous other activities for the participants, the faculty grooms them to shoulder assignments at policy planning level in their respective fields. The faculty is the inspiration behind all curriculum activities which are intellectually very stimulating. Finally the faculty also carefully evaluates abilities of each participant and recommends his or her future employment.
The University is administered through the Headquarters Wings headed by a Brigadier. Most of the faculty, participants and staff of the University are accommodated within the University campus. The peaceful surroundings provide ideal for study. The University management, support in the form of telecommunications, computers facility and printing press. General staff branch looks after the staff work aspects while administrative aspects are managed by another dedicated branch. The upkeep and maintenance of the campus is carried out through Maintenance Engineer Services. Medical facilities are available through two medical officers. Similarly dining facilities can be availed from the Officers Mess.
A well stocked library supports all the research activities at the University. It has over 50,000 volumes of and reference material books on various disciplines. The library is fully computerized in terms of cataloguing, bibliographical data and indexation of magazine based articles. The Library Automation and Management Programme (LAMP) offers search and reference facilities to the users. A magazine section, comprising over 100 professional magazines, provides a data bank of articles which are very helpful for research purpose. The documentation section of the library consists of about 200 folders containing newspapers clippings covering subjects of topical interest.
The research conducted by the participants is preserved in the newly established archives besides other old reference material pertaining to the University. The members are provided access to old records for their research assignments.
Internet facility is provided to all members through a local area network (LAN) installed at the campus. The facility is available during library hours free of charge. The facility can also be provided at individual residences at nominal charges.