Pak army is a firm believer of the fact that peace is the only way to development and prosperity. Only those nations in the world have made progress and have turned their dreams into reality who are physically and mentally strong enough to face any daunting challenge with courage and determination. Dozens of UN peace projects are evident to the fact that Pakistani squads always perform meticulously in the toughest scenarios and achieve all sort of uphill tasks. It only becomes possible due to the tough and challenging exercises through which every Pak soldier has to undergo during his training and whole service.
PACES is one such concept that enables a soldier to rely on his physical fitness and strength to hit a certain target. With this concept, intra army PACES competitions are being held since 2011 additionally, the institution is also holding international PACES competitions since 2016.
In this context the third International PACES Competition, organized by Pak Army will be held from 1st to 7th of November 2021 at Ayub Stadium Lahore. Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajva will grace the occasion with his presence in the opening ceremony. Squads of eleven states alongwith top five teams of 9th Army PACES Championship 2021 will showcase their physical and combat efficiency strength in the event. Four regimental teams of Pak army will also participate in the competition. Out of the 11 international squads, teams of Iraq, Urdan, Nigeria, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Srilanka and United Arab Imarets will participate in different events of the competition whereas Egypt, America, Mianmar and Indonasia will be the part of PACES as observers.
First International PACES Competition was held between 18th to 24th of October 2016 in Lahore in which teams of 17 countries and 9 squads of Pak army participated. Overshadowing its opponents, the team of Pak Army Services Corps Center secured first position whereas Chinese and Srilankan squads managed to occupy second and third position in the event respectively.
Second International PACES competition was organized between 8th to 14th of October 2018 which was graced by 23 international teams and 16 domestic squads. Among the international squads, the team of Peoples Republic of China and Sri Lanka remained on top positions and Pak Army’s Engineering Centre, Army supply Corps Centre and Artillery Centre teams remained on top among the domestic teams.
PACES (Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System) is the brain child of the ex-Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parwaiz Kiani. The concept was concretized in 2011 under his patronage by establishing PACES cell whose target was to create and organize such trainings and events through which physical fitness and strength of our soldiers may be ensured and enhanced. Army level PACES competitions are being regularly held to train and test the physical strength of our soldiers since 2011. In order to introduce the PACES concept to the international counterparts, the Pak army has so far organized two international PACES competitions in last 5 years.
PACES (Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System) consists of pull ups, sit ups, push ups and 2.5 km run in which soldiers showcase their pure physical fitness and stamina. The strength and stamina, required to outshine the opponents, speaks for the physical fitness of the soldiers. It also prepares them for the challenging situations where they have to totally rely on their physical fitness and endurance. Soldier Mohammad Rizwan of 4 Core, with 2294 sit ups, Saper Shauket Ali of Engineering Center, with 1859 push ups and Naik Mohammad Bilal of Artillery Center, with 351 pull ups set up new records in the second international PACES competition 2018.
Combat Efficiency Test is the combination of physical fitness, mental strength and armed skills. Each participant has to perform as lonely combater, fighting with little resources, running and crossing multiple hurdles, completing various subtasks and achieving desired results in the shortest possible time. In the second International PACES Competition in 2018, Signaler Abdul Ghafoor surprised the spectators by completing the Combat Efficiency Test in record time of just 46.72 seconds.
Pak army is known for its dynamic professionalism, heroic resilience, charismatic combating capabilities and miraculous endurance against unfavorable conditions. Whether It’s the case of rescuing the humanity from natural calamities or combating the enemy, our soldiers have always proved themselves to be one of the most skilled and devoted saviors for the nation and the international community. Such an undaunted courage and unencounterable splendor has only been possible due to the hard physical, mental and psychological trainings under which each and every soldier has to go throughout his career.
The concept of PACES pin-points the importance of physical strength in the scientific age of 21st century. It highlights the pivotal role of physical fitness and stamina in the training process of a soldier. Such events would surely egg on the young soldiers to improve their physical fitness and the demonstration of the strength and power of participants would be a great source of inspiration and aspiration for the Pakistani youth.