Practice Relating to Rule 136. Recruitment of Child Soldiers
In 2001, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Pakistan stated:
The Pakistan National Service Ordinance 1970 deals with the introduction of compulsory national service and also prescribes that the age of enlistment in the armed forces is 18 years. It is possible, however, for training to begin a few years prior to regular service, but the age for this is 16 or above. In general the eligibility rules for the defence forces provide that the officers and jawans (soldiers) recruited are between the ages of 17 and 23 (with at least a year’s training and education before participation in active service), while those in the technical services (e.g. signals and nursing) are recruited between the ages of 16 and 23. In this case, the minimum age is lower because the signals and nursing branches are specialized services that require at least four years of training and education before participation in active military service. There is no conscription in Pakistan and no one is forced to join the armed forces against his or her will.
In 2008, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Pakistan stated: “Under the Pakistan National Service Ordinance 1970 the age of enlistment in the armed forces is eighteen years with the possibility to begin two years earlier for training. There is no compulsory conscription … .”