Shoots of ten day old seedlings of nineteen wheat genotypes were evaluated for proline metabolism, H2O2, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and 2,2 diphenyl-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity under water deficit, water withholding and salinity stress conditions. Principle component analysis demarcated four groups: i.e. drought tolerant (Excalibar, Krichauff, Babax, Drysdale, Gladius and C306), salt tolerant (Kharchia, Type11, Krl 1-4 and Krl 19), low stress tolerant (C273, C518 and C591) and susceptible (HD2967, PBW621, WH1105, HD3086, PBW660 and PBW175). Salt stress treatment affected the length, fresh weight and dry weight of seedlings of all studied genotypes in comparison to water deficit and water withholding condition which may be due to higher contents of TBARS. Shoots of salt and drought tolerant genotypes possessed higher proline content and DPPH radical scavenging activity alongwith reduced content of TBARS in parallel with decreased H2O2 content under water stress conditions. The activities of proline synthesizing enzymes i.e. pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (P5CS) and pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase (P5CR) were significantly higher than proline degrading enzyme viz. proline dehydrogenase (PDH) under water stress as compared to salinity stress conditions. Overall, results indicated that P5CS, P5CR and PDH activities led to higher build up of proline under water stress, which might play a significant role in improving membrane stability by increasing radical scavenging activity and finally imparting stress tolerance in specific wheat genotypes.