Abdul Aziz Mirza

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Abdul Aziz Mirza
Pakistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
In office
8 October 2002 – 27 January 2005
Preceded by Asad Durrani
Succeeded by Shahid Karimullah
Chief of Naval Staff
In office
2 October 1999 – 2 October 2002
Preceded by Adm Fasih Bokhari
Succeeded by Adm Shahid Karimullah
Personal details
Born Abdul Aziz Mirza
1943 (age 73–74)
Rawalpindi, Punjab, British India
(Present-day Pakistan)
Citizenship British Indian (1939–47)
Pakistan ((1947 – present)
Military service
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy
Years of service 1961–2002
Rank US-O10 insignia.svgAdmiral Pakistan Navy Insignia.JPG Admiral
Unit Naval Operations Branch
Commands Vice-Chief of Naval Staff
DCNS (Operations)
Add.Secy. Ministry of Defence
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani war of 1965
Indo-Pakistani war of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
Atlantique incident
2001 Indo-Pakistani standoff
Awards Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svgLégion d'honneur
Order of Excellence Nishan-e-Imtiaz.png Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1999)
Crescent of Excellence Hilal-e-Imtiaz.png Hilal-e-Imtiaz (2001)
Star of Excellence Sitara-e-Imtiaz.png Sitara-e-Imtiaz (2001)
Star of Good Conduct Sitara-e-Basalat.png Sitara-e-Basalat (1997)

Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza (Urdu: عبدالعزيز مرزا; b. 1943), LH,[1]NI(M), HI(M), SI(M), SBt, is a retired four-star rank admiral, diplomat, and a businessman who served as the Chief of Naval Staff from 1999 until retiring on 2002, amid taking over the command of the Navy after the revolt and resignation Admiral Fasih Bokhari over the appointment of Chairman joint chiefs.[2]

After retiring from the Navy, he briefly tenured as the Pakistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2001–2005 and later becoming the CEO of the The Centaurus in Islamabad.[3][4] During his military service in the Navy, Admiral Mirza is given credit for commissioning the country's first ingeniously and locally built long-range submarine, the Agosta 90B submarine in 1999.[5][6]

Biography[edit]

Early life and naval career[edit]

Abdul Aziz Mirza was born in small town, Choha Khalsa, in Rawalpindi, Punjab, British India, in 1943.[7][8] He was born into an influential Punjabi-speaking military family and his father briefly served in the British Indian Army at NCO rank (Regimental Major) in the 10th Baluch Regiment.[7]

After his graduation from local high school, he went to attend the Military College Jhelum and secured his graduation before joining the Pakistan Navy in 1961.[9]:220[10]

After graduation, Mirza applied for the Pakistan Military Academy and was selected with Pervez Musharraf and PQ Mehdi for the interview by the commandants in 1961.:39[11] After passing the physical, he was studied at the Pakistan Military Academy with Pervez Musharraf who remained his life-long friend and Ali Kuli Khan.:xxi[11]:40[10]

He was later sent to attend the Turkish Naval Academy where he was trained for his basic training and gained military commission as Sub-Lieutenant in the Naval Operations Branch in the Navy in 1961.[12][13]

He was trained as a surface warship officer and took participation in second war with India in 1965 against the Indian Navy as a gunnery specialist.:223–224[14] After the war, he went to join the elite Special Services Group Navy (SSGN) in 1966 and was trained in special operations tactics.:223–224[14] In 1969–71, Lt. Mirza was posted in East Pakistan as a military adviser to East Pakistan Coast Guard and East Pakistan Rifles, helping directing operations against the Indian Army.:41[11] He was taken war prisoner by Indian Army in 1971 but repatriated to Pakistan in 1973.:223–224[14]

After the war, he began engage with his studies and went to join the French War College where he graduated with a Master's degree in War studies.[12] In 1980s, he served on the faculty at the Naval War College in Karachi and taught English at the Naval Academy, also in Karachi.[7]

Staff and Command appointments[edit]

Throughout his career in Navy, Mirza commanded two submarines– the Daphné and Agosta 70.[13] Mirza also commanded the guided missile destroyer and a fleet of tankers as an officer in the Navy.[13] In 1990, he was posted at the Navy NHQ as a Naval Secretary, and held officer commanding assignments, first serving as the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of the 25th Destroyer Squadron as Commodore in 1993.[13] In 1994, he was promoted as Rear-Admiral and made Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, working on various defence and procurement programmes.:1974[10] In 1994, he led series of complicated and lengthy negotiations, together with Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, with France over the technology transfer of Agosta 90B class long-range submarines.:1975[10]

It was during this time, he became closer to many politicians and bureaucrats while working on the procurement deals in 1994–97.:1975[10] In 1997, he was appointed as DCNS (Operations) and elevated as Vice Chief of Naval Staff with a rank of Vice-Admiral.:1977[10]

Kargil war and Naval chief[edit]

In 1999, India and Pakistan engaged in military confrontation in Kargil sector, due a misadventure led by then-Chief of army staff General Pervez Musharraf.:1952[10] He did not endorsed the secret infiltration to support General Pervez Musharraf but rather remaining quiet in favor of army chief.:1952[10] Allegations have been levelled against him of misguiding the naval chief Admiral Fasih Bokhari on the matters of Kargil war in favor of army chief, and his revolt against the decision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the appointment of Chairman joint chiefs.:1976[10]

In 1999, he held a press conference together with Mushahid Hussain Syed, then-Information Minister, and ultimately warned India of escalating the tensions in the region.[15]

On 6 October 1999, he was promoted as four-star rank admiral and appointed Chief of Naval Staff after Admiral Bokharhi prematurely resigned from his commission in protest as the latter was denied the Chairmanship of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.[16] Admiral Mirza remained supportive of martial law in 1999, and was said to be closer to Chairman joint chiefs and chief of army staff General Pervez Musharraf.[17] Two week later, he was inducted as a senior member in the National Security Council alongside with Chief of air staff Air Chief Marshal PQ Mehdi.[18] On 4 November 1999, Admiral Mirza released a report of his assets, with General Musharraf also releasing his tax returns papers.[19] In 2000, Admiral Mirza notably announced of seeling the Agosta-90B Subamrines to Royal Saudi Navy and Royal Malaysian Navy but the agreement to sell the submarines were never materailized as Pakistan itself imposed an export restrictions.[20]

In 2001, he questioned President Musharraf's decision policy towards the terrorism and military rotation in Western Pakistan, but he was reportedly warned by President Musharraf on his difference of opinion.[21] He reportedly warned of expansion of Indian Navy and noted that the Indian Navy’s budget had increased 6,900% since 1971.[22]

He led the Pakistan Navy during the military standoff between India and Pakistan in 2001–02 and boldly stated that Pakistan Navy will hold its own against the Indian Navy.[23] As the Naval chief, he is credit of overseeing the development and nationwide construction of the Agosta-90B Khalid-class submarines in various capacities as Pakistan built its first indigenous submarine in 2002.[24]

Diplomatic and corporate career[edit]

Admiral Mirza retired from the Navy as its naval chief on 4 October 2002, and handed over the command to Admiral Shahid Karimullah at the ceremony held in Navy NHQ.[25]

On 8 October 2002, President Musharraf announced to appointed Admiral Mirza for a diplomatic post and appointed him as Pakistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.:94[10][26][27] In 2005, he oversaw the process of paperworks in order to release the passport of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to travel from Jeddah to London.[28]

In 2004, Ambassador Mirza was honored and decorated with the Legion of Honour with an order of Chevalier by the French government; the honor was bestowed to him in Saudi Arabia by the French Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Bernard Polleti.[29] The honor was given in recognition of outstanding contributions to a Pakistani-French joint submarine building program while the ambassador was chief of naval staff of the Pakistan Navy.[29] As an ambassador, Mirza worked towards strengthening the relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as he focused towards trade agreements and defence cooperation between two countries.[30][31][32]

On 26 January 2006, Mirza left the diplomat post and returned to Pakistan as he was replaced by Admiral Shahid Karimullah who took over the diplomatic assignment from him in Riyadh.[33] After his retirement from the diplomatic post, Mirza jointed the corporate sector of the country when he was appointed business adviser to the PakGulf Construction in 2007.[34]

On 14 January 2010, Admiral Mirza gives credence to the recent French investigative report that talked of almost $49 million kickbacks in the Agosta-submarine deal allegedly received by former President Asif Ali Zardari, former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (deposed) Mansurul Haq and some of the Naval officers, disclosing that the then Benazir government had urged the Pakistan Navy to go for the French subs.[35]

Currently, Mirza is working as an CEO of the The Centaurus in Islamabad, overseeing and managing the construction project of a contemporary modern, luxurious master-planned community that integrates residential amenities with a world class shopping mall, a 5-star hotel, corporate and entertainment facilities.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ news publisher, staff (17 January 2004). "France honours ex-naval chief". DAWN.COM. Dawn newspaper, 2004. Dawn newspaper. Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  2. ^ staff writer, et.al. (2 October 1999). "Rediff On The NeT: Pak navy chief resigns". www.rediff.com. Rediff Pakistan. Rediff Pakistan. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Editorial, Staff (22 August 2013). "Corporate Corner". The Nation. The Nation, August 2013. The Nation. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Dawn Newspaper, October 2002, Staff writer (8 October 2002). "Aziz new envoy to S. Arabia". DAWN.COM. Dawn Newspaper, October 2002. Dawn Newspaper. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Haider, Salahuddin (17 November 2000). "Islamabad 'capable of building subs'". GulfNews. Gulf News, Pakistan Bureau 2000. Gulf News. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Dawn Newspapers,, War correspondent (25 August 2002). "Agosta launched; ship deal on cards". DAWN.COM. Dawn Newspapers, August 2002. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c "پاک بحریہ کے سربراہ۔ ایڈمرل عبدالعزیز مرزا". webcache.googleusercontent.com. Pakistani conncention. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "::: Gujar Khan !! Day ::: The Largest News Portal of Pothohar". www.gujarkhan2day.com. Gujjar Khan. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "Honours of MCJ – Military College Jhelum". militarycollege.edu.pk. military college jhelum. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Anwar, Muhammad. Stolen Stripes and Broken Medals: Autobiography of a Senior Naval Officer. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781425900205. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c Musharraf, Pervez. In the Line of Fire: A Memoir. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780743298438. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Shabbir, Usman. "Pakistan’s Small Navy Packs A Punch «  PakDef Military Consortium". pakdef.org. PakDef Military Consortium. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c d Enterprises, Eagle. "Rule Through National Security Council in Pakistan". ghazali.net. Eagle Enterprises. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  14. ^ a b c SP's Military Yearbook. Guide Publications. 2002. 
  15. ^ Limited, Alamy. "Stock Photo - PAKISTAN INFORMATION MINISTER AND VICE CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF ADMIRAL AZIZ MIRZA SPEAKS TO REPORTERS AT NEWS CONFERENCE. Pakistan's Vice Chief of Naval staff Admiral Aziz". Alamy. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  16. ^ BBC, World Service (2 October 1999). "Pakistan naval chief resigns". news.bbc.co.uk. BBC Pakistan Desk. BBC Pakistan Desk. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  17. ^ Shehzad, Mohammed. "“Musharraf had decided to Topple Nawaz much before Oct 12”". www.antisystemic.org. Mohammad Shehzad. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  18. ^ Press, Associate (26 October 1999). "Council Established To Govern Pakistan". www.washingtonpost.com (1). Washington Post, Pakistan Bureau. Washington Post, Pakistan Bureau. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  19. ^ Press, Associate (4 November 1999). "Pakistan's Ruler Rejects Calls for Referendum". The New York Times (1). The New York Times, Pakistan Bureau. The New York Times, Pakistan Bureau. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  20. ^ Rahman, Shamimur (18 November 2000). "S. Arabia, Malaysia interested in Agosta". asianstudies.github.io (06/44). DAWN WIRE SERVICE :. DAWN WIRE SERVICE :. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  21. ^ Gupta, Shishir (22 October 2001). "Anti-Taliban stance: President Musharraf sacks some of the most powerful men in Pakistan". India Today, Gupta. India Today. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "QUETTA: Navy to build frigates, says Aziz". DAWN.COM. 18 November 2001. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  23. ^ Khan, PAF, Air Marshal (retd) Ayyaz Ahmad (August 2002). "Armed Forces war gaming" (html). www.defencejournal.com. Defence Journal, AA Khan. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  24. ^ "Pakistan launches its Agosta submarine" Express India, 24 August 2002
  25. ^ "New navy chief named". DAWN.COM. 4 October 2002. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  26. ^ Staff, Writer (8 October 2002). "Aziz new envoy to S. Arabia". DAWN.COM (6). Dawn newspapers, 2002. Dawn newspapers. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  27. ^ "42 envoys appointed in 2 years". DAWN.COM (5). Dawn newspapers, 2003. Dawn newspapers, 2003. 8 March 2003. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  28. ^ "Passport papers of Nawaz processed, says ambassador". DAWN.COM. 5 July 2005. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  29. ^ a b Rasooldeen, Mohammed (15 January 2004). "French Govt Honor for Pakistani Ambassador". Arab News. Arab News, Rasooldeen. Arab News. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  30. ^ "Pakistan, S. Arabia trade". DAWN.COM. 3 December 2002. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  31. ^ Rasooldeen, Mohammed (17 October 2004). "More Saudi Soldiers to Be Trained in Pakistan". Arab News. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  32. ^ Khan, M. Ghazzanfar Ali (19 March 2004). "‘Kingdom Will Get Delivery of Pakistani Aircraft Soon’". Arab News. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  33. ^ staff writer, etl.al (29 January 2006). "Karimullah Is Named New Pak Ambassador". Arab News. Arab News, 2006. Arab News. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  34. ^ "Chinese Ambassador Visits The Centaurus Site". www.fmprc.gov.cn. Embassy of China. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  35. ^ Ex-Navy chief confirms ZARDARI French kickbacks Archived 19 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. ^ "Owners get keys of Centaurus apartments". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Fasih Bokhari
Chief of Naval Staff
1999–2002
Succeeded by
Shahid Karimullah