Fasih Bokhari

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Fasih Bokhari
Birth name Fasih Bokhari
Nickname(s) Torpedo
Born British Indian Empire
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy
Years of service 1959-1999
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Service number PN No. 858
Unit Submarine Service Force (SSF)
Commands held Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)
Commander Pakistan Fleet (COMPAK)
DCNS Supplies
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Naval Operations in 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
Operation Falcon
Awards Sitara-e-Basalat
Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military)
Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military)
Nishan-e-Imtiaz
Other work Ex Chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB)

Fasih Bokhari (Urdu: فصىح بخارى; NI (military)) is a retired four-star admiral and ex-chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), an anti-corruption bureau of Government of Pakistan.

Before appointed chairman of NAB, Bokhari was the fourteenth Chief of Naval Staff, serving from 1997 until voluntarily resigning from the Navy under protest.[1] His resignation came to public limelight after Prime minister Navaz Sharif approved the controversial appointment of the Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf, who was a much junior military officer to Admiral Bokhari, to the prestigious four-star assignment, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. On October 10, 2011, Bokhari was nominated as the Chairman of National Accountability Bureau by President Asif Ali Zardari, and secured the appointment by Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani the same year.

Navy career[edit]

Indo-Pakistani war (1965–71)[edit]

Bokhari joined the Pakistan naval service on January 1, 1959 and was sent to Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, United Kingdom where he did a BSc in Military science.[2] After completing his naval training, Bokhari was immediately given commission in the Pakistan Navy in May 1962 and promoted to the rank of Sub-Lieutenant. In 1964, Bokhari was assigned into the Submarine Service Force and served in the Ghazi. His first combat experience took place in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 with India where he saw action in the Rann of Kutch Operation, and the attack on Dwarka. He then served as the torpedo officer in the Ghazi, commanded by her commanding officer Commander Karamat Rahman Niazi.[2]

Bokhari went on a tour of duty for sea time with the Turkish Submarine Fleet in 1967. He was assigned for the acquisition of Daphne Submarines to France from 1968 to 1970. He joined the crew of PNS Hangor as its navigating officer, and saw action again in the 1971 war when his submarine Hangor earned renown when it had sunk the INS Khurki.

After the war, and the failure to defend East Pakistan, Bokhari resigned to pursue another career in the face of what he considered bleak prospects in the Navy for his future. Persuaded by his seniors to stay, he reached the top of his profession.[1] In 1974, Bokhari was sent to attend the Naval War College and then the Inter Services War college at the École Militaire in Paris.

Senior Staff Appointments[edit]

After graduating from military institutions, Bokhari served in various important operational field and staff assignments. In 1983, he was promoted to Captain and one-star rank, Commodore in 1989. From 1988–92, he served as the Commander Submarines and was elevated to two-star rank, Rear-Admiral in 1992. In 1991–92, Rear-Admiral Bokhari was appointed as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (ACNS) of naval personnel, and followed as being appointed as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of supply services from 1992–95.

In 1995, Bokhara assumed command of the entire Pakistan Fleet as its commander (COMPAK).[3][4] He took over the command in August 1995 from out-going Vice Admiral Shamoon Alam Khan.[3]

Chief of Naval Staff[edit]

In January 1997, Bokhari was promoted to three-star rank and to four-start rank on May 7, 1997 by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and made chief of the naval staff.[5] He assumed the four-star assignment, and became fourteen Chief of Naval Staff; on another hand, the out-going and court-martial admiral Mansurul Haq was sent to face a military trial over the cases of corruption leveled against him.[5] As CNS, Bokhari reorganized the navy to expand its operational capabilities.

Kargil conflict[edit]

Admiral Fasih Bokhari is well known for questioning the strategy behind Kargil operation which brutally failed in a matter of two months. One of his objections was tat the Army did not take the Navy and the Air Force into confidence at the planning stage yet these services were called to defend the country after the conflict had reached an impasse.[6]

In public conferences, Admiral Bokhari quoted: he knew about General Musharraf’s plans to topple Nawaz Sharif and did not want to be part of these "Dirty Games". Bokhari also noted that a power struggle between elected Prime minister and Chief of army staff ensued and relations were severely damaged after the Kargil war.[7] "The two men could not work together, both were preparing to take active actions against each other", Bokhari noted.[7] So when in a meeting at the Navy House in September 1999 in which Musharraf indicated his displeasure with Nawaz Sharif's handling of the country that gave the former the idea to remove him, Bokhara discouraged the army chief from doing so. He contended that the Lahore Declaration process was the best trajectory for Pakistan and should be continued through a political dialogue. He further added that any rupture in the dialogue process would set the country back.[7] Bokhara realised that this meeting was held to secure his support against the elected government.[7]

Resignation[edit]

On October 5, 1999, Admiral Bokhari resigned from the navy after Nawaz Sharif gave additional charge of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee to the army chief General Pervez Musharraf. Bokhari realised that Sharif's decision regarding the appointment was meant to buy time for the government as he waited for a positive signal from Washington where he had dispatched his brother Shahbaz Sharif and Lt. General Ziauddin Butt. Musharraf, on the other hand, had insisted on being given the position to block any lack of support from within the armed forces for his political action. However, the national media construed Bokhari's resignation merely as unhappiness over not being appointed as Chairman. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Pakistan|[8] Bokhari maintained in 2002 that his resignation came only after realizing that Musharraf and Sharif had decided to topple each other and he did not want to be part of these "dirty games".[8] Prime minister Nawaz Sharif asked Bokhara not to resign and to complete his term.

Post-retirement[edit]

Introspection about War & Peace[edit]

Having seen the ravages of war and its impact on the families of the martyrs, Bokhara gave more thought to the idea of resolving any possible sources of future conflict at sea. He was one of the key members of the first naval track-II between India and Pakistan navy chiefs and experts. He is known to be a supporter of peace in South Asia and even adversaries recognize that. Indian Navy Admiral (r) JG Nadkarni recently wrote that Pakistan had sensible mariners in decision-making positions who were keen to have agreements with the Indian Navy. “Admiral Fasih Bokhari, Pakistan’s naval chief from 1997 to 1999, was a great proponent of maritime co-operation with India and believed that it would benefit both countries,” the Indian Admiral wrote.[9]

National Accountability Bureau[edit]

After retirement, Fasih Bokhari spent time as a geo-strategic analyst, was President of the Pakistan Ex Servicemen Association for three years, and Convenor of The Save Pakistan Coalition. He was also an occasional columnist contributing articles to various English-language dailies in Pakistan. In October 2011, he was appointed as Chairman, National Accountability Bureau but resigned in May 2013 over differences regarding the course NAB should adopt to eliminate corruption from the country.

Family and Connections[edit]

Admiral (Retd.) Fasih Bokhari is the son of Mir Rafiuddin Bokhari and Begum Sadat Manto. His paternal grandfather was Khan Bahadur Mohammed Ghiasuddin. His elder sister, Begum Freda Shah, wife of the late Brigadier Mansoor Yusuf Shah, (POW Pakistan during 1971 war with India) one of Pakistan's first women to have held numerous diplomatic posts including Pakistan's Ambassador to the Czech Republic. His sister, Begum Faezah Hayat Khan, is the widow of the late Ambassador of Pakistan and Special Envoy to the Arab League and PLO, HE Mr Izzet Hayat Khan. His younger brother, Major (Retd.) Moghis Bokhari of the 26th FF Regiment[citation needed] served on the Narowal front in the 1971 war[citation needed] and is currently the Head of Human Resources Division at The Bank of Punjab.[citation needed]. He is married to Mrs. Zeba Bokhari and has four children, Mrs. Fevziye Bokhari, Mr. Farhan Bokhari, Mrs. Fahimeh Bokhari, and Mr. Fahmi Bokhari (died in Islamabad in 2009 in car accident).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ikram Sehgal. "Admiral Fasih Bukhari's Resignation" Pakistan Link, 8 October 1999
  2. ^ a b Post writers. "Details of Admiral Fasih Bokhari". Pakistan Herald, 2001. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Navy sources (August 24, 1996). "Indonesian Navy arrives in Pakistan". Pakistan Research Recorder. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Navy sources (August 1, 1995). "Bokarhi takes command of PN fleet". Pakistan Research recorder. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Fasih Bokhari appointed naval chief". Karachi news. Rawalpindi, Punjab. 
  6. ^ Sanjay Dutt (2000). War in Peace in Kargil Sector (google books). New Delhi, India: Efficient Offset Printers. p. 478. ISBN 81-7648-151-3. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d Jones, Owen Bennett (2002). "The 1999 Coup". Pakistan: Eye of the Storm (google books). United States: Yale University Press. pp. 37–38. ISBN 0-300-10147-3. 
  8. ^ a b Daily Times Release (October 9, 2002). "E-Mail this article to a friendPrinter Friendly Version Musharraf planned coup much before Oct 12: Fasih Bokhari". Daily Times, 2002. Daily Times. p. 1. Retrieved 18 May 2012. Former Navy chief says the general feared court martial for masterminding Kargi 
  9. ^ Former Navy chief says the general feared court martial for masterminding Kargil

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Mansurul Haq
Chief of Naval Staff
1997–1999
Succeeded by
Abdul Aziz Mirza