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 Naval Aviation
Karachi Port Trust
DCNS Special Projects-II
Commander Pakistan Fleet
Commander Karachi
DG Naval Intelligence
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)
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 1981, he was promoted to Captain and one-star rank, Commodore in 1985. From 1985-91, 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 logistics and supply from 1992-95.

In 1995, Bokhari was promoted to Vice-Admiral (a three-star rank) and assumed the 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 1997, Prime minister Navaz Sharif approved the appointment of Bokhari to four-star assignment and on 1 May 1997 Bokhari was promoted to four-star admiral in the Navy. He was promoted as full four-star admiral in the Navy, and became Chief of Naval Staff on May 1, 1997.[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 his public protest[6] and hostility against the Kargil debacle, a strategic operation which brutally failed in a matter of two months. Also known as indirect 1999 war, Admiral Bokhari commanded the combatant assets of the Pakistan Navy, which according to him the elements of army did not take the navy in complete confidence.[7] Fasih gave grave criticism and launched powerful protest against General Musharraf and publicly called for a court-martial against General Musharraf.[8]

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.[9] "The two men could not work together, both were preparing to take active actions against each other", Bokhari noted.[9] In a meeting with General Musharraf in Joint Staff Headquarters, Musharraf regarded Sharif as "incompetent and incapable of running the administration of the country".[9] Bokhari was surprised and noted that General Musharraf was estimating that either he could rely on the Admiral or even the navy's support in the event of coup.[9]


On October 6, 1999, Admiral Bokhari abruptly resigned from the navy when the televised media broadcast the news that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had appointed the chief of army staff, General Pervez Musharraf, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. His resignation was made public records as he was denied the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif.[10]

However, Bokhari maintained in 2002 that his resignation came only after realizing that Musharraf had decided to topple the Sharif government and did not want to be part of these "dirty games".[10] Prime minister Nawaz Sharif insisted that he would not resign and urged Admiral Bokhari to complete his term which was designated another seven months, but Admiral Bokhari rejected the Prime minister's request.


Kargil War introspection[edit]

After retirement, Fasih Bokhari, along with former chief of air staff air chief marshal Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi, both of whom were leading their respective forces during Kargil War, have demanded a commission of inquiry to probe the Kargil operation and have agreed to appear before it to give their version of the events surrounding the Kargil episode [11]

Admiral Bokhari had repeatedly called for the court-martial of General Pervez Musharraf as he violated the Constitution, and illegally overthrew the democratically elected government of Nawaz Sharif in 1999. According to him, he was fully aware of General Musharraf's intention as he became the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.[12]

He is known to be a supporter of peace with India 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.[13]


Main article: Anti-Pakistan

Various Pakistani columnists have accused Fasih Bokhari of involvement in different questionable deals such as kickbacks in Agosta 90-B submarines procurement deal. However, none has ever proffered any credible evidence. It is also claimed that while he may not have been directly involved in the submarine deal, he did not take any action against those who were allegedly involved. However, the Agosta procurement case was investigated by the National Accountability Bureau and Bokhari's predecessor Admiral Mansur-ul-Haq was found guilty. The Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament heard a case against Bokhari regarding the American Brooke and Garcia class frigate spares. Fingers were pointed at Fasih Bokhari due to his close friendship with commander (retd) Naeem Sarfaraz who is seen by many with a lot of suspicion.

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 was removed soon afterwards, due to his dubious reputation[citation needed].

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 Askari Bank Limited[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).


  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. ^ Desk news. "Admiral Bokhari might accepted by PML-N as NAB chief". 13 October 2011. Pakistan Tribune. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Daily Times Report (October 9, 2002). "E-Mail this article to a friendPrinter Friendly Version Musharraf planned coup much before Oct 12: Fasih Bokhari". Daily Times. Retrieved 18 May 2012. Navy chief says the general feared court martial for masterminding Kargil 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ 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 
  11. ^ Muhammad Saleh Zaafir. "Former air, naval chiefs demand Kargil commission" The News, June 08, 2008
  12. ^ "Musharraf planned coup much before Oct 12: Fasih Bokhari". 
  13. ^ 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
Succeeded by
Abdul Aziz Mirza