Karamat Rahman Niazi

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Karamat Rahman Niazi
Then-Cdr K.R. Niazi on the periscope of PNS Ghazi, ca. 1965.
Chief of Naval Staff
In office
22 March 1979 – 23 March 1983
Preceded by Adm Mohammad Shariff
Succeeded by Adm Tariq Kamal
Personal details
Born Karamat Rahman Niazi
Hoshiarpur, Punjab, Pakistan
Citizenship  Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Military service
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy
Years of service 1947–1983
Rank US-O10 insignia.svgAdmiral Pakistan Navy Insignia.JPG Admiral
Unit Naval Operations Branch
(S/No. PN. 214):242[1]
Commands Vice-Chief of Naval Staff
Commander Pakistan Fleet
Submarine Command
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Awards Order of Excellence Nishan-e-Imtiaz.png Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1979)
Crescent of Excellence Hilal-e-Imtiaz.png Hilal-e-Imtiaz (1977)
PAK Sitara-i-Juraat ribbon.svg Sitara-i-Jurat (1965)

Admiral Karamat Rahman Niazi (Urdu:كرامت رحمان نيازى; usually shortened to K.R. Niazi), NI(M), SJ, HI(M), is a retired four-star rank admiral who served as the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) from 1979 to 1983.

He is renown for being the Commander of the PNS Ghazi when he commanded the submarine during the second war with India in 1965, for which, he was decorated with the military honors for his military service. In 1979, he took over the command of Pakistan Navy as its Chief of Naval Staff and worked in close coordination with President Zia-ul-Haq on the matters of national security throughout the 1980s.


Naval career and between wars[edit]

Karamat Rahman Niazi was born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab Province, British Indian Empire, to a Pashtun family who belonged to the Niazi tribe that hailed from Mianwali, Punjab in Pakistan.[2] After graduating from a local high school, he commissioned in the Pakistan Navy as Midshipman in 1947 in Operations Branch and initially did his training at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Darmouth in the United Kingdom.[2] Upon returning, he was promoted as Sub-Lieutenant and his career in the Navy progressed extremely well, eventually promoting as Lieutenant-Commander in 1962.[2]

In 1963, Lt.Cdr. Niazi was directed to the United States to complete a training on the submarine operations, and qualified for his training from the USS Angler, alongside with then-Lt. Ahmad Tasnim.[3] Upon commissioning of PNS Ghazi in the Navy in 1963, Niazi was promoted as Commander and was the first commanding officer of nation's first submarine, the Ghazi.[3]

On 2 September in 1965, Ghazi was deployed off to Bombay coast under the command of Cdr Niazi, initially covertly patrolling the Rann of Kutch coastal areas.[3] However, Cdr Niazi's mission was to remain off the Bombay coast and engage with only major warships of Indian Navy who were close to Karachi coast.[4] After the naval shelling by Pakistan Navy in Dwarka, India, Ghazi again returned to patrol off the Rann of Kutch areas and identified two warships but did not engage with them.[4]

On 17 September 1965, Cdr. Niazi order to fire off three Mk. 14 torpedoes aimed at targeting the INS Brahmaputra when it was identified by its navigator officers.[5] Cdr Niazi order for an increased its depth to evade the counterattack as there were three distant explosions were heard.[6] Cdr, Niazi did logged the explosions in the war logs but Brahmaputra was not sunk nor it had released the depth charge as no homing signals were detected by Submarine's computers.[6] After the ceasefire was enforced by the two nations, Cdr. Niazi decided to the continue the patrol of the Arabian sea and safely reported back to it base on 23 September 1965.[4]

At the Navy NHQ, Cdr. Niazi submitted the mission report but did not submit the inquiry report of three mysterious explosions that were heard during the course of the mission.[6] Cdr Niazi and Lt.Cdr. Tasnim were public decorated with Sitara-e-Jurat by President Ayub Khan for their actions of valor.:165–166[7][8][9]

Cdr Niazi commanded Ghazi until 1967 before being promoted Captain and taking a staff assignment at the Navy NHQ.[2]

In 1971, he was promoted as Commodore and temporarily held the rank of Rear-Admiral to assume the Submarine Command during the third war with India.:325[8] In 1972, Cdre Niazi assumed the command of Pakistan Fleet as its Commander before being selected to attend the National Defence University in Islamabad to complete a master's degree on Strategic studies, also in 1972.:240[10]

Upon graduating in 1976, he was promoted as Rear-Admiral and assumed the command of Pakistan Fleet as its Commander.:242[10] In 1977, he was promoted as Vice-Admiral and appointed Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) of Navy where he was instrumental in incorporating new ideas on anti-submarine warfare methods.:241–242[10]

Chief of Naval Staff[edit]

Vice-Admiral Niazi was promoted as four-rank admiral in the Navy and assumed the Command of Navy from Admiral Mohammad Shariff as its Chief of Naval Staff on 22 March 1979.:242[1] Admiral Niaz was honored with Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military), which is awarded to all the services chiefs upon taking over their respective commands by the President.:250[10]

As naval chief, Admiral Niazi played a crucial role in stabilizing the administration of President Zia-ul-Haq and was appointed martial law administrator under President Zia.:115[11]:251[10][12] Admiral Niazi worked in close coordination with President Zia on the national security issues, including the issues involving the internal security.:69–71[13]

After the Soviet Union intervening in neighboring Afghanistan, Admiral Niazi gave authorization to Navy's depot command in Karachi to store arms and weapons bought by the United States under a covert operation to secretly armed the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet Union.:261–400[10][14] His interests in the country's economy was also noted when aiding in preparation of federal budgets.[15] During the same time, he maintained close ties with the People's Republic of China and held discussion on upgrading the existing naval infrastructure in the country.:118|[16] His tenure last only three years, and sought retirement on 22 March 1983 when he handed over the command of the Navy to Admiral Tariq Kamal Khan.[17]


After his retirement, Admiral K.R. Niazi lived a very quiet life and lives on military pensions.[18] He did not seek a public office but became a member of Tablighi Jamaat in his later life serving on missionary activities throughout his life.[18]

On 23 January 2008, Admiral Niazi was among the retired senior military officers from the Ex-Servicemen Association who called for President Parvez Musharraf's resignation in order to pave the way for a complete restoration of democracy and law and order in the country.[19] In 2009 and 2014, it was reported that Admiral Niazi was secretly monitored by the FIA for his alleged and controversial activities in the country, though no charges were ever leveld against him.[18]


  1. ^ a b The Gazette of Pakistan. The Gazette of Pakistan. 1979. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Et.al (22 March 1979). "پاک بحریہ کے سربراہ۔ وائس ایڈمرل کرامت رحمان نیازی". www.pakistanconnections.com/ (in [ur]). www.pakistanconnections.com/. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Amin, Abdul Hameed (May 2001). "Remembering Our Warriors - Vice Admiral Tasneem". www.defencejournal.com. Karachi, Pakistan: Defence Journal, 2001. p. 1. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Shabbir, Usman (June 2003). "1965 War: Naval operations". pakdef.org. Karachi, Sindh: PakDef Military Consortium. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Lodhi, Lieutenant-General (retired) Sardar F.S. (January 2000). "An Agosta Submarine for Pakistan". Defense Journal (Pakistan). Defense Journal of Pakistan and Lieutenant-General (retired) S.F.S Lodhi. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c wwiiafterwwii (24 December 2015). "Last voyage of PNS Ghazi 1971". wwiiafterwwii. wwiiafterwwii. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Cardozo, Major General Ian (1999). The Sinking of INS Khukri: Survivor's Stories. Roli Books Private Limited. ISBN 9789351940999. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Niaiz, Amir Abdullah Khan (1998). The Betrayal of East-Pakistan. University of Michigan: Manohar, 1998. pp. 316–320. ISBN 978-81-7304-256-0. 
  9. ^ "Pakistan Navy Submarines: A Silent Force to Reckon with!" Pakistan Defence website, 20 September 2009
  10. ^ a b c d e f Sirohey, PN, Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed (1995). Truth Never Retires: An Autobiography of Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey. Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan: Jang Publishers. p. 596. ISBN 978-1606350034. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  11. ^ Asia & Pacific Annual Review. World of Information. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  12. ^ Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (1980). Strategic analysis: The Naval dictatorship. University of California: Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses., 1980. 
  13. ^ Wirsing, Robert (1991). Pakistan's security under Zia, 1977-1988§ The war in Afghanistan: The interventionist imperative. Washington D.C: Library of Congress. pp. 69–71. ISBN 0-312-06067-X. 
  14. ^ Hilali, A.Z. (2005). U.S.-Pakistan relations: The Russian war in Afghanistan. Burlington, VT, United States: Ashgate Publishing Limited. pp. 129–131. ISBN 0-7546-4220-8. 
  15. ^ Economical History of Eastern Europe and Pakistan. "Pakistan Economic review, Volume 19". the University of Michigan. Economic & Industrial Publications., 1988. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  16. ^ Analyses, Institute for Defence Studies and. News Review on Science and Technology. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Asian Recorder". K. K. Thomas at Recorder Press. 1 January 1983. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c Upadhyay, P. K (30 November 2009). "From FATA to South Punjab: The Looming Leap of Islamic Radicalism in Pakistan— Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses". www.idsa.in. Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  19. ^ Staff Report (23 January 2008). "Retired generals, officers of other ranks urge Musharraf to step down". 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Mohammad Shariff
Chief of Naval Staff
Succeeded by
Tariq Kamal Khan