Karamat Rahman Niazi

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Karamat Rahman Niazi
K.R. Niazi on the periscope of PNS Ghazi, 1965 (as a Cdr).
Birth name Karamat Rahman Niazi
Nickname(s) K.R. Niazi
Born Karachi, British Sindh Province, British Indian Empire
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy
Years of service 1952-1983
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Unit Submarine Service Force (SSF)
Commands held Chief of Naval Staff
Vice Chief of Naval Staff
PNS Ghazi Submarine
Submarine Service Branch
Naval Intelligence (DG NI)
Southern Naval Command
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Operation Dwarka
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Submarine intelligence operations
Balochistan conflict
Soviet war in Afghanistan
Awards Nishan-e-Imtiaz (military)
Sitara-e-Jurat (Military)
Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military)

Karamat Rahman Niazi (Urdu:كرامت رحمان نيازى; usually shortened to K.R. Niazi), NI(M), SJ, HI(M), was a high-ranking and high profile military official in the military government of General Zia-ul-Haq who led and represented the Pakistan Navy as its Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) from 1979 to 1983.

A submariner by profession, Admiral Niazi took over the command of Pakistan Navy on March 22, 1979 from another four-star Admiral Mohammad Shariff, after Admiral Mohammad Shariff became Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. As Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Niazi work closely with General Zia in the matters of national security and the enhancement of the military government of General Zia-ul-Haq.

Naval career[edit]

Niazi is an ethnic Pashtun who was born in Karachi, British Indian Empire. He joined the Pakistan Navy in 1952, and was accepted to Britannia Royal Naval College in Great Britain.[citation needed] After graduation he was commissioned in the Pakistan Navy as Midshipman in 1956, after Pakistan became a republic.[citation needed] At first he served in the Naval Operations Branch of the Pakistan Navy. He progressed through the ranks and, in 1964, he was promoted to the rank of Commander.[citation needed] On 1 June 1964, when PNS Ghazi was commissioned into the Pakistan Navy, Niazi was the first Commanding officer of the first submarine of the Pakistan Navy. He was then inducted into a newly created squadron of the Pakistan Navy, the Submarine Service Branch.[citation needed]

Operation Dwarka[edit]

On 2 September 1965, PNS Ghazi was deployed off Bombay, India, under the command of Commander Niazi. Having Pakistan's only submarine, Commander Niazi was ordered to remain off Bombay and to attack the heavy units of the Indian Navy who were close to Karachi port.[1] On September 5, PNS Ghazi was in position to attack Indian vessels. However, no further engagements between the Pakistani and Indian Navies occurred.[citation needed] On September 7, 1965, the Pakistan Navy launched Operation Dwarka, in which PNS Ghazi had to provide escort duties to the Pakistan Naval Fleet.[1] After Operation Dwarka, PNS Ghazi continued to patrol off the Kutch area. It tracked passive sonar contacts and identified warships.[1]

The contacts were picked up from Bombay proceeding up the Kutch Coast. Despite pressure from his crew,[1] Cdr. Niaz chose not to launch attacks on light warships as he was under orders only to attack heavy vessels.[1] On September 22, at 19:11 hours, Crdr. Niazi ordered the PNS Ghazi's torpedo crew to attach an ASW frigate of the Indian Navy. PNS Ghazi descended to 200 feet and rigged for deep submergence.[1] At 20:30 hours, PNS Ghazi fired its first torpedo which was followed by a loud explosion, followed five seconds later by another torpedo.[2]

On 22 September 1965, PNS Ghazi cleared the Pakistan Navy's controlled area, and without any engagement with Indian Navy, PNS Ghazi safely returned to its base on 23 September.[1]

In 1965, Commander K.R. Niazi received the third highest award Sitara-e-Jurat, which was awarded to him after 1965 Indo-Pakistan War when he commanded the submarine Ghazi during the successful Operation Dwarka, for which his crew won 10 gallantry awards including 2 SJs and 2 TJs.[1][3] He was also promoted to Captain in the Navy and was shifted in the Naval Headquarters as a staff officer.[1]

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971[edit]

After the war, Captain Niazi was sent to the Karachi Naval Base (known as COMKAR) as a staff officer, but he was given promotion and made Commodore.[1] During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, he was made Rear-Admiral, in emergence, and was made the Officer-in-Command of the Submarine Service Branch of Pakistan Navy.[1] Later, he was stationed at the COMWEST (Commander WEST) where he commanded the Ormara Naval Base as Rear-Admiral.[1] During this time, Karamat had held an important Martial Law Administration position and a very powerful government assignment in the military government of General Yahya Khan.[1] A prestige of his martial law office and his government performance soon benefited the General Zia-ul-Haq and his military government.[1]

Chief of Naval Staff[edit]

After the war, he quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to three-star vice-admiral and made Vice Chief of Naval Staff. In 1979, he was promoted to four-star rank and appointed as Chief of Naval Staff. He commanded Pthe akistan Navy from 22 March 1979 until 23 March 1983.[4] In 1978, he was awarded Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military), which is awarded to all the services chiefs upon taking over their respective commands.[1] In 1979, on the request of CMLA General Zia-ul-Haq, the Navy promotion board (NBP) promoted to Karamat to four-star rank and soon he assumed the 4-star assignment, the Chief of Naval Staff. For General Zia-ul-Haq and his new military government, the appointment was highly crucial and pre-emptive measure to ensure the continuous loyalty of Navy to General Zia-ul-Haq and his new military government.[5]

As Chief of Naval Staff and senior member of governing military junta, Niazi was in charge of national security of Pakistan, directly involved in the matters of Ministry of Internal Affairs.[6] In 1979, after Soviet Union intervened in Afghan Soviet Socialist Republic, the intelligence community soon assessed that, in the absence formal U.N. Charter, the Soviet Union might well have extend the war in Pakistan's western borders which further destabilize the country.[7] Therefore, a final meeting was called in 1979 where Admiral Niazi gave authorization of smuggling of conventional weapons through the sea port of Karachi and arm materials to rage an unconventional war against Soviet Union which appears to be unprepared for that task.[7] Before the arrival of dr. Mahbub ul Haq in 1985, Admiral Karamat was given an additional charge of economic sector and was responsible for implementing the military policies at the Ministry of Treasury under Treasure minister Ghulam Ishaq Khan.[8] Admiral Karamat remained in charge of the economic sector of the country and presided over the Economic Committee of Ministers, where the economic measures were born.[8] In addition, all the decrees were elaborated and the laws on the matters had to dictate to regulate the economic sector.[8]

From the Economic Committee of Ministers, he impelled, the first economic measures of the Military Government, the liberation of prices of goods and services; the fiscal cost was reduced and the interest rates were freed to give birth to capital markets ; the companies of the State were reorganized as well, standardizing them.[8]


On January 23, 2008, Admiral (retired) Niazi was among the retired senior officers who urged military dictator President General Parvez Musharraf to step down as head of the state in order to pave the way for a complete restoration of Pakistani democracy.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Niaiz, Amir Abdullah Khan (1998). The Betrayal of East-Pakistan. University of Michigan: Manohar, 1998. pp. 316–320. ISBN 978-81-7304-256-0. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "Pakistan Navy Submarines: A Silent Force to Reckon with!" Pakistan Defence website, 20 September 2009
  4. ^ Pillars of Pakistan (Leaders). "Admiral Karamat Rahman Niazi 22 March 1979 23 March 1983". 
  5. ^ Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (1980). Strategic analysis: The Naval dictatorship. University of California: Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses., 1980. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ a b 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. 
  8. ^ a b c d Economical History of Eastern Europe and Pakistan. "Pakistan Economic review, Volume 19". the University of Michigan. Economic & Industrial Publications., 1988. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  9. ^ 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