Admiral Fasih Bokhari, is a retired four-star admiral and who served as the 14th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) of Pakistan Navy from 1997 to 1999.
A war hero, he resigned as Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy on October 6, 1999 after being superseded by much junior military officer and newly promoted General Pervez Musharraf, when he was appointed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee in addition to his being Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army. As an admiral, Bokhari was responsible for the induction of the Agosta 90B class submarine for the Pakistan Navy. He was a submariner by profession and was the torpedo officer on the PNS Hangor when it sunk the Khurki in 1971.
Bokhari enjoyed a lively career in the Navy, and had held notable commands. A war hero, Admiral Bokhari joined the navy on January 1, 1959 and attended the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth before being commissioned into the Pakistan Navy in May 1962. At Dartmouth, he did his B.Sc. in Military science and was inducted in Navy Submarine Service Branch of Pakistan Navy in 1964. He attended the French Naval War College in 1975 where he did his M.Sc. in War studies. Since then, he had numerous key staff and command positions, both ashore and afloat. As a younger naval officer, Fasih Bokhari had resigned earlier many years ago 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.
He joined the submarine service in 1964 and was part of the acquisition crew of the Daphné class submarine. Fasih Bokhari was a Navigating Officer of PNS Hangor deployed under the command of Captain Tasneem Ahmed. He commanded a Daphne submarine and toured on duty as destroyer commander. Besides, he had been commander of submarines, the director of naval operations and director of the naval warfare operation plans.
Senior Staff Appointments
A graduate from the French Naval War College in 1975, he had served as assistant chief of naval staff of personnel from 1991 till 1992, and then as deputy chief of naval staff of naval supply from 1992-1995. In 1995, he was promoted as Vice-Admiral and assumed the command of the Pakistan Fleet till1997, as he was appointed to that position in August 1995 Vice Admiral Shamoon Alam Khan. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1992 and to Vice Admiral in 1997. In 1997, he promoted as full four-star admiral in the Navy, and became Chief of Naval Staff on May 1 of 1997.During the Kargil fiasco, Admiral Bokhari led the Pakistan Navy which according to him Army did not take Navy in complete confidence.
According to his personal account, Pakistan Navy was not taken into confidence when Pakistan Army, under the command of Chief of Army Staff General Pervaiz Musharraf, had launched the Kargil Operation. On October 6, 1999, Admiral Bokhari resigned from the Navy in protest, as he was denied the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Instead, Prime minister Nawaz Sharif appointed and made Chief of Army Staff General Pervaiz Musharraf as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, who was much junior to Admiral Bokhari both in command experience and in merit.
Kargil War introspection
After retirement, Fasih Bokhari along with former 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.
Admiral Bokhari had repeatedly called for court-martial of General Pervez Musharraf as he violated the Constitution, and illegally overthrow 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.
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.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani Naval War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1999