Karamat Rahman Niazi

Admiral Karamat Rahman Niazi (Urdu:كرامت رحمٰن نيازى; usually shortened to K.R. Niazi), NI(M), SJ, HI(M) (died 4 May 2021) was a four-star rank admiral who served as the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) from 1979 to 1983 in Pakistan Navy.

Karamat Rahman Niazi
Chief of Naval Staff
In office
22 March 1979 – 23 March 1983
Preceded byAdm Mohammad Shariff
Succeeded byAdm Tariq Kamal
Personal details
Karamat Rahman Niazi

Hoshiarpur, Punjab, British India
Died4 May 2021
Citizenship Pakistan
Military service
Allegiance Pakistan
Branch/serviceNaval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy
Years of service1948–1983
Rank15-Pakistan Navy-ADM.svgUS-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
UnitNaval Operations Branch
(S/No. PN. 214):242[1]
CommandsVice-Chief of Naval Staff
Commander Pakistan Fleet
Submarine Command
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
AwardsOrder of Excellence Nishan-e-Imtiaz.png Nishan-e-Imtiaz
Crescent of Excellence Hilal-e-Imtiaz.png Hilal-e-Imtiaz
PAK Sitara-i-Juraat ribbon.svg Sitara-i-Jurat (1965)

He was renowned for being the commander of the submarine PNS Ghazi during the second war with India in 1965, for which he was decorated. In 1979, he took over the command of the 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 warsEdit

Karamat Rahman Niazi was born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, British India, to a Pashtun noble family who belonged to the Niazi tribe.[2] After graduating from a local high school, he commissioned in the Pakistan Navy as a midshipman in 1948 in Operations Branch and initially did his training at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in the United Kingdom.[2] Upon returning, he was promoted as sub-lieutenant and his career in the Navy progressed extremely well, eventually being promoted to lieutenant-commander in 1962.[2]

In 1963, Lieutenant-Commander 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 then-Lieutenant 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 the nation's first submarine, Ghazi.[3]

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

On 17 September 1965, Commander Niazi ordered the firing of three Mk. 14 torpedoes at the INS Brahmaputra when it was identified by its navigator officers.[5] He ordered an increase in depth to evade the counter attack, as there were three distant explosions heard.[6] Niazi logged the explosions in the war logs, but Brahmaputra was not sunk nor had it released any depth charges, as no homing signals were detected by the submarine's computers.[6] After a ceasefire was enforced by the two nations, Niazi decided to continue patrolling the Arabian sea and safely reported back to its base on 23 September 1965.[4]

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

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

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

Upon graduating in 1976, his promotion in the Navy was extremely quick due to the dismissal of senior flag ranking officers. He was immediately promoted to two-star rear-admiral, becoming the senior fleet commander as the head of the Pakistan Fleet.:242[10] In 1977, he was promoted as vice-admiral and appointed Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS), where he was instrumental in incorporating new ideas on anti-submarine warfare methods.:241–242[10]

Chief of Naval StaffEdit

Vice-Admiral Niazi was promoted as four-rank admiral in the Navy and assumed command of the 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 Chief of Naval Staff, he 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 Zia on the national security issues, including those involving internal security.:69–71[13]

After the Soviet Union intervened in neighboring Afghanistan, Admiral Niazi gave authorization to the Navy's depot command in Karachi to store arms and weapons bought by the United States under a covert operation to secretly arm the Afghan mujahideen fighting 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 lasted only three years, and he retired on 22 March 1983, handing over command of the Navy to Admiral Tariq Kamal Khan.[17]


After his retirement, Admiral K.R. Niazi lived a very quiet life and lived on military pension.[18] He did not seek 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 had been secretly monitored by the FIA for his alleged and controversial activities in the country, though no charges were ever leveled against him.[18]


  1. ^ a b The Gazette of Pakistan. The Gazette of Pakistan. 1979. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d پاک بحریہ کے سربراہ۔ وائس ایڈمرل کرامت رحمان نیازی. www.pakistanconnections.com/ (in Urdu). www.pakistanconnections.com/. 22 March 1979. Retrieved 10 January 2017.[dead link]
  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. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  5. ^ Lodhi, 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, 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, Iftikhar Ahmed (1995). Truth Never Retires: An Autobiography of Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey. Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan: Jang Publishers. ISBN 978-1606350034. Retrieved 28 January 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Asia & Pacific Annual Review. World of Information. 1979. ISBN 9780904439144. 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 (1988). "Pakistan Economic review, Volume 19". the University of Michigan. Economic & Industrial Publications., 1988. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  16. ^ Analyses, Institute for Defence Studies and (April 1981). 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 linksEdit

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