Before appointed chairman of NAB, Bokhari was the fourteenth Chief of Naval Staff, serving from 1997 until voluntarily resigning from the Navy under protest. 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 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.
Bokhari joined the naval service on January 1, 1959 and was sent to Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, United Kingdom where he did BSc in Military science.After completing the naval training, Bokhari was immediately given commission in Pakistan Navy on May 1962 and promoted to 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 1965 war with India where he saw action in the Rann of Kutch Operation, and the attack on Dwarka. He then served in the Ghazi, commanded by her commanding officer Commander Karamat Rahman Niazi, as its torpedo officer.
Bokhari went on a tour of duty for seatime 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 sank the INS Khurki;
After the war, And the failure to defend EastPakistan 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. In 1974, Bokhari was sent to attend the Naval War College and then the Inter Services War college at the Ecole Militaire in Paris.
Senior Staff Appointments
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 of Naval Aviation (COMNAV) and he was elevated to two-star rank, Rear-Admiral in 1990. 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 assmued the command of entire Pakistan Fleet as its commander (COMPAK). He took over the command in August 1995 from out-going Vice Admiral Shamoon Alam Khan.
Chief of Naval Staff
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 of 1997. He assumed the four-star assignment, and became fourteen Chief of Naval Staff; on other 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. As CNS, Bokhari made several attempts to reorganize the navy and attempted to sign big deals with foreign powers to expand the operational capabilities of the Navy in 1996, but such attempts were resisted and thwarted by Prime minister Navaz Sharif and his subordinated officers.
In spite of Prime minister Nawaz Sharif promoting Bokhari to four-star rank, differences and problems arise with the elected prime minister after cancelling the deals.The timeline of crises began in 1998 made uttering remarks against Pakistan’s historic decision to perform nuclear tests (Chagai-I and Chagai-II to maintain nuclear deterrence against India in 1998 and is also known for his views against creation of Pakistan. He was forcefully silent by the Chairman Join Chiefs General Jehangir Karamat who strongly urged and made promising consequences if he continued to release harmful statements against the government of conception of Pakistan.
Admiral Fasih Bokhari is well known for his public protest and hostility against the Kargil debacle, a strategic operation which brutally failed in matters of two months. Also known as indirect 1999 war, Admiral Bokhari commanded the combatant assets of Pakistan Navy which according to him the elements of army did not take the navy in complete confidence.Fasih gave grave criticism and launched powerful protest against General Musharraf and publicly called for a court-martial against General Musharraf.
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 was insued and relations were severely damaged after the Kargil war.”The two men could not work together, both were preparing to take active actions against each other”, Bokhari noted. In a meeting with General Musharraf in Joint Staff Headquarters, Musharraf regarded Sharif as “incompetent and incapable of running the administration of the country”. 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.
On October 6, 1999, Admiral Bokhari abruptly resigned from the navy when the televised media news reached to him that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed the chief of army staff General Pervez Musharraf as chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Bokhari reached to Prime minister Secretariat and lodged a loud protest against Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif as Bokhari considered Musharraf as much junior officer to him. His resignation was made public records as he was denied the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
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”.Prime minister Nawaz Sharif insisted not to resign and urged Admiral Bokhari to complete his term which was designated another five months but Admiral Bokhari defiantly rejected Prime minister’s request as he puts the conservation:
After the 1999 coup, Musharraf tried to control the damage and offered a membership of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) but Admiral Bokhari denied and urged Musharraf to step down immediately.
Kargil War introspection
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.
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.
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.
Despite a war hero, an honor military figure and submariner, Fasih Bokhari was allegedly involved in different questionable deals, was accused of not proceeding against those submariners who had received kickbacks from Agosta Submarine scandal after becoming chief of naval staff despite knowing all the facts and a case of “Brooks and Garcia Spares Case” allegedly involving Bokhari was heard by Public Accounts Committee few month before his appointment.The parliamentary investigation exposed that Bokhari was one of his close friend retired Commander Naeem Sarfraz and unofficially issued uttered remarks against Pakistan’s historic decision to perform its nuclear deterrence against India in 1998 and is also known for his views against creation of Pakistan.
Senior retired Rear-Admiral Tanveer Ahmad revealed that Fasih Bokhari was not directly involved in Agosta Submarine scandal, he as a submariner let all those submariners who were involved, off the hook, and instead gave them promotions after becoming chief of naval staff. He was also the part of the inspection team that gave green signal to Prime minister Benazir Bhutto to close a controversial deal with France for Agosta class submarine which led the dismissal of her government.Geostrategist dr. Shireen Mazari confirmed Bokhari had condemned the decision of nuclear tests and during the IISS convention in the Gulf, Bokhari maintained that: “Quaid-i-Azam had made a mistake in seeking the creation of Pakistan..”.
National Accountability Bureau
After retirement, Fasih Bokhari spent time as a geo-strategic analyst and also occasional columnist contributing articles to various English-language dailies in Pakistan. In October 2011, he was appointed as Chairman, National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan by President Asif Ali Zardari. The appointment of Bokhari as Chairman NAB was considered high controversial, and many experts view this appointment as to bring Bokhari initiate action against senior PML-N leader and Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Nawaz Sharif.
Family and Connections
A sister of Admiral Bokhari’s was married into the famous Khattar political family, to the late His Excellency (HE) Mr. Izzet Hayat Khan, a businessman and a former Pakistan ambassador to Tunisia, during General Zia-ul-Haq’s regime. One of his daughters is the wife of the junior grandson of late Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III, last ruler of the former Junagadh. His 12 year old grandson is a fan of football and supports the team Chelsea FC. He enjoys watching football with him occasionally.
NAB Chairman Fasih Bokhari refutes resignation reports
KARACHI: Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Fasih Bokhari refuted reports regarding his resignation. Bokahari said he had not resigned nor did he have any intentions to resign.
Chairman Fasih Bokhari Pictures