We did not sink Ghazi: former Pak Commander
He said the Indian "claims" that PN submarine 'Ghazi' was sunk by them during the 1971 war were "false and utterly absurd".india Updated: Dec 24, 2006 14:33 IST
Reviving past controversies, a former Pakistan Navy (PN) commander has said the Indian "claims" that PN submarine 'Ghazi' was sunk by them during the 1971 war were "false and utterly absurd".
However, former top Indian Navy officers say the Pakistani submarine was destroyed in explosion of depth- charges dropped by destroyer INS Rajput, which the attacking Pakistani vessel had mistaken for aircraft carrier INS Vikrant and was pursuing it.
In an article sent to the premier journal 'Indian Defence Review', Commander (Retd) Muhammad Azam Khan said PNS Ghazi, which was then PN's only submarine with a capacity to reach Bay of Bengal and undertake operations on India's eastern sea, sank on the night of December 3-4, 1971 off Vishakhapatnam after an explosion.
"Since all the 82 crew members embraced 'shahadat' (martyrdom), it is unlikely that the mystery surrounding the circumstances in which Ghazi met her end will ever be unveiled," he said.
"Still, the Indian claims of sinking Ghazi are not only false but utterly absurd, to say the least", Khan said.
He claimed that if PNS Ghazi had survived, the possibility of Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant operating in Bay of Bengal or deploying its fighter fleet or the Indian Navy carrying out a landing on the shores of then East Pakistan "would have only remained a pipedream".
However, the official history of Indian Navy 'Transition to Triumph', authored by Vice Admiral (Retd) G M Hiranandani, quotes naval records and top naval officials who commanded operations on the eastern waterfront as saying that INS Rajput was sent from Vizag to track down Ghazi.