Chairman Board of Governors
Vice Adm. A.R. Khan
By Kazi Zulkader
Siddiqui, Kit no. 671, Latif
Admiral Afzal Akram Rahman Khan (generally known as A.R.
was the first
Chairman Board of Governors of Cadet College Petaro
born in 1921 in British India and died of old age in
2005 at Islamabad.
Vice Admiral, he
retired from the Pakistan Navy as Commander-in-Chief of
Pakistan Navy in 1966.
Khan was commissioned in the Royal Navy as a midshipman
1938. He participated in the II World War.
the independence of Pakistan in 1947, A.R. Khan moved to
Karachi and joined the Royal Pakistan Navy. In 1949,
when the first destroyer PNS Tariq was inducted into
Pakistan Navy, Lt.Cdr. A.R. Khan became its commanding
officer. A year later in 1950, he became commanding
officer of the destroyer PNS Tippu Sultan.
of the destroyer PNS Tippu Sultan, he sailed on goodwill
visits to Jeddah, Malta Venice, Athens, Istanbul, Izmir and
Crete. While in the Mediterranean Sea, PNS Tippu Sultan took
part in winter exercises at Malta under his command. Upon
return, he was promoted to the rank of a commander.
1951, Cdr. A.R.Khan as the commanding officer of Tippu Sultan
was a part of Force 91 of the Royal Pakistan Navy that sailed
to Trincomalee where it participated in night shadowing
encounter exercise with two frigates of the Royal Navy. At
Trincomalee, they had a rendezvous with a large force (9
ships) of the Royal Navy, the Indian Navy and the Royal Ceylon
Navy. It led to 14 days of strenuous exercises in harbour and
at sea. The officers and men from these ships also took part
in various Inter Services Tournaments.
He rose up
through the ranks very quickly during the 1950s, while he
helped establish Naval Intelligence and helped commission
naval bases at Karachi. He was influential in expanding
Pakistan Navy operations in East and West Pakistan.
In 1959 he
was elevated to the rank of a Vice Admiral and appointed the
Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Navy. He remained in this
position until 1966. He is the longest serving chief of the
Commander-in-Chief, he led Pakistan Navy during the 1965 War
against India. His leadership was critical to the destruction
of the radars at Dwarka that stopped the Indian Navy and Air
Force from advancing attacks on to Karachi. He led several
successful naval operations during the war, which earned him
the Hilal-e-Jurat award after the war.
He is also considered to
be the father of the Submarine Service branch of
Pakistan Navy. He was instrumental in inducting the
submarines PNS Ghazi and PNS Hangor. He also sent
numerous officers to the UK and USA for training.
In 1966, while he still
remained active as a Vice Admiral, he was appointed the
Interior and Defence Minister of Pakistan under the Ayub
government. He remained as a minister until 1969 when he
resigned in protest when General Yahya Khan announced
martial law in the country on 25 March 1969.
He then moved to Islamabad and
spent the rest of his years in quiet retirement until his
death in 2005.
In recognition to his
meritorious services, the admiral was also decorated
with Hilal-e-Pakistan and Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam. Pakistan
Navy also honoured him by naming its first establishment
at Gwadar as PNS Akram after him in 1987.
Vice Admiral A.R.Khan
played a key role during the initial years of Cadet
College Petaro as well, by being the First Chairman of
the Board of Governors of the college from 1960-1966.