There are always mysterious stories about a war. Unsolved mystery behind the sinking of PNS Ghazi is one such story that still remains a secret and is still the best kept secret of 1971 Indo-Pak War. There are a few questions that still remain unanswered that how PNS Ghazi sank and what was the reason behind it. The claim by Indian government that they were responsible for the sinking of PNS Ghazi, Is there any concrete proof of that. We will answer all the questions and this would be the most neutral version of the story about PNS Ghazi.
PNS Ghazi was previously named as USS Diablo (SS-479) was a Fast attack submarine of US navy and was leased to Pakistan in 1963 under the security assistance program. According to Indian Historians the sinking of PNS Ghazi is termed as the unsolved mystery of 1971 war. The story starts from the war of 1971 when the Indian government decided to place the INS Vikrant in the Eastern Naval command in Vizag. This put the army of East Pakistan under huge pressure to tackle the Indian Operations. It is said that Pakistan was reluctant to deploy PNS Ghazi due to its history of equipment Failures.
Pakistan didn’t had much choice as PNS Ghazi was the only capable carrier to tackle INS Vikrant. The date was 14th November and the year was 1971 when PNS Ghazi started the mission and quietly sailed around 3000 miles from the Arabian sea to the East coast of India. After 2 days on 16th November it was reported that PNS Ghazi was 400 km of the bay of Bombay(now Mumbai). On 19th of November PNS Ghazi was off to Sri Lanka and after a day on 20th of November PNS Ghazi entered Bay of Bengal. Now the actual mission started and on 23rd November PNS Ghazi started the hunt for INS Vikrant.
Pakistan got the information that INS Vikrant is stationed at Madras and so PNS Ghazi started for Madras for its mission but they realised that they are 10 days late and INS Vikrant is around Andaman’s Island now. This was a huge setback of PNS Ghazi and it turned back to Vizag. On 1st December Vice Admiral Nilkanta Krishnan informed that a Pakistan naval submarine has been sighted near Madras or Vizag.
Commanding officer Inder Singh of INS Rajput was instructed that once the refuelling is done then INS Rajput must leave and hunt PNS Ghazi down. On 3rd December at around 2340 hours INS Rajput took its maximum speed and it is said that huge explosions were heard and INS Rajput himself suffered huge loss and on 4th December PNS Ghazi sank with all 92 people on board under unknown and mysterious circumstances.
As per the Indian version of the story it credits INS Rajput for the sinking of PNS Ghazi. India also made a Victory Memorial where PNS Ghazi sunk. According to Pakistan version it says that PNS Ghazi was sunk due to electromechanical failure which caused the MK14 torpedoes to detonate themselves and this was the reason for the explosion. The independent media and investigation also believed that India was not behind the sinking of PNS Ghazi and it may have sunk due to technical failure or due to the explosion of the mines.
In 1972 United States and the Soviet union offered that PNS Ghazi should be brought to the surface but Indian Government rejected these offers and allowed PNS Ghazi to sink further in the mud. In 2003 a few more items were discovered from the ship and among them was a poignant letter written by a Pakistani sailor to his Fiance. Indian and Pakistan would always have argument that what caused the sinking of PNS Ghazi but the truth is that PNS Ghazi was on a mission to sink INS Vikrant and instead it was drowned in the sea so in a way it was a big defeat for Pakistan navy and their mission. India defeated Pakistan in 1971 war and then East Pakistan was created into a new country which is known as Bangladesh now.