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24 Feb, 2024 10:32

India discovers long lost Pakistani submarine

New Delhi maintains that the vessel was attacked by an Indian destroyer during the 1971 war between the two countries, a version that Islamabad rejects
India discovers long lost Pakistani submarine

India has discovered the wreckage of a Pakistani submarine that was sunk off of its eastern coast during the 1971 war between the neighboring countries, local media reported on Friday.

The wreck of the PNS Ghazi was located by an Indian Navy deep submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) at a depth of around 100m about 2km off of the country’s east coast.

The Navy has decided not to disturb the submarine out of respect for the lives lost, the reports noted. The sinking of the Ghazi on December 4, 1971 is considered a significant event in the war that ended with then-East Pakistan becoming the independent country of Bangladesh. The Soviet Union sided with India in the war after the countries signed the ‘Peace and Friendship’ treaty, while the US and UK were aligned with Pakistan.

The Ghazi was dispatched from Karachi, Pakistan, on November 14, 1971, and traversed 4,800km around the Indian peninsula to reach the coast of Vizag, a port city in southern India’s Andhra Pradesh state. The sub was originally built as the USS Diablo for the US Navy in 1944 before being loaned to Pakistan in 1963.

The vessel had reportedly been sent to lay mines on India’s eastern seaboard and also had the aim of destroying the INS Vikrant, New Delhi’s first aircraft carrier. However, it was sunk before achieving any of these objectives. India credits the INS Rajput, a UK-built naval destroyer that served during World War II, for sinking the Ghazi. The crew of the Indian destroyer was subsequently honored with gallantry awards. Pakistan’s navy, on the other hand, claimed that the submarine sank due to “accidental explosions.”

Apart from the Ghazi, the Indian DSRV has also discovered the remains of a Japanese submarine that was sunk during World War II. On Tuesday, India showcased its two rescue vehicles procured in 2018-19 from the UK to delegates from 50 countries at the Milan-24 naval exercise, offering their capabilities to friendly countries, the Indian Express reported earlier this week. DSRVs can help locate disabled submarines, rescue trapped personnel, and provide emergency supplies. India is among 12 countries, including the US, China, and Russia, that employs such technology.

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