Passing on of General Jacob
Bangladesh condoles with people on both sides of the Bangladesh-India borders the death of Lieutenant General JFR Jacob (retd) at the age of 92, the man who as Major General and Chief of Staff of the Eastern Command of the Indian Army negotiated the surrender of Pakistani troops in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
The success of General Jacob as a planner, some military experts think, lies in a draft outline plan he had prepared by the end of May 1971 based on important strategic parameters such as bypassing Pakistani fortified positions and selecting thrust lines accordingly, and selecting subsidiary objectives in order to secure communication centres as also to destroy command and control centres of the Pakistani forces. Enemy forces bypassed were to be dealt with later, he thought, a tactic that worked in reducing the number of casualties of the joint forces.
But his wisdom transcended the battlefield—he had the foresight of anticipating not only what the enemy might do tomorrow but also how, in future, the War was going to be reflected upon by the people of this country. And that's why he cajoled Lieutenant General Niazi, commander of the Eastern Command of the Pakistan Army, to surrender to the joint command of Bangladesh and India in front of the people of Dhaka in Suhrawardy Udyan on December 16, 1971.
The Bangladesh government, in 2012, in recognition of his contribution to the creation of Bangladesh, conferred the Friends of Liberation War on the great soldier. The country will forever remember Lt General Jacob with much gratitude.