Lt Gen J F R Jacob (retd), who negotiated the surrender of Pakistani troops in Dhaka following the 1971 war, passed away on Wednesday. Jacob, who was 92, breathed his last on Wednesday morning after prolonged illness, army sources said.Condoling the demise of Jacob, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will remain grateful to him for his impeccable service.Jack Farj Rafael Jacob was born in 1923 in Calcutta in a conservative Baghdadi Jews household. Jacob listed himself in the British Indian Army in 1942 after he got motivated by the reports of Holocaust of European Jews during World War II. His father objected to his decision to join the Indian Army. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an interview to the Times of Israel, Jacob says, “I joined the British Army to fight the Nazis.” In the same interview he says that the only place he encountered anti-Semitism was from the British in their army. “Among Indians it does not exist,” he says.Jacob fought in World War II in northern Iraq, Burma, Sumatra and North Africa. After the World War II ended, Jacob graduated from artillery schools in England and the United States. He returned to India only to join the Indian Army once again. In 1963, he was promoted to Brigadier; later during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, he commanded an infantry. In 1967 he was promoted to Major General. He was appointed as the Chief of Staff, Eastern Command that defeated the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan during 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. He was appointed by General Sam Manekshaw. Jacob devised a unique ‘war of movement’ strategy to defeat the Pakistanis. Rather than focussing on occupying big cities as suggested by Chief of Army ‘Sam’ Manekshaw, the strategy zeroed in was to use alternative route to bypass the towns and attack Dhaka from all sides. Indian army also trained the Mukti Bahinis, thus considerably weakening morale of the Pak forces. But greatest achievement of Jacob was that with only a troop of 3000 stationed outside Dhaka, the officer managed to pursue Pakistan’s commander in East Pakistan, Gen. A.A.K. Niazi to surrender publicly and unconditionally, even though he had a force of 30,000 soldiers. The more remarkable fact perhaps is that Jacob arrived completely unarmed in Dhaka with just one aide. Finally with Pakistani side surrendering, the war was over and a new country Bangladesh was formed and it turned out to be the brightest hour in Lt Gen J F R Jacob’s long luminous career. Photo Courtesy: AFPAfter his retirement in 1978, Jacob was appointed as the governor of Goa. Later, he was also appointed as the governor of Punjab. After his tenure as the governor of Punjab ended, there were graffiti put up on the walls, “Without Jacob, who will feed the poor?”Lt Gen JFR Jacob taking oath as Punjab Governor (AFP Photo)Jacob was also a supporter of improved India-Israel relations. Jacob has authored books like Surrender at Dacca: Birth of a Nation and An Odyssey in War and Peace: An Autobiography Lt Gen. JFR Jacob. Jacob never married. In an open letter to the youth of Delhi, Jacob said that even though he has no son or daughter, he sees his son and daughter in every young face of this country. In the letter he says that even though he was a proud Jew, he is an ‘Indian through and through’.”What worries me most is the swarming poor of our nation. The privileged youth of India should take owneership of the situation. I talk to the young of this nation. You are far better trained and far more professional than my generation….Usher in your nation. Sons, respect women. I don’t understand how crime against women can happen. I have no answers to them. I can only appeal to those willing to lend an ear,” Jacob wrote. Image Source:

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All you need to know about Lt Gen JFR Jacob, 1971 Indo-Pak War hero