End of an era: Lt. Gen Jacob, ’71 Indo-Pak war hero, is no more
Jacob, who was 92, breathed his last on Wednesday morning after prolonged illness.
Born in 1923, Jacob is best known for his role in India’s victory in the India-Pakistan war of 1971 and the liberation of Bangladesh. In the 1971 war, he designed a “war of movement” plan where the Indian Army bypassed intermediary towns which had been fortified by the Pakistan Army. His goal was to neutralise Pakistan’s command and control infrastructure and use secondary routes to enter Dhaka.
Born in the Bengal Presidency under British India, Jacob joined the Army at the age of 19 and also fought in World War II and the India-Pakistan War of 1965 before he retired in 1978.
Following his retirement Jacob in the 1980s helped a fledging Bharatiya Janata Party to build its strategic and security affairs cell in association with the likes of Lieutenant General K P Candeth, the western army commander during the 1971 war. When the NDA government came to power then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee tested Jacob politically as governor of Goa and Punjab. His candidature for country’s presidency 2002 was however overlooked in favour of APJ Abdul Kalam.
Condoling Jacob’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will remain grateful to him for his impeccable service. “Lt Gen JFR Jacob & I interacted often. Had a memorable interaction when he presented his autobiography to me,” he said in a tweet.
“RIP Lt Gen JFR Jacob. India will always remain grateful to him for his impeccable service to the nation at the most crucial moments,” the Prime Minister said.