NEW DELHI, Jan 14, 2016 (BSS) - Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Muazzem Ali today paid tributes to 1971 Liberation War hero and decorated Indian general JFR Jacob joining a wreath laying ceremony here.

"The High Commissioner paid homage on behalf of Bangladesh as the body was kept at the Christian Cremation Centre (in New Delhi)," a spokesman of the Bangladesh High Commission said.

A host of dignitaries and top politicians including BJP veteran LK Advani, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, State Minister for External Affairs General V.K. Singh (Retd) paid homage to Lt. Gn, Jacob.

Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon also joined the ceremony to Jacob, a Jew by faith.

Chiefs of Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and senior military officers ceremonially bade him farewell as troops in uniform kept the body the centre.

Bangladesh earlier mourned the death of the general who played the key-role in forcing surrender of the Pakistani troops in 1971 as he passed away at the age of 92, 44 years after accomplishing the historic mission. 

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued statements mourning the death of the decorated Lieutenant General JFR Jacob of India, whom Bangladesh earlier honoured by conferring with the "Friend of Liberation War Honour" award. 

"Bangladesh has lost a genuine friend in his death," President Hamid said in his condolence message while the premier described him as a "valiant soldier of our Great War of Liberation". 

"The nation with profound respect would remember his contribution to our Liberation War forever," the premier said. 

War strategists and historians described Jacob's December 16, 1971 role as "crucial and delicate" against the backdrop of tantalizing international politics as he persuaded the then Pakistani army commander lieutenant general AAK Niazi shortly after landing in the enemy dominated Dhaka. 

The subsequent records suggested that the surrender of the Pakistani troops was crucial on that day in view of the dramatic and sensitive activities in the global political and military arena.

The situation required Jacob to take possibly the most challenging task of influencing the enemy commander to sign the surrender document in soonest possible time. 

In an interview to BSS four years ago Jacob, who was the chief of general staff of the India's eastern command during the war, himself said Bangladesh's independence would be uncertain if war lingered further. 

"If the war would have continued for one more day we (Indian army) would have to go back," he told BSS while on a visit to Dhaka to receive the honour as a distinguished 1971 foreign friend, coinciding with the country's 40th independence anniversary against Pakistan. 

He recalled that heavy pressures mounted on Indian army to ensure immediate victory to evade an eminent UN resolution asking all sides for an immediate ceasefire, meaning withdrawal of Indian army and causing a stalemate in the war field exposing to uncertainty the fate of Bangladesh's independence.

 

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