Friday, January 11, 2008


“The Americans always do the right things after they have tried everything else”

Winston Churchill.

In considering Indo- US relations it is necessary to understand America's approach to its role in the global geo-strategic and global economic environment that obtains. America has advanced far from the “Halls of Montezuma, the Shores of Tripoli”, the Monroe doctrine, Commodore Perry, the Phillipines, Panama, the Boxers, Teddy Roosvelt and Black Jack Pershing. The two world wars saw America emerge as a super power. Important post world war II landmarks were the creation of the United Nations, Bretton Woods, the IMF, the World Bank and the Marshal plan. Seeds of future conflict were laid down by arming of the Viet Minh in August 1945 by Wild Bill Donovan and his OSS. Next came the Korean War ,the Viet Nam war, and John Foster Dulles with his Domino Theory, the Cold War, Reagan and the fall of Berlin Wall, Afghanistan and the creation of the Taliban, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the new Russia. Then 9/11 ,Omar Bin Laden and the march of International terrorism, the two campaigns in Iraq and the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Indo-Us relations have waned and waxed like the phases of the moon. In the nineteen forties it was Franklin D Roosvelt and Harry Truman who pressurized the British into granting India its independence. Relations became strained in nineteen fifties due partly to the vitriolic speeches of Krishna Menon in the UN. Despite this the US responded to the critical food shortages that India was experiencing during Bihar famine by sending very large tonnages of wheat in the 1960’s under PL 480. The repayment for this was most generously waived later by the US. Relations again waxed when the United State immediately responded to India’s defence needs during the Chinese invasion of 1962. The USA sent India weapons and more importantly located in India two of their Squadrons of C 130 aircraft to help to lift troops, stores and equipment. (Incidentally Israel was the only other donor, sending its latest 120 mm Tampella heavy mortars with ammunition and spares to equip two regiments.) Relations then waned during the cold war due to India’s friendly relations with the Soviet Union. Pakistan’s membership CENTO was another cause for concern.

Relations were further strained in 1971 by Nixons tilt to Pakistan during its repression in East Pakistan and subsequently in the war of 1971. Mrs Gandhi displayed courage and determination throughout. She stood up to Nixon and United Nations and led the India to its greatest victory. The movement of the Enterprise carrier group through the Straits of Malacca on December 12/13 was another matter of concern. The recent release of documents by the State Department for this period illustrates the Pro Pakistan stand of the Nixon Administration. Pakistan's role in the creation of Taliban (under the aegis of Benazir Bhutto) and the financial aid and weapons supplied by USA and others were also matters of concern. Most of the aid to Pakistan was diverted to finance and equip the regular Pakistan army. We are today reaping this random harvest due to the spread of international terrorism that has its roots in Pakistan (To quote an old proverb “to hoist with one’s own petard”)

Relations began to wax under the initiatives of Rajiv Gandhi in 1984/89. Talks between two countries took place for the transfer of Technology and the supply of GE jet engines for the LCA project. This process was continued by Narasimha Rao, Vajpayee and currently Manmohan Singh.

During the 1997 Pakistani incursions in Kargil Clinton pressurized the Pakistan Government to withdraw its troops and warned them against embarking on any nuclear adventure. Despite Pakistan providing covert support to the Taliban and other terrorist groups, the United States perforce maintains cordial relations with Pakistan due to its dependence on Pakistan for land and air communications to support NATO operations in Afghanistan.

Under the Bush administration Indo- US relations have reached a new high as Bush considers India to be a reliable strategic partner for the maintenance of stability in the Region.

There are three main parameters governing American military global supremacy –

The deep seas – deterrence by nuclear submarines -Air space and outer space – deterrence by aircraft and satellites-

Control of the deep seas – air space and outer space gives the US ability to prosecute operations far from the Continental United States. This ability is enhanced by a string of world wide bases. (Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean is of particular relevance, making the United States an Indian Ocean power.)

America remains a technological giant, particularly in research. America spends more on R&D than the combined defence budgets of France and Germany. This is of particular importance to India which requires technology for its progress.

India and US have commonalities of interest particularly in the Indian Ocean, Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia. Much of the trade and sea communications of both countries pass through the Straits of Hormuz and Malacca, past the Horn of Africa and around the Cape of Good Hope. Peace and stability in this region are of paramount importance to both countries.

Significant progress has recently been made in co-operation by the signing of “Mutual Assistance Treaty” , formation of “The Defence Policy Group”, launching of “Cyber Security” with regard to Cyber Terrorism and information security ,as also military to military cooperation. The 123 agreement is being processed. An FBI office has been set up in Delhi and there is liaison between the FBI, IB and CBI. Military cooperation has also been enhanced. There has been joint Naval anti pirate patrolling in the Straits of Malacca. Perhaps this could be expanded to patrolling of the pirate infested waters around of the Horn of Africa. Joint military exercises have been held as also exchange of Training facilities particularly in counter insurgency. Talks are in progress for the transfer of Defence Technology.

India looks to US to support its application for a seat in the United Nations Security Council,particularly in view of India’s emergence as a regional power and its role in various peace keeping missions.

Discussions are continuing on market access and reduction of tariffs and tariff barriers. Talks are progressing on Civil nuclear power, outer space and missile defence. Exchanges are continuing on the sale of military equipment and spares. The major stumbling block in the past was India’s concerns over the control by the US government on the guaranteed provision of spares. These concerns are now being allayed by assurances given in this matter. The US has already indicated its willingness to participate in joint production ventures for Indian and other markets. The US on its part requires assurances on end use, diversion and transfer of goods and technologies to third countries, control and physical protection of such technologies. End user verification is also required by the US.

India on the other hand wants the US to review licensing procedures for commercial launching of US made satellites.

Trade between the two countries in on the increase. Exports from the US in 2006 reached 7 billion US dollars. Major items were aviation and engineering materials, machinery, Medical instruments, fertilizers, stones and metals. Indian exports were some 3 billion US dollars – mainly diamonds and precious stones, textiles, iron and steel, organic chemicals and electrical machinery. Incidentally Indo-Russian trade is less than 2% of Indian exports.

There are two areas of concern for India namely Pak sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, the North-East and India itself. Pakistan continues to be the Epi Centre of terrorism, harboring Ben Laden, and the Taliban leadership as also providing covert support for their training camps located in Pakistan. The ISI, under whose auspices the Taliban was formed, is still providing covert support to both organizations. Pakistan wants to see a friendly pro Pakistan Taliban government in Afghanistan. Pakistan is apprehensive of the India’s friendly relations with Afghanistan. NATO Forces will find a very difficult to defeat the Taliban as long as the Taliban is supported by Pakistan providing them with firm bases and lines of supply for arms, ammunition and money. These terrorist organizations are also said to be receiving money from some Arab countries. (There are two factors required to keep an insurgency going – firm bases and lines of supply for arms, ammunition and money. As long as these parameters obtain NATO will find it very difficult to defeat the Taliban.)

Due to the current instability in Pakistan, exacerbated by the assassination of Benzir Bhutto, it may therefore be necessary to maintain NATO Forces by Air via Turkey, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan. It should be recalled that during the Cold War Soviet blockade of Berlin, Berlin was entirely maintained by Air by NATO aircraft.
In case of complete anarchy in Pakistan presumably the United States will take preemptive action to safeguard Pakistan’s nuclear warheads and missiles. India is unhappy that their strategic partnership with US is being hyphenated with Pakistan. The US should remember the Pakistan remains a country where ethnic identities supercede national loyalties. After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto chaotic conditions are likely to obtain in Pakistan. It is possible that Musharraf will not be able to control events.

The next area of concern is China. The author recalls a remark made to him by a Chinese General in 1957 – “We Chinese will never forget that Indian troops took part in the sacking of the summer palace in Bejing.”

America and China were involved in direct war in Korea in the 1950s, including the bombing of the bridges across the Yalu River. Then there was a proxy war in Vietnam during the 1960-1970s.

China is desperately seeking raw materials to fuel its industries. It is worth while to digress here to recall that in 1939 Japan, desperately in need of raw materials, attacked the Soviet Union in Siberia. Gen Zukhov inflicted a crushing defeat on the Japanese at the Battle of NOMOHAN. This battle had two major consequences, one the Japanese then decided that the Soviets were too strong in Siberia and decided to move south – Pearl Harbor, Philippines and South East Asia. The other major consequence was that Stalin, after NOMOHAN, moved Zukhov’s well equipped Siberian Army to the west thus saving the Soviet Union. NOMOHAN is a battle that is not well known and should be considered to be one of the most decisive battles of the world, changing the course of history.

The relevance of the incident above is applicable to China. China is seeking bases in the Bay of Bengal in Burma as also Gwadhar (in Baluchistan). China is sourcing raw materials from Australia, Asia, Africa and South America. China is modernizing its Army, Navy, (particularly its submarine arm) and Air Force. The expansion of its nuclear arsenal is being undertaken at a rapid pace. They are increasing their missile inventory, particularly intercontinental missiles. By 2020 China will be in position of strength to dictate to others. Chinese occupation and claims of Indian Territory present a direct threat to India.

China presents a threat in being to the United States. Napoleon once said “Let China sleep for when she wakes the world will tremble.”

The USA is the worlds most powerful democracy and India the largest. They have large areas of commonality of interest both strategic and economic. Both are victims of terrorist attacks. Both are concerned with the security of the sea lanes across the Indian Ocean. Both need each other.

The US should reassess their relationship with Pakistan in view of its instability and its covert support of the infrastructure of terrorism. The situation of Pakistan is volatile and chaotic. Pakistan cannot be considered to be a reliable partner for the US.

China will pose a threat to the security of United States in the latter part the next decade .

China also poses a direct threat to the security of India occupying and claiming Indian territory.

Finally though Indo-US relations have waned and waxed like the phases of the moon, now however due to the pragmatism of Bush and Indian administrations, hopefully they will emerge to be as constant as the Northern Star. A new equation and balance of power is emerging to redress the imbalances of the old.

JFR Jacob

Sunday, November 25, 2007



As the 16th of December approaches, we should remember all those gallant soldiers, sailors, airmen and para-military who laid down their lives in the service of our nation. Not only in 1971, but also in the wars of 1948, ’62,’65 and the incursions in Kargil.

In 1971 the pattern of operations was defensive-offensive in the West and a lightning offensive in the East. The thirteen days of operations in the East resulted in the unconditional surrender of the Pakistan – Eastern Command.

The ceasefire proposed by Pakistan under the auspices of the United Nations was converted into an unconditional surrender of some 93,000 officers and men. General Niazi had some 30,000 troops in Dacca as opposed to the 3000 India had outside. He had the capacity to fight on for weeks. The Polish resolution at the United Nations for a ceasefire and withdrawal under the auspices of the United Nations was under debate. Prior to and throughout the operation Mrs. Indira Gandhi displayed unswerving courage and determination. She stood up to Nixon and the United Nations, leading the nation to its greatest victory.

General Niazi, when questioned by the Commission of Enquiry in Pakistan as to why, when he had the capacity to fight on for weeks and with the United Nations in session – who would certainly have ordered a withdrawal, did he agree to the humiliation of an unconditional public surrender, the only one in history?

Niazi explained that he was blackmailed by General Jacob, the author, into surrendering. This, he repeated in his book, “Betrayal of East Pakistan”

The officers and men of our Army, Navy and Air Force are the finest in the world. They need to have the wherewithal to execute their duties, namely state of the art weaponry and equipment. They also require suitable emoluments and facilities commensurate with the difficult tasks they have perforce to perform. Also, most importantly, they need to have the “IZZAT”, they deserve.

Time was when the status equations of service officers with their IAS and IPS counterparts were commensurate with their respective responsibilities.

Sadly, after every war, this equation has been downgraded.

Some in the IAS are interpreting civil control of the Armed Forces to be civil service control. The IAS officers are Government Servants and not Government, as some of them would like to believe.

Recently, the Service Chiefs had to be subjected to frisking at the Air Ports. This shows the deliberate erosion of the status of the Service Chiefs.

Today, the civil servants feel that the Mont Blanc pens, they wield, are more powerful than the swords of their Service counterparts.

The Armed Forces are responsible for the defense of the country. They have not only to wage big wars but also the small wars of counter-insurgency. They need the state-of-the-art weaponry and equipment. The weapon systems held by today’s armed forces have progressed little from those used in World War – II.

Modernizations and up-gradation of weapon systems is being retarded by archaic bureaucratic procedures. Modern weapon systems are complex and take a long time to master and absorb.

There has been an inordinate delay is the acquisition of the 155mm Howitzers.

We are desperately short of this weapon system. For Instance, the 155mm Bofors was the main battle winning weapon system at Kargil.

Yet, the further induction of 155mm Howitzers is a very very long way off.

The Army too needs to rethink and upgrade its tactics and standing operating procedures. Unfortunately, a Maginot Complex is prevalent among many decision makers.

There has been far too much reliance on linear defense based on the Ditch-cum- Bund.

Due to our very long borders, these linear defenses lack depth. Fixed defenses are not impenetrable. Both, the Maginot Line of Sergeant Maginot and the Sigfried Line of Adolf Hitler were breached.

Fixed defenses can, at best, only delay in order to determine the quantum and direction of the enemy thrust. Once this is established, it has to be countered by mobile reserves. Ground should be used for maneuver to destroy the enemy. The Mobility Factor is of paramount importance.

To ensure mobility by land, air and sea, formations should be structured accordingly.

Presently, our units and formations are Man-power intensive, rather than being Fire-power intensive. Tactical doctrines should be reassessed. For example, current Army doctrine states that defense is the basic operation of war. Surely, the offensive is!! If this is accepted, then our organizations should be structured to reflect this.

The author took part in several operations in World War-II. Invariably, the Infantry battalion assaulted with one Company up. Very very exceptionally, with two Companies up in the assault!

The author never saw, an attack with two Companies up, in any assault.

The Commanding Officer of the battalion cannot handle more than three companies in the assault. If it is accepted that the offense is a basic operation of war, then the organizations should be structured accordingly.

Incidentally, the Russians, Americans and most other armies have a three company organization.

The man-power saved in restructuring may be used to raise more battalions.

Similarly, we should re-examine the organization of the tank squadron. The present squadron consists of four troops of three tanks each, and two in squadron headquarters. A total of 14 tanks.

The Russians used armour most effectively through out World War II, from Kursk, all the way to Berlin. Their squadron consists of three troops of three tanks plus one for the commander. A total of ten tanks.

As with the infantry, we should re-examine these organizations. The savings in tanks and man-power, if adopted, could be used to raise further units.

Incidentally, the Artillery was the only arm after World War-II to re-organize. The eight-gun battery of two troops of four guns each, was re-structured as a six-gun battery.

We need smaller and lighter formations that are more mobile and can be transported more readily.

Today, the Division is the smallest formation that can work independently. There is a need to make the Brigade group, the smallest formation that can operate independently. At least, one Brigade group in the Army should be capable of being air-transportable and able to deploy rapidly in distant areas.

Regarding armour, the role of armour and the Armoured Division needs to be clarified. The Armoured Divisions’ role is to break out, once a breach in the enemy defenses has been made. The Division then pours through the breach, and then devastates the logistics and infrastructure of the enemy in the rear areas.

In the military environment that obtains today, it is necessary to re-examine the requirement for the number of armoured divisions.

Independent Armoured Brigade Groups are more flexible and appropriate. A similar restructuring is being undertaken in many foreign armies.

Considering the many islands off the East and West coast, it is necessary for the Navy to enhance its amphibious capabilities. We have come a long way since the fiasco of the landings near Cox’s Bazaar in 1971 (Ukhia).

With the acquisition of a greater amphibious capability, the Armed Forces should aim at being able to assault beaches with at least a Brigade Group. There should also be a “lift” capability to land the remaining elements of the Division.

In 1971, we were only capable of dropping a battalion group at Tangail in Bangladesh. There is a requirement to lift and transport a complete Brigade group by air, using helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. This capability is essential to move a brigade rapidly over large distances.

There’s a pressing requirement to re-examine the quantum of Teeth versus Tail as also the proliferation of staffs manning the various headquarters, particularly at New Delhi.

Staff procedures at Service Headquarters need to be streamlined. The bureaucracy in Olive Green at Service Headquarters today is more Whitehall than Whitehall in London itself.

The Armed Forces today are serving the nation with dedication. They are fighting small scale wars in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East. They are manning the heights overlooking the Siachen Glacier, under the most extreme climatic conditions.

The Armed Forces not only need the wherewithal to fight but also commensurate emoluments and facilities such as housing, schools etc.

We are today short of over 12,000 officers. Fewer people want commissions in the Army, preferring to opt for more lucrative careers in civil life.

Then there is the question of IZZAT? The motto of the Regiment of Artillery is IZZAT O IQBAL. Unfortunately, the soldier does not get the Izzat he deserves. He is forgotten in peace and only remembered in times of war. He is soon forgotten shortly after that.

The Izzat of the Armed Forces is being steadily eroded. The glory obtained on the battle-fields quickly fades into oblivion.

The politicians make wars and the soldiers, sailors and airmen fight them. Politicians, then make peace. The soldier is then forgotten!

Julian Grenfell wrote in World War-I,

“The thundering line of battle stands

And in the air death moans and sings,

But day shall clasp him in strong hands

And night shall fold him in soft wings.”

Eternal night has fallen on our martyrs but has also folded them in its soft wings.

Lest we forget, lest we forget, let us remember them – they gave their tomorrow for our today.

J F R Jacob - played a pivotal role in planning, logistics and the conduct of the 1971 liberation of Bangladesh. He was instrumental in negotiating with Geneal Niazi and in converting a ceasefire into an unconditional surrender of 93,000 Pakistani troops.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Terrorism and Insurgency


Lt.Gen J.F.R.Jacob;

. Insurgency and terrorism are not new – recorded in history.
· Accounts are as early as from Greek and Roman times in some form or other. Both movements tend to merge with each other. Terrorism also becomes an ARM OF INSURGENCIES.
· Terrorism and insurgency are politically or communally (including religion) or criminally, ethnically motivated.
· The UN has yet to decide on a definition of terrorism. Insurgency may be defined as an armed rebellion against the Government with the support or sympathy of a proportion of the population. Insurgency covers the full spectrum from subversion, terrorism to full-scale guerrilla war including transformation of the guerrilla bands to regular units.
· The aim of the insurgents is to achieve a political objective by military means. A decisive victory is not essential. They can gain their objective by enforcing a stalemate so that the government and security forces finally decide that the cost is no longer sustainable. Their aim of defeating the government’s will is therefore achieved.
· Terrorism can evolve into insurgency when it takes sufficient hold to broaden its base, e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan and the Naxalite movement in India
· The word Guerrilla originated in Spain, in the Spanish war 1808-1814. Guerrilla – meaning small war. The man who fought was known as the Guerrillo or Partisan.
· There are three main schools of thought and a fourth is now emerging:
· Revolutionary school - Insurgency/Guerrilla Warfare is a form of revolution - exponents of this are Lenin, Che Guevara – that communism and revolution are indivisible.
· Political School – Mal-adjusted National or International politics eg. Mao Tse Tung – war cannot be separated from politics. Guerrilla war starts and ends with politics.
· Socio-psychological school – insurgency is the outcome of rebellious personalities – economic, social and cultural mal-adjustments.
· Emerging Kaliphate - Trends towards a unified Muslim state using various means to achieve their goals (recent meeting of a 100,000 in Indonesia).

· Requirements for Insurgency:
1) Cause – this is the most important ingredient. The greater the appeal the greater is the influence. (Rhetoric, justice, equality, freedom etc)
2) Mass Support – is necessary to sustain the movement. Mao Tse Tung, “Live among the people as a fish lives in water”
3) Leadership – effective leadership is essential. MAO, CASTRO, CHE GUEVERA were strong personalities. Leadership was centralized for strategy and decentralized for operations.
4) Organization – cause and organization go hand in hand. Organization can only last if there is a cause. A cause can only spread if there is a proper organization ( A Catch 22 situation)
· Essentials for a viable insurgent organization:
1) Parallel Government to direct policy, plans, intelligence, communications, propaganda, training, logistics, operations, sabotage, and terrorism. Necessary to set-up headquarters throughout the area.
2) Armed wing: comprising a mixed force. It is a politico-military machine aimed to fight and win over the people.
3) Intelligence setup – If cause is popular, people become the main source of information. It requires a sound organization, agents and communications to transmit information. Grass-root information is essential (this is lacking both in Iraq and Afghanistan).
4) Propaganda – This is three-dimensional - to win over the masses, attack the enemy with psychological warfare and to maintain momentum by political indoctrination. It further aims to discourage and terrify opponents with rumors, gossip, and allegations, set to destabilize government forces and spread panic among the people.
5) Proximity of International borders with sympathetic countries – This enables them to establish bases, train and receive arms and money ( Iraq - From Iran and Syria, Afghanistan – from Pakistan and Iran)
6) Foreign Support – foreign powers may materially assist, for eg: in Vietnam – USA and Cambodia. China and Pakistan’s role in the North eastern state of Nagaland in India……. Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and the north Indian state of Punjab. As also later, Pakistan giving birth to the Taliban.

1) Counter Insurgency Operations :
2) These are both defensive and offensive. Defensive – to prevent insurgents disrupting government, protecting infrastructure, communications and surveillance. These are best carried out by the police and Para-military.
Offensive operations; in any war – small war, there are four main objectives –
1) defeating the enemy forces in the field,
2) disrupting enemy bases and the infrastructure
3) breaking the enemy’s will to resist
4) And finally achieving the political aim.
Most important is to break the enemy’s will to fight. To do this, we must defeat his forces; disrupt his logistics and infrastructure in order to achieve the political aim. Military force alone cannot produce a solution. Military force can only create an environment from which the insurgents will negotiate from a position of weakness.
Thus coming to a political settlement. In order to this, it is important to win over the minds and hearts of the people.
To do this, we need:
1) Close Liaison with the civil authorities.
2) Countering hostile propaganda.
3) Intelligence, particularly at the grassroots.
4) Correct weight age must be given to both defensive and offensive operation and finally
5) Mobility: this is most important. Armed forces should be more mobile than that of the hostile and must be able to adapt to terrain and environment
(Jungles, urban etc).
1) Insurgents aim is to enforce a stalemate wherein the government and security forces finally decide that sustaining indecisive operations are no longer worthwhile. The insurgent’s aim of breaking the government’s will to fight is therefore achieved.
2) There is no purely political solution on its own. If so, the insurgency would not have occurred. There is no purely military solution either. Military force can only be used to reduce the insurgents to a position of weakness in order to bring them to the negotiating table.
3) There are two main ingredients to keep an insurgency going. Firm bases and lines of supply for ammunition and money. Eg: Iraq (Iran- Syria), Afghanistan (Pakistan – Iran), Jammu and Kashmir and North East India (Pakistan and ISI through Nepal and Bangladesh).
4) Jehad – it means an effort or a striving. A religious war with those who are unbelievers . When an infidel country is conquered, there are three alternatives.
1) Acceptance of Islam: they become enfranchised citizens of a Muslim state.
2) Payment of poll tax (Jaiyah) – in which they become zimmis.
3) Death by the sword who do not pay the poll tax.

Pakistan is the epicenter of Islamist Terrorist organizations. The TALIBAN was there and sponsoored by various countries to over-throw the Russians in Afghanistan. They drew recruits from the Pakistani madrassas and from various other Muslim countries. They were financed mainly by the wahabi Saudis and other Arab countries. Pak shares borders with China, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and also from there to Central Asia and the Caucasus region.

Training camps in Pakistan are located in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Intake is from various Arab and African countries and from Jammu and Kashmir.

Camps for Jamaat-ud-Daawaa (JD), Jaish- E- Mohammad, Hizbul Mujahideen, Tehreek – Ul – Mujahideen, Al Qaeda – Osama Bin Laden.
Movement blossomed in the conflict with Russsia in Afghanistan. Sponsored by Pakistan and with the assistance of the Pakistani ISI. Most certainly, Bin Laden is in Pakistan. He Needs Medical treatment – he must be near hospital. (Under protection of ISI).

Then there is the leading Jihadist Ayman Al Zawahiri.

There are 244 religious organizations in Pakistan – only 25 are Political and take part in elections. 145 have sectarian bases, 12 don’t believe in democracy and want to set-up Khalafah and 104 are Jihadis.

New Targets. Changing Scenario
1) Maximize People’s Support- new recruits collecting funds.
2) Groups affiliated to Al Qaeda and others from Jihad organizations targeting Christian missions, minority sects and foreign interests.
3) Bringing Islamic Revolution through education
4) Enforcing Sharia law throughout the country.
5) These threats and targets are posing new threats not only for Pakistan but worldwide.
6) Jihadists are penetrating the education system and disorienting youth.
7) Jihadists are strengthening ties with political groups to achieve their related military goals.
8) The role of the ISI and the Army is crucial. The ISI is sponsoring and exporting terrorism in the whole region – Afghanistan, India (J&K and the North East in India). They have set up cells in Bangladesh and Nepal – recruiting a setting up training camps. Most junior and middle piece officers in the armed forces and paramilitary are fundamentalists and pro-jihadists as well as some senior generals.
9) The challenge to Musharraf is to cope with these Jihadi tactics – though at present in a low key are set to revive in a more ideological manner – there are calls from some groups for a Caliphate.


· Abolished by Ataturk in March 1924
· Al Qaeda is for a caliphate – one nation under Allah from Indonesia to Morocco, under Shariah Law.
· Meeting August 12 – Jakarta 100,000
· Khilafat Movement – 1920 - South Asia
The frustration of Governments and their Armed Forces is understandable in dealing with terrorism and insurgency to employ sophisticated weapon systems as they are technically suitable for that particular environment or due to moral or political considerations. So long as military commanders fail to adapt organizations, techniques, tactics and training to meet terrorist and insurgent challenges, these movements will prosper.
Military force cannot, on its own, impose a solution; all it can aim at is to force insurgents to talk from a position of weakness to accept a political solution.
Militarily there are two main factors to keep an insurgency going – Firm Bases and Lines of Supply for Arms, ammunition and money. As long as these two parameters exist, that insurgency will continue eg:
Afghanistan – Pakistan and Iran
Iraq – Iran and Syria
India (Jammu and Kashmir and the North – East) – Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Most wars in the years ahead will be asymmetric involving counter insurgency. There is a need for a comprehensive approach encompassing governments as well as national and international organizations (military, bureaucrats and politicians working and training together).
Regular military forces must learn to look on counter-insurgency operations not as an aberration but as an accepted form of military operations.
In Vietnam, both French and US militaries favored the big war methods – Quote General Westmoreland.
“Sent to fight a war for which nothing in its training had prepared him. His way was the army way, the American way, the world war-II way – find the enemy, fix him in place and annihilate him with withering firepower. It is a different kind of war…..………… A WAR IN THE SHADOWS!!!

He ignored the lessons of history. The US Marine Corps Small Wars Manual of the 1930’s states peace and industry cannot be restored without appropriate provisions for the economic welfare of the people. In small wars, tolerance, sympathy and kindness should be the keynote to our relationship with the mass of the population.
Many militaries faced the problem of rigidness in their doctrines and feel threatened by internal criticism. There is a tendency to fight small wars as if they were big wars. The conduct of small wars or counter insurgency operations is in many ways an art or science of his own. Both Russian and Israeli armies, highly organized fighting machines, found it almost impossible to adapt to the requirements of counter-insurgency operations.
The roots of the challenges to counter insurgency operations lie in the culture and education of the armed forces concerned.


The strategy – very similar to that outlined in the book, “Surrender at Dacca”. However, the chapter on the aftermath of the operations was not taken into consideration (we had a complete government in being, in place in Calcutta consisting of Indian and Bangladeshi officials who moved in immediately after the surrender and took control. We did not disband anything.
The British were in Iraq from 1921-24. There main base was Habbaniyah. They thought they could keep control by bombing. Troops were also moved in from India. They were forced to withdraw in 1924. Again they occupied the country during World War II and should have had intimate knowledge of the country. They had forgotten the lessons of history – Lawrence, Wingate, Glubb.
The Americans ignored the Marine Corp Small War’s manual, “peace and industry cannot be restored without appropriate provisions for the economic welfare of the people. In small wars, tolerance, sympathy and kindness should be the keynote to our relationship with the mass of the population”.


Initially Bremmer disbanded military, police, bureaucracy and political parties. He left a vacuum into which disruptive forces moved. Further, there was neglect of the infrastructure, electricity, sanitation, health services etc all broke down, thereby losing the sympathy of the people (hearts and minds).
He tried to create new armed forces, police, and bureaucrats. The creation of these is very time consuming. Again, leaving a vacuum.
It was imperative to seal the borders with Syria and Iran. This was left till far too late thus allowing for infiltration and support for insurgents in Iraq.

The Shia South – Sunni Triangle – Kurdish North. (problems were created by Col Sykes. MI6 and Georges Picot of the French foreign office who drew the boundaries for the break up of the Ottoman empire in 1917 to suit the interest of their own countries.
The Russians were to get the areas of the north but after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the Russians pulled out.
Problems will occur due to conflict of interest of the Shia Triangle supported by Syria and the Saudis, the Shia South, by Iran. Turkey is opposed to any expansion of Kurdish influence particularly, the oil fields of Kirkuk.

The Madhi army with Iranian support and Sunni insurgents with Syrian support and Saudi money, as also Al Qaeda terrorists, and Kurdish expansion moves will lead to a serious crisis. There’s little cohesion to hold these groups together. They are only sustained by American and British forces.
The unity of the country is only held together by the presence of the armed forces of USA and Great Britain. As and when they withdraw, as they eventually will have to, it is most likely that the country will split into three ethnic regions. The lines drawn by Col Sykes and Georges Picot, dividing the erstwhile Ottoman Empire, will be drastically altered.

Targets for Various Insurgent Groups

1) Political leadership
2) Rival Ethnic Groups
3) Infrastructure and communications, transportation, administration
4) Military and police establishments
5) Government propaganda emanating from TV, Radio etc.

American and British troops are well equipped and well-trained. They have competent Generals. They have yet to adapt to the concept of small wars and This War in the Shadows fought in the rabbit warrens of the urban sprawls of Baghdad and other cities.


The Jihadists are winning the war of the internet by getting their message across by the various forums – Jihadist Propaganda now reaches a wide spectrum of people in Islamic countries – through websites, forums, blogs..…

Aynan Al Zawahiri –
“We must get our message across to the masses of nations and break the media seize imposed on the Jihad movement. This is an independent movement and battle that we must launch side by side with the military movement and battle.”

The exponential growth of Jihadist websites to more than 4000. the majority of Jihadist forums are published in Arabic. English speaking South Asian Muslim are in the US, UK are accessed by these forums and websites. The British Muslims are accessed in Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali as well as English.
These forums and sites concentrate on :
1) News coverage of Muslim Conflicts
2) Propaganda – ranging from ideology and culture of Jihadism to official statements, communiques from Jihadist groups and leaders – circulation of acts, jihad beheading ( Daniel Pearl), IED attack on coalition forces in Iraq.
3) Training – These cover topics such as hostage taking, manufacture of weapons, guerrilla warfare, bomb making, eg. London attacks in July….
4) Encouraging Political Activism, unrest, dissent without resorting to violence.

The ideological conflict that underlies the Global War on terror is being increasingly conducted on the internet through jihadist websites, forums and blogs. Jihadists forums also pose a challenge to western Governments.


In February 1921, there was large scale violence in South India. The British deployed a very large force, 7 battalions of police artillery, to put down demands for a Khilafat Raj.
It was eventually suppressed in December 19 and a surrender took place.
2300 Moplahs ( a Muslim sect in South India) were killed, 1600 wounded and 5700 captured.
No figures available of the large number of Hindus killed. Government forces also claim that there were some 39,000 voluntary surrenders. It was a bloody campaign which few remember.
The other important rebellion was that of the Hurs. It was directed against the Hindus and The British Government by the Pir of Pagaro to establish a Khilafat. In March 1943, the Pir was captured and executed.


In the state of NAGALAND:
NSCN (K) – headed by KAPLANG

In the state of MANIPUR
UNLF – headed by Saniamma

In the state of ASSAM
All ASSAM STUDENT’S UNION AASU – mainly of Bengali immigrants
ULFA – United Liberation Front Assam – 1974, they have bases in Bangladesh and Burma and have huge bank deposits in Bangladesh.
BODOS – They demand for a Greater Bodoland, have demanded for 403 more villages, 25 tea gardens and a
10 km border-belt.

In the state of TRIPURA
TUJS; Tripura Upjati Samitis and the National Liberation Front of Tripura – headed by Debbarna and demand independence.

Lt Gen J.F.R Jacob

The Liberation of Bangladesh


India was forced to intervene in Bangladesh due to the crackdown of the Pakistan army, the massacres and the streams of refugees that crossed into India.
West Pakistan, in 1961, had a population of some 43 million and East Pakistan, 51 million. In the elections held at the end of 1970, the Awami League got 160 seats (all but 2), in the east.
Bhutto’s People’s party in West Pakistan got 81 out of the 138 seats. Bhutto refused to accept Mujib-ur-Rehman as Prime Minister of Pakistan and ordered a secret reinforcement of East Pakistan via Sri Lanka.
On the 25th March 1971, Yahya Khan was in Dhaka and ordered the crackdown in Bangladesh and flew back to West Pakistan...
The crackdown, Operation Searchlight, commenced at 0100hrs on 26th March 1971. Mujib was arrested shortly after he had proclaimed an independent Republic. Dacca was soon brought under control.
Almost Simultaneously, Major Zia-ur-Rehman declared independence on the 27th of March, 1971.

Pakistan Army strength in East Pakistan
· 35 Infantry Battalions
· 6 Field Regiments
· Several heavy mortar and light anti-aircraft batteries
· One regiment of tanks( Chaffee)
· Mixed Squadron of Chaffees/PT-76
· Seven wings of Para-military
· Seven wings of East Pakistan civil armed forces
· Several thousand “Mujahids”
· Air Force – 25 Sabre Jets
· Navy – Several Gunboats and other craft.

East Bengal Units
· 5 battalions of East Bengal Rifles

East Bengal battalions withdrew to India by 15th March.

Indian Moves
Government of India deplored the crackdown and the large number of refugees streaming in. In the beginning of April 1971, Sam Manekshaw was ordered to move in.
Manekshaw phoned the author to move in immediately, to which he asked the aim. The author also explained the difficulties of the mountain divisions which were organized for mountain warfare and were deployed on the Chinese border.
There were no bridges and very limited transport. There were several wide tidal rivers. The monsoon was to break shortly and the Indian army would have got bogged down.
Manekshaw asked the author by what date he could move. The author replied, “not before 15th November, Contingent on us getting the necessary bridges and equipment. We hope that by 15th November, the ground would be sufficiently firm,”
Manekshaw phoned twice more goading us to move, saying that the bureaucrats were calling the army “cowards”.
To which the author retorted to tell them sarcastically that the “Eastern command were cowards”
The author then started formulating operational and logistical plans.
On April 29th 1971, Eastern Command was officially ordered to assist the Bangladeshi forces. Meanwhile in Mid April, Rustomji ( Head of the Border Security Force ), along with his staff visited the author at his residence, telling him that since the army did not want to move into Bangladesh, the Border Security Force would do so and that the army was invited to attend the victory parade in Dacca in approximately 2- 3 weeks.
The BSF moved in and we had to extricate them together the East Bengal Battalions. So much for the victory parade in Dacca!!
The BSF later played a major and important role in the liberation of Bangladesh.

End of March 1971, Taj-ud-din, Nazrul Islam and Colonel Usmani and Wing Commander Khondkar arrived, and were set up in a Bungalow in Calcutta on Theatre Road.
They wanted to hold a parliamentary meeting to work out a constitution. The author advised them that there were not enough MPs for that and the example he gave was to follow what that of General Charles De Gaulle and that they should issue a declaration of independence. .
The author helped them to subsequently draft this declaration.
The declaration of independence was announced just inside the East Pakistan border at Baidyanath Tala on the 17th of April 1971.
Shortly after, the defection of the Deputy High Commission of East Pakistan was arranged by the author.
Meanwhile, the decision was taken by the Indian government to help Mukti Bahini. This was later confirmed in the Indian Parliament on the 29th of July, 1971.

The terrain is low-lying and intersected by numerous rivers, some as much as five miles wide. Roads and bridges are few. The alignment of the major rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna divide the area into four independent sectors.
· North-Western Sector
Here the main communication center is at Bogra.
· The Western Sector
The control sectors are Jessore, Magura and Faridpur
· The North East Sector
Contains Dacca, which is the center of gravity and the geo-political and geo-strategic heart of East Pakistan.
· The South East Sector
Chandpur, Daudkandi and the Coronation Bridge on the river Meghna to control the approaches to Dacca from the east.


We had appreciated that Pakistani main mission and aim would be to defend their territory, particularly the towns, and accordingly would commit most of their troops to defend their borders and their towns.

Based on the Pakistani strategy and deployment, the strategy that we formulated was based on the following parameters:
· Objectives
1. Final Objective – Dacca ( Centre of Gravity and political geo-strategic heart)
2. Subsidiary Objectives: command, control and communication centers in each of the sectors.
3. Thrust Lines - to be selected to isolate and bypass centers of resistance (earlier Indian Army generally moved along main roads with their logistic following. In order to bypass centers of resistance, we issued instructions that the axis of advance (thrust lines) would use subsidiary dirt tracks. The force should move self contained until the axis of maintenance for logistics was opened.
4. Preliminary operations were to be executed in order to draw troops to the border (somewhat similar strategy was used by the American forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom).


The contribution of the Mukti Bahini was enormous. They and the East Bengal Battalions played a key role in the liberation of Bangladesh. Their operations completely demoralized the Pakistani army and created a hostile environment, lowering their morale.
The initial target set for the Mukti Bahini was a force of some
100,000 (70,000 guerillas and 30, 000 regulars).
Training for these guerillas was inadequate and was for only three weeks. Despite this, they were able to operate against the Pakistani army. The naval wing did excellent work particularly, the frogmen and divers. They sank 15 ships, 11 coasters, 7 gunboats, two tankers and 19 river-craft. They crippled the ports and the anchorages of Mangla port and that of Chittagong.
In May’71, the author completed the outline plan. Eastern Command had two corps, 4 and 33 each consisting of three divisions.
4 corps (2, 5 and 23 divisions) and 33 corps (17, 20 and 27 divisions). In addition 8 and 57 divisions were in Nagaland and Mizoram engaged in Counter-Insurgency operations.

To find troops for our offensive
We could pull out 17 and 23 divisions leaving 4 divisions to hold the Chinese border. Army Headquarters reserve, comprised 6 mountain division earmarked for the defense of for Bhutan. As Pakistani had approximately 4 divisions plus paramilitary, we needed at least 6-8 divisions to mount an offensive...
Army headquarters promised us 4 and 9 divisions which were employed in West Bengal at that time to counter the naxalite insurgency and also 340 Infantry brigade.
One Battalion group of 50 Para Brigade was allotted for the Para-drop.


North West Sector
· 14 Infantry division - located in Nator (Major General Nazar Hussain)
· 23 Infantry Brigade (4 battalions) - located in Dinajpur – Rangpur
· 205 Infantry Brigade – located in Hilli- Goraghat
· 34 Infantry Brigade – located in Rajashahi – Noagaon
· Recce and support battalion – two squadrons of amour, two field regiments and heavy mortar batteries.

Western Sector

· 9 Infantry Division – located in Jessore ( Major General M.H. Ansari)
· 107 Infantry Brigade – located in Jessore
· 57 Infantry Brigade – located in Jhenida – Jibanagar
· Two field regiments, heavy mortar battery, one squadron Amour.

South Eastern Sector

· 14 Infantry division – located in Bhairah Bazaar ( Maj Gen Abdul Majid Quazi)
· 17 Infantry Brigade – located in Akhura – Bhraman Baria
· 313 Infantry Brigade – Maulvi Bazar
· 202 Infantry Brigade – Sylhet
· Two field regiments and heavy mortar batteries
· 39 Infantry division – Chandpur (Maj Gen Rahim Khan)
· 117 Infantry Brigade – Mynamati
· 53 Infantry Brigade ( 2 battalions) – located in Feni
· 91 Infantry Brigade (1 battalion + paramilitary) – located in Chittagong.

North Eastern Sector
· 36 Infantry Division – Dacca
· 93 Infantry Brigade - Dacca
· A mixed brigade – Dacca
· East Pakistan Civil Armed Police, Paramilitary etc


North West Sector:
· Troops – 20 mountain divisions and 340 Infantry Brigade.
· Objective – BOGRA. Exploit upto Brahmaputra

Western Sector
· Troops – 4 mountain and 9 Infantry divisions
· Objective – Jessore, Magura, Faridpur ( Contain Khulna)
· Opportunity – move to Dacca if condition suitable.
· Indian Waterway Transport, IWT to move to Farakka and down to Harding Bridge.
· No Corps headquarters existed and only started raising in HQ 2 corps in November 1971.

South Eastern Sector
· Troops – 23 divisions. 8 mountain division of two brigades, 57 division (8 and 57 divs had no artillery).
· Control Headquarters to be provided from elements of Headquarters 33 corps.
· Exploit if possible across the river Meghna.

North Eastern Sector
· Troops available – 95 Infantry Brigade (4 battalions). Need another division.
· Objective – Dacca
· Para drop 1 battalion group in Tangail on D plus 7.
· Support to be provided by Tiger Siddiqui at Tangail with his 20, 000 Mukti Bahini Force.

Without awaiting further orders from army headquarters, we started building logistics and the infrastructure. We planned for logistical support to cover operations for a period of 30 days.
· 33 corps – at Teliamura and Dharamnagar – 30,000 tons
· Roads and airstrips to be built, railway freight capacity to be enhanced.
· Hospitals, signal communications to be set-up.
· 2 corps (yet to be raised) – logistics at Krishnanagar in West Bengal. Two divisions. 14.000 tons
· 20 div – located in Raiganj, North Bengal. 7000 tons.
· Tura in Meghalaya – 4000 tons to cater for a division plus for Dacca.
· Rationalization of Artillery and induction of artillery from the Chinese border to make up deficiencies of artillery units of 8 and 57 divisions that were to operate in East Bengal.
· The Bridges were only released in late august. [Old World War II bridges in repairable state. These were repaired on priority.


· We had very old maps of the area, over 50 years old, at the scale of one inch to 2 miles, which were of little or no use.
· We obtained the Pakistani maps, courtesy Mukti Bahini and due to shortage of time, had them reprinted as they were, by the Survey of India and issued to all troops in October ’71. We used the Pakistani maps for the campaign.

· We Persuaded Manekshaw to put the signal intercept units in the east directly under us. This was the only reliable source of information and enabled us to assess the complete Pakistan order of battle and also later, to intervene in the operations.

· Initially, we had to deal with two air force commands. We requested boundaries to be changed in order to deal only with one. We also requested for an advanced headquarters to be located at Fort Williams, Calcutta. This was sanctioned by Air Chief Marshall P.C.Lal
· The Inland Waterways flotillas were moved from Calcutta to Farakka and from Assam to Dubri, in June – July of 1971
· The logistical planning was thorough, with the result that once operation started; troops never had to look back. The campaign was successful largely due to the foresight and the detailed logistical planning.


In the month of May, we sent the army headquarters an outline plan which based on the strategy that was envisioned by us.
In the beginning of August, Manekshaw and his Director- Military Operations, Maj Gen K.K.Singh arrived at Fort Williams Calcutta, to discuss the draft of their operation instruction.
Though, much what we had sent in May had been incorporated, the main centre of gravity and geo-political activity, Dacca, was totally omitted. It appeared; the mission and aim formulated by Manekshaw and given to Government was to take territory to house a government in exile. The territory was to include two primary objectives, what he called the entry ports of Khulna and Chittagong.
Manekshaw’s assessment was that Dacca was not important but it was important to secure the entry ports of Khulna and Chittagong, the main thrust he directed was to be weighted for the capture of Khulna.
The author objected strongly, stating that the center of gravity was Dacca and that Khulna was a minor river port some 30 miles away from our border, the main anchorage being at Mangla downstream. Further the terrain narrowed toward Khulna and was unsuitable for maneuver. Chittagong was peripheral and would have little bearing on the outcome of the war...
Heated exchanges followed. The author insisting on the capture of Dacca, saying that the entry ports were not relevant as there would be a naval blockade. Thus, Pakistan would have no access to the ports. Unfortunately Aurora who was overawed by Manekshaw agreed with whatever Manekshaw proposed.
The only change that Manekshaw agreed to was to cut out the word “main” from the thrust to Khulna.
The operation instruction was received by us as late as 11th August. We discussed the offensive with all our formations and held war-games before finalizing our plans to conform to our concept of the strategy, selection of objectives and the thrust lines to bypass centers of resistance. Our outline plan was as follows--
· 33 corps – objective Bogra – bypass Hilli, thrust line border Pirganj- Bogra. Lt Gen Aurora still favouring attacking Rangpur, Hilli and Dinajpur, which was opposed by the Corps and divisional commanders as also Chief of the Staff (the author).
· 2 corps – there were acrimonious exchanges, the corps commander wanted to move his two divisions close together as he was apprehensive of the flanks. We wanted 9 div to use the axis of Bayra ,Jessore, Faridpur, with a small element to contain Khulna.
· We planned for 4 mountain division to use axis Shikapur, Jhenida , Faridpur. Our plan was deliberately compromised by the corps launching preliminary operations in Bayra and Shikapur, thus ensuring the Corps Commander’s desire to move both the divisions close together could be implemented.
· 4 corps – The Corps Commander Lt Gen Sagat Singh wanted to capture the fortified Lalmai ridge, Comilla and Maynamati. Due to preliminary operations by 23 div in Belonia, we froze 23 div and ordered their axis to be Chaudagram, Laksham, Chandpur, bypassing enemy resistance.
· 57 div thrust line from Akhura to the river Meghna had to be changed as we found that the brigade that was guarding the Coronation Bridge moved to Sylhet, leaving the route to the river Meghna open.
· The 8th mountain division was to contain Sylhet with one Brigade while the other brigade was to be corps reserve.
· Thrust to Dacca – As Army Headquarters refused to give any troops for this thrust, we planned as follows:
· 95 Infantry Brigade (4 battalions), one independent battalion was suitably located. We moved three brigades down from the Chinese border without informing Sam Manekshaw, because Manekshaw always insisted that the Chinese would intervene. We discussed this with the Director Military Operations, Manekshaw was not informed
· The new Director Military Operations, Inder Gill, a very pragmatic and competent officer agreed to the author’s views that Dacca was essential and assisted him throughout in the planning. Together they planned an airdrop of a battalion group in October at Tangail, which was being held by Mukti Bahini. The drop was to take place on D plus 7 with link up in 24 hours.{ took place later as planned }
· Captain Ghosh of the Para Brigade moved in November with his layout party to Tangail to brief the Mukti Bahini regarding the air-drop with a request for Tiger Siddiqui and his 20, 000 Mukti Bahini force to assist in collecting the air drop and also to move with our troops to Dacca. Therefore, for the thrust to Dacca the plan was for 95 brigade group, the independent Bihar battalion under Brig Sant Singh , at least two brigades from the Chinese border ( Brigades 123, 167 and 5), together with the Para-battalion.
· The Para-Battalion was to drop at Tangail. The combined force was to advance to Dacca. Simultaneously, we felt that there should be a Maquis type uprising in Dacca [which never took place].


In a masterstroke, in august 1971, Mrs Gandhi initiated the Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty, which spelt out that there would be mutual consultations to remove any threat and to take appropriate measures to ensure peace and security of their countries. This virtually ensured that the Chinese would think twice before they would consider intervening on the side of Pakistan. This was given weightage by the author but ignored by Manekshaw

Due to Pakistani shelling of the border, the government permitted us to move in to a depth of10 miles, to silence Pakistani guns.
Preliminary operations commenced from 22nd November. We used this opportunity to secure jumping off places such as Bayra, Feni, Hilli etc. This also had the affect to draw Pakistani troops to the border.
The Army Commander, who was more involved with the Mukti Bahini and in touring, was not in the picture regarding our plan to capture Dacca and when informed, decided against our advice, to inform Manekshaw about the move down of the brigades from the Chinese border. Manekshaw, who was apprehensive of the Chinese intervening, responded sharply in a short signal, “I have nursed you better than any woman. Who told you to move these brigades down? You will move them back at once,”
He then ordered the brigades to go back to the Chinese border.
Lt Gen Aurora was completely shaken and the author firmly told him that he would sort the matter out.
The author spoke to Inder Gill, the Director Military Operation, who was furious regarding Aurora sending the signal to Manekshaw.
Gill agreed with the author that we would not move the brigades back and as we felt that the war would start soon. Gill assured the author that he would not inform Manekshaw but the author should not move them into Bangladesh without Army Headquarters’ clearance, as Manekshaw was unreasonably adamant on this point.
On the 6th of December, on the request of Inder Gill, the 123 Brigade was moved to the western front together with medium artillery and air defence artillery as well as T-54 tanks.
Despite repeated requests to Mankeshaw to use the other two brigades from the Chinese border once the war started, he only agreed to the employment as late as 8th December, 5 days after the war started, which seriously delayed our offensive to Dacca.

We were getting intercepts between East and West Pakistan that help was coming to them from White from the South and Yellow from the North (USA and China). This was being sent to the Pakistani Commander Gen Niazi to encourage him to fight on.
On December 1, we intercepted wireless traffic warning all shipping and aircraft to stay away from Indian borders. We now knew that war was imminent.
On December 3, fishermen picked up wreckage from the Pakistani submarine Ghazi. A life belt marked Diablo, which was the earlier American name for the submarine, was also found floating.
The Ghazi blew up while laying mines outside Vizagapatam (now Vishakhapatam). Though later, the navy claimed to have sunk it.


At 1740 hours on 3 dec Pakistan bombed our air fields in the west. The attack was delayed by one day. It has been often asked ‘why’. Perhaps it was the adverse publicity that the military was receiving. They were being called nitwits and
Idiots. There were taunts that if general Yayha Khan did nothing he would be lynched. The international outcry thy expected against our preliminary operations did not materialize.
At 1800 hours Manekshaw phoned that since they bombed our airfields the war had officially started and Mrs. Gandhi, who was at Calcutta was to be informed.

Aurora went to inform Mrs. Gandhi and the author issued confirmatory orders and allocated sorties for air support. There was all round relief from our troops that the war had started.

The operations went ahead as planned with some deviations. 9 Infantry Division moved too slowly. We moved elements of 50 Para Brigade to hasten the capture of Jessore. 9 division instead of moving to Magura diverted towards Khulna. Another deviation took place when a column of 4 Mountain was ambushed near Kushtia. The division over-reacted and diverted troops from their designated thrust line three days were then lost, The inland waterway flotilla reported to 2 Corps at the Hardinge Bridge on 5 December but the Corps Commander declined to employ them. They were moved to Dacca only on 17 december. The offensive was delayed and final objective Goalundo was reached on 15 December. The handling of 2 Corps was inept by the Corps and Divisional Commanders.

The Division bypassed Hilli via Pirganj and reached its objective Bogra on 15 December, bypassing Pakistani defenses in its thrust.
The move of the Pakistani 311 infantry brigade to Sylhet
had not been anticipated by us. We had expected it to fall back to the Coronation Bridge to cover the approach to Dacca. It was a great blunder. 6 Pakistani battalions were now isolated in Sylhet.57 Mountain division changed its thrust line to reach the Meghna.
23 Infantry Division in a brilliant cross country move- Chaudagram- Laksham- Chandpur reached the river on 9 December 09

Since Manekshaw was insisting, we capture Chittagong we created Kilo Force comprising three battalions East Bengal Rifles one BSF battalion, one Central Police battalion, one mountain regiment, and two counter insurgent battalions from the Mizo hills, the Counter insurgency school provided the command structure.
We were told to employ the SSF Force. We gave them the task of capturing Rangamati.


On 9th December, Manekshaw phoned the author telling him to launch an amphibious operation immediately on Cox’s Bazaar, the troops to embark on the 11th of December.
The reason he gave was that the Pakistani Army was going to withdraw to Burma through the Arakan.
The author told him that there were hardly any troops located in Chittagong to withdraw.

Further, we neither had the troops or the landing craft to launch such an operation (the author had taken part in several assault landings along the Arakan coast during World War II and he was familiar with the coast and the planning and equipment that was necessary to launch any such operation.
He pointed this out to Manekshaw emphatically. When asked about how to move the force, he told the author that it was the author’s responsibility, and that he would send two naval officers to discuss with him.
There was a merchant ship Vishwa Vijay that had just unloaded its cargo and the author gave instructions for it to be commandeered. In the meanwhile, the author pulled out a battalion plus two companies from the operation in Bangladesh and moved the headquarters of an artillery brigade, to command the force.
When the naval officers arrived the next day to discuss the plan, the author impressed on them that the troops that were being employed had never been to sea, that they were no life-belts nor scrambling nets, and that the merchant ship that was to carry them and transfer them to the rendezvous with the naval landing craft, several hundred miles away, was a complex operation.
The author told the naval officers that it was not possible to land in the middle of a town and that the said landing should take place on Ukhia beach, south of Cox’s Bazaar, which the author knew very well and had trained there for amphibious operations during World War II.
The beach was gently sloping and there were several runnels. The navy should beach the landing craft at low tide so the troops could disembark, dry-shod and re-float landing craft at high-tide.
The navy agreed to the above proposal.
With great difficulty, the force sailed on 14th December and was transferred to the landing craft at sea, namely INS GILDHAR and GHARIAL.
The Navy changed the plan, put the troops in rowing boats and landed them on a runnel, where several of them drowned. Fortunately, there was no enemy in sight but a Mukti Bahini camp, nearby.
Amphibious operations require specialized training, equipment and detailed planning. None of these parameters existed.

The cavalier attitude and orders issued by the then Indian Army and Naval Chiefs of Staff, showed a complete lack of military knowledge.

We were fortunate to get off so lightly.

The force under headquarters 101 Communication Zone.
Troops – 95 brigade of 4 battalions, mountain regiment, Bihar regiment, Mukti Bahini. The employment of 167 and 5 mountain brigade that had moved from the Chinese border was held back by Mankeshaw until 8th December.
The para-drop on Tangail (D plus 7 on 11th December) was successful and the link-up took place as planned.
Tiger Siddiqui from Mukti Bahini helped in retrieving stores of the para-drop but did nothing to attack the retreating Pakistanis. He did not move with our troops to Dacca and only arrived there after the ceasefire, on the 16th December.
On December 13, our troops, some 3000, reached the outskirts of Dacca.


Manekshaw was obsessed with the fear that the Chinese would intervene. We had seen no movement in the Tibetan Plateau and informed the same to him accordingly. Perhaps, he gave credence to the intercepts we sent him from West to East Pakistan that they were going to get help from Yellow in the North (China) and White from the South (America).
Niazi was told to wait their arrival and to fight on. Meanwhile, American task force, comprising the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise and amphibious assault ship, 4 guided missile ships, frigates and landing craft entered the Straits of Malacca on the night of 13/14 December. There was consternation in Delhi as they felt that the Americans were intending to evacuate their nationals from Dacca.
The author explained that this was not possible and incorrect as the Americans were flown out from Dacca on 12th December by three R.A.F and one UN C-130 aircraft.


There was a Soviet resolution on 5/7 December for a political settlement which was rejected by Pakistan. In the Hamdoodur Rehman Report, Bhutto was criticized for not accepting the resolution that would have saved the Pakistani Army.
On 6th December, Bush Sr accused India of aggression and called for a ceasefire. The resolution was vetoed by Russia.
On 8th December, India officially recognized Bangladesh. This was followed by an Argentine resolution in the General Assembly for a ceasefire and withdrawal. It was passed by a 104 votes to 11 against, with 10 abstentions.
On 13th December, an American resolution on similar lines was vetoed by the Soviets. The Soviets then informed us that they will not veto anymore.
There were reverberations in Delhi and some degree of Panic.

Manekshaw then sent us an order which he copied to all the corps, ordering us to capture every single town in Bangladesh, with the exception of Dacca.

We were on the outskirts of Dacca. If the order was implemented, it would have meant going back to carry out abortive attacks on well-defended towns.

The author phoned the Corps Commanders to ignore the order and carry on as before.
General Aurora was in a panic and told the author that it was all his fault that they had not captured any towns and that the author’s strategies and plans were responsible for the existing situation.

The author then spoke to General Niazi of Pakistan through a wireless link, offering him attractive terms of surrender.

On 14th December, we received an intercept that they were going to be a high level meeting in Government House in Dacca. We bombed the Government House. The Governor resigned and moved to the Intercontinental Hotel.
On the 14th Yahya Khan, the Pakistani Commander in Chief sent a message to Niazi to try to stop the fighting and to go for a ceasefire. There was no mention of any surrender.

That evening General Niazi, Major General Farman Ali went to see the American Consul General Spivack with the following terms to be conveyed to us:

1) Ceasefire and end to all hostilities
2) Handover administration to the United Nations
3) The United Nations were to ensure :
a) Safety of all personnel, military, paramilitary and repatriation to West Pakistan.
b) Safety of West Pakistan civilians pending their return to West Pakistan from East Pakistan.
c) Safety of all non-locals settled in East Pakistan.
d) No reprisals.

The author was informed of this by a contact in the UK High Commission. The ceasefire proposal was sent to Islamabad and then to Washington and was handed over on the 15th of December to Bhutto in New York, at the United Nations.

Bhutto refused to accept it, saying that there is no question of a ceasefire and he would attend the UN meeting discussing the Polish resolution scheduled for that night.

The Americans handed over Niazi’s proposal to the Indians in Delhi on the 15th and the ceasefire was agreed to, from1700 hrs 15 December to 0900 hrs on 16th December, which was extended indefinitely

On the 15th night (16th morning-India time), The UN Polish resolution calling for ceasefire and withdrawal (Poland was a part of the Soviet Bloc).

Bhutto tore it up in a huff and stormed out of the chamber demanding that India be branded as an aggressor.


On the morning of December 16, around 0915 hrs, Manekshaw phoned the author and said, “Go and get a surrender.” To which the author retorted that he had already sent him a draft surrender document, three days ago and whether the author should negotiate on that.
At that point, Manekshaw cut the author short and said, “You know what to do. Just go,”

The author casually mentioned that in his conversations with Niazi, he had invited the author for lunch.

Accompanied by a staff officer and carrying his draft of the surrender document, the author proceeded to Dacca changing helicopters at Jessore.

At Jessore, a communication was delivered to him, telling him that the Government of India had approved of the author having lunch with General Niazi, yet there was no confirmation of the terms of surrender that the author had sent to Delhi.

When the author landed at Dacca, he was met by representatives of the United Nations who offered to accompany him to arrange the withdrawal of the Pakistani Army and the taking over of the Government of East Pakistan.

The author thanked them for their consideration but regretted their kind offer.

Intense fighting was going on between Mukti Bahini and the Pakistani army. The author drove through Dacca in a Pakistani army car, accompanied by Niazi’s Chief of Staff.

The Mukti Bahini forces fired at the car and bringing it to a halt. The author talked them into allowing to proceed, saying that the Pakistani Army was surrendering and that their independent government would be in place the very next day. The Mukti Bahini wanted to shoot the Pakistani Chief of Staff, but was persuaded not to do so and reluctantly allowing the vehicle to proceed.

On arrival at Niazi’s headquarters, his staff officer read out the instrument of Surrender to Niazi.

Niazi responded negatively, saying that he had only agreed to a ceasefire and withdrawal under the UN, and that there was no question of an unconditional surrender, as spelt out in the draft document.

Further, there was no question of surrendering to a joint command that included Bangladesh forces. The author then responded that it was not worded as an unconditional surrender as there were guarantees for the lives of all army personnel and their families and ethnic minorities. And that they would be treated with consideration as soldiers under the provisions of Geneva Convention.

These clauses are not found in any other surrender document.

Niazi and his Generals then stated that the author had only come to discuss a cease-fire and not surrender.

Further acrimonious discussions took place, his Generals intervening as well.

Incidentally, Niazi had told the author that he had 30,000 troops in Dacca, whereas the Indian forces outside Dacca numbered a mere 3000.

The author then informed them that he could not give them any better terms, than what was given in the draft surrender document. And that, if they surrendered, he would ensure the protection of armed forces, paramilitary and ethnic minorities, as well as Pakistani civilians.
However, if Niazi declined, then the author obviously could not guarantee their safety. The author further informed then that if the terms of the surrender were not accepted, then he would have no option but to order the resumption of hostilities.

The author then said that he would give Niazi and his men thirty minutes to consider and walked out. The author was very apprehensive of the situation as Niazi had some 30,000 troops and the Indian army only 3000.
Niazi could have fought on for at least two-three weeks more. Also the UN was in session (Polish resolution) and would almost certainly intervene.
If Niazi refused, there was nothing that the author could have done.

Meanwhile, the Army Commander and his entourage were bringing a document which was to be signed at Dacca.

The author returned after thirty minutes and asked Niazi whether he accepted the document. Niazi did not answer and had tears in his eyes.
The author asked him three times if he accepted the terms of surrender, there wasn’t any answer.
There was dead silence all around. The author then picked up the document, held it high and said, “I TAKE IT AS ACCEPTED,”

The author then informed Niazi that he would have to surrender in public, in front of the people of Dacca in the Race Course.
In addition, he would have to provide an Honor Guard.
Then Niazi invited the author for lunch.

Gavin Young of the British newspaper, The Observer, also tagged on. Young got an award for exemplary journalism for his article entitled, The Surrender Lunch.

The atmosphere was unreal. The Pakistani officers chatting away. Silver was laid out as for a proper peacetime function.

The author and his Staff Officer stayed on one side and did not partake of the lunch.
A ceasefire had been converted into a SURRENDER, to the surprise of the Americans and others.

The author then proceeded to the airport with Niazi in his car to receive Aurora and his entourage. Enroute, Mukti Bahini jumped onto the car, wanted to kill Niazi.
The guerrillas were dissuaded from doing so by the author, and were told that Niazi was going to sign the surrender document.
They allowed the author to proceed.
Meanwhile, some elements of the Indian army started entering Dacca. Fortunately, a jeep containing two Para-troopers appeared to be lost and the author asked them to follow him.
This was most providential.
On arrival at the airport, Tiger Siddiqui with a truckload of Mukti Bahini guerrillas turned up. The author was extremely apprehensive that they wanted to shoot Niazi.
He therefore ordered the two Para-troopers to cover Niazi and point their rifles at Siddiqui.
He then ordered Siddiqui off the airport. Siddiqui angrily moved off.

About 1630 hrs the entourage of the Army Commander landed in Dacca and proceeded to the Race Course, inspecting the Honour Guard and thereafter signing the Instrument of Surrender.
The author was surprised when glancing at the document that was being signed, noticing that there were some errors.
This document was later retyped and resigned in Calcutta, some two weeks later, when Niazi was in transit to a Prisoner of War Camp.

After the document was signed, the Bangladeshi spectators rushed to Niazi, shouting that they would lynch him.
We had very few troops there and found it difficult to put him in an Indian army vehicle and drive him off.
We then proceeded to the airport to return to India.

In retrospect, looking back….


As a result of the campaign, a new country Bangladesh was born.
· 150,000 sq kms of territory was liberated.
· The Indian army took 93,000 prisoners.
· Pakistani casualties were - some 8000 killed.
· Indian casualties were 1421 killed, 4058 wounded.
· The superiority of our forces to the Pakistani was only
1.8 to 1(normally for an offensive, a superiority of 3 to 1,is aimed at).


· Aim/Mission - In any campaign, the mission or aim must be clearly spelt out. In this campaign, at Service Headquarters in Delhi, both the mission and the aim were not clearly spelt out and were in fact nebulous. The Army Headquarters’ aim was to take territory to include what they called the entry ports of Khulna and Chittagong. Dacca was not on their agenda.
· Strategy - was not taught at any military institution in India at that time.
The Service Headquarters in Delhi was unable to formulate a comprehensive strategy.
· Intelligence - intelligence from the start was inadequate. Later with the deployment of the signal intercept unit, we were able to establish the Pakistani order of battle and also to take pre-emptive action, as operations proceeded.
· Planning – one can only do detailed planning upto a certain stage. Events on the battle field will dictate further progress. What is of paramount importance is flexibility, mobility and the ability to anticipate and not be overtaken by events.

. No operation can be successfully conducted without proper logistical backing. The success of operations in Bangladesh was largely due to sound logistical foresight and planning.

· Co-operation between the three Services (Army, Navy, Air Force) – This was almost non existent in Delhi. The Army and Air Force Chiefs were not on speaking terms. Fortunately at Command level, there was co-operation and camaraderie between the three Services.
· Amphibious Operations – There was no infrastructure or importance given to amphibious operations. Such operations require specialized equipment, intelligence and training, as well as detailed planning. None of these parameters obtained in 1971, resulting in abortive landings near Cox’s Bazaar.
· Media – International Support – International support is extremely important. Initially, the international media coverage was not supportive. However, with the progress of time, they appreciated the problems and were supportive of our efforts, particularly journalists Sydney Schanberg of The New York Times and Nick Tomalin, who was later killed in the Golan, as always reporting from the front. Also Tony Clifton of News Week, Gavin Young of The Observer and many others. Their support was most invaluable.
· GUTS and DETERMINATION - are of paramount importance. Niazi had the ability to fight on and obtain an honorable withdrawal; instead, he caved in and surrendered, though he had the ability to fight on for several weeks. He was taken to task for this when he returned to Pakistan.

On the other hand Mrs Indira Gandhi displayed determination and courage throughout. She stood up to Nixon and the United Nations. The victory in Bangladesh was Indira Gandhi's finest hour.

· Finally, Luck plays a very important role. We were extremely lucky, in the circumstances to be able to convert a ceasefire into an unconditional surrender.

To quote Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington’s comment, after the Battle of Waterloo,


Lt General J.F.R Jacob