Is Pakistan facing another Operation Jackpot?

DND Thought CenterIs Pakistan facing another Operation Jackpot?

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

The Fall of Dhaka is a chapter of Pakistan’s history that still haunts the nation because it lost half of the country on December 16, 1971, when Eastern Command of Pakistan Army surrendered to Indian Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora that was the culminating point of ‘Operation Jackpot’ launched by the Indian government in the mid-1960s.


Whosoever has an interest in the subject of military history can understand what surrender means to an orderly and professional army. Lt. Gen. A. A. K. Niazi of the Pakistan Army signed the Instrument of Surrender and Bangladesh came into being. Since then there has been a debate going on in Pakistan to fix the responsibility of this debacle and nobody yet is ready to go through the process of accountability for this event. However, certain arguments have yet not buried under the dust of the time and one of these is that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had been working since the mid-1960s for the Indian government and his target was to disintegrate Pakistan into two pieces. There is a saying:
Vaqt kartā hai parvarish barsoñ
(Time nurtures accident for years
Hādisa ek dam nahīñ hotā
Accidents do not occur abruptly.

Collaborators of Fall of Dhaka
Collaborators of Fall of Dhaka

The Myth and the Reality

There is a saying that the first causality in war is the Truth. No sane mind can trust what was appearing in pro-India media before, during, and after the Fall of Dhaka because the target was to discredit the Pakistan Army that was fighting against a well-planned Operation Jackpot. The physical war did start in 1971 but a propaganda war was launched by India around the mid-1960s and a huge amount was laid down for this project. Some interviews of Indian foreign office officials, retired army officials, and even memoirs of Gen Sam Manekshaw who was the chief of the army staff of the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 can help an independent writer to find some parts of the truth and can separate truth from propaganda. Several articles published in Indian media confirmed that India launched Operation Jackpot in the 1960s hence instead of trying to dig out the truth from a barren land of war, it is better to let the half-truths remain buried at the battleground.

For what reasons PTI has launched a campaign to revive the lies of 1971?

This is not the first time PTI has run the campaign of tagging the Pakistan Army as a traitor. It already did first time in April 2022 by using the diction of Mir Jaffar (a traitor from Bangal who conspired with the British Raj against his state of Nawab when he serving as the commander of the Bengali army under Siraj ud-Daulah but betrayed him during the Battle of Plassey) for the then COAS Gen Qamar Bajwa. The latest PTI campaign is calling Gen Yahya Khan the then-chief of the Pakistan Army in 1971 a traitor. Since Gen Yahya Khan and Lt Gen Niazi are symbols of the Pakistan Army consequently the PTI is trying to build the narrative that neither Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a traitor nor Imran Khan is a traitor rather the Pakistan Army is. This is a bold move as Imran Khan and his party are categorically saying that Imran Khan is today’s Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Now the recent propaganda campaign is resorted by using the story of the split of Pakistan and various assumptions regarding the creation of Bangladesh, which played an important role in turning truth into lies and lies into truth. The most fundamental role in this lie-truth game was played by India during the period of 1965-1971 while the same propaganda material regarding the debacle of East Pakistan is being used by PTI on social media platforms today with a self-made comparative video on 1971 events comparing Mujibur Rehman and General Yahya Khan and trying to prove General Yahya as a traitor. If we look at the similarities between the role of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971 and Imran Khan since 2022, surprisingly many values will be seen in common. These common values proved that India or someone else who does not want to see Pakistan as a prosperous country is again trying to harm Pakistan as it did in 1971. In the 1970s India used Mukti Bahini and the same role is now played by PTI.

There is a question being asked by several independent writers why did PTI intensify its campaign against the Pakistan Army and is there any connection between the intensification of physical attacks on the Pakistan Army by TTP terrorists and the propaganda launched by the PTI? This question has logic to ask.
Since the elections of 2024, due to the efforts of the government and state institutions, especially the Pakistan Army, there has been an increase in foreign investments coming to Pakistan and the SIFC initiative has started bearing fruit and all this is due to collaborative moves of civil-military leadership.

Were May 9 undercurrents deeper than just vandalism?

Pakistan is also coming out from the shocks of May 9, 2023, Black Day, and things are becoming normal. The 9th May Black Day was a series of events when Pakistan witnessed the writ of the State being challenged by the charged mob. It was the first of its nature in which the targets of attackers were military installations and even the monuments of national martyrs. There are more questions that need their answers like; were May 9 undercurrents deeper than understood as they are? and who are our enemies who wish to see Pakistan like Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan, or Libya and planned May 9th? The former prime minister Imran Khan recorded a video message a day before he knew that he would be arrested at the Islamabad judicial compound and in this video message he directed his workers to respond if he would be arrested. It is a fact that Imran Khan had been working extensively to expand the proven fault line between the State and Citizens, so the ground was ripe to place the public against public institutions. Having the twisted idea of the State, PTI Cult followers targeted persons (moveable) and things (immovable) properties of the institution that had been portrayed as ‘belongings of enemies’. Anyone who remembers the May 9th events can understand that it was a kind of action that Mukti Bahini had been doing against the Pakistan Army before India attacked Pakistan officially. All these events indicate that a heinous conspiracy is being hatched against Pakistan again similarly it was during 1970-1971.

Facts that were forgotten

Although PTI is spending huge funds to discredit the Pakistan Army, it is not so simple to hide certain facts that had already been documented about the Indo-Pak war by academicians like Sharmila Bose. In her book titled ‘Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War’ she writes that one thing is clear the Eastern Command of Pakistan Army did not start the war and the performance of the soldiers of the Pakistan Army against an enemy many times bigger than themselves was amazingly brilliant. Her ground-breaking book chronicles and analyzes the 1971 Indo-Pak war reconstituting the memories of those on opposing sides of the conflict. Through a detailed investigation of events on the ground, Bose contextualizes and humanizes the war while analyzing what the events reveal about the nature of the conflict. She says in her book that the story of 1971 has so far been dominated by the narrative of the Indian side. Bose reconstructs events using extensive interviews conducted in Bangladesh and Pakistan, published and unpublished reminiscences in Bengali and English of participants on all sides, official documents, foreign media reports, and other sources. The chronicling of events through a multiplicity of memories reveals what had been previously unknown or poorly recorded. Additionally, ‘contesting’ memories reveal a reality diverging from the dominant narrative in crucial ways. She also raised questions about the Hamoudur Rahman Commission. She stated that the Commission had numerous defects and gaps in its procedures and its report, therefore this report has no authentic status. Some of the documents used by Boss showed how the Mukti Bahini and the Indian Army crossed the extreme limits of brutality in East Pakistan. If we look at the international reports of East Pakistan in 1971, more evidence comes out of how Mujibur Rahman rigged the 1970 elections and violated all the requirements of democracy.

The role of PTI in fanning hate against Pakistan

The purpose of citing the academic work of Boss having Indian origin was to remind us that the first victim of war is always the truth and that is not the truth what we know about the Fall of Dhaka but the truth could be completely otherwise therefore citing half-cooked information by PTI regarding the Fall of Dhaka and holding Pakistan Army responsible is neither academic now patriotic. Unfortunately to mention that patriotism is far away from PTI’s leader Imran Khan who asked his followers in Europe and North America to burn down Pakistani passports and Pakistani flags and he is who ordered a letter to the United Nations against Pakistan claiming that large-scale human rights violations had been reported in Pakistan so Pakistan should be penalized. He also directed his party to write a letter to the IMF to stop loans to Pakistan so Pakistan could face bankruptcy.

Why is Imran Khan tagging himself as the new Sheikh Mujibur Rahman?

The recent PTI campaign of making Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a hero and the Pakistan Army a villain has exposed what had been known by many people and for many years that Imran Khan is a foot soldier of those who want to harm Pakistan

Even before February 2024 General elections, Imran Khan started comparing himself with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who beyond any iota of doubt had been working for India since the mid-1960s to break Pakistan into two pieces. Imran Khan had claimed before the General Elections 2024 that they (ie the establishment) did everything against Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, but he won 162 seats, and we (PTI) will also win. Tagging Pakistan Army with Mir Jaffar and tagging himself with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman surely indicate that Imran Khan is not different than those who thoroughly planned the disintegration of Pakistan in the 1970s and those who are again trying the same. The recent PTI campaign of making Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a hero and the Pakistan Army a villain has exposed what had been known by many people and for many years that Imran Khan is a foot soldier of those who want to harm Pakistan. Thanks to the ill-conceived campaign of PTI, the claims of President Asif Ali Zardari have been proven. Zardari claimed that the House of Goldsmith was investing in Imran Khan. Zardari’s claims were rejected by Jamima Khan, the first wife of Imran Khan.

In 1971, the foreign media was hot in spewing poison against Pakistan and today many European media houses are publishing whatever Imran Khan says against the Pakistan Army without taking comment from the other party—the Pakistan Army. In 1971, Mukti Bahini was only armed and playing blood in East Pakistan, but today PTI is not only armed but also playing a more heinous role by spewing poison on social media. The question arises as to why Imran Khan and his party are using the assumptions of the East Pakistan tragedy to target the Pakistan Army. The answer could be that the international lobby behind Imran Khan wants to disintegrate Pakistan as it did in 1971 which is why similarities between 1971 and today are being portrayed through massive media management.

Is there any truth behind Zardari’s claims that the House of Goldsmith is behind Imran?

This is not the first time that PTI has directly targeted the sovereignty of the country and fanned hate against the Pakistan Army. PTI even before the February 8 elections launched a campaign to discredit Pakistan’s General Elections 2024 through a synchronized media campaign and many senior journalists call this campaign a global operation funded by the House of Goldsmith to destabilize Pakistan. PTI hired US lobbying firms to run its media management in North America and Europe. The party is also not shy to accept that it has foreign funds and contacts with foreign think tanks and media houses. It may be recalled that a resolution against Pakistan was submitted in the US House of Representatives by a member of Congress who is pro-India and Israel. This lobby is already engaged in creating an anti-Pakistan narrative that has direct links with the PTI Global team. Some journalistic circles in Islamabad claim that there is no iota of doubt left that targeting the Pakistan Army, Election Commission of Pakistan, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan through the publication of articles in American and Western media is a part of the PTI plan to discredit Pakistan and portraying the country as a “non-functional state”. These circles are of the view that “Operation Discredit Pakistan” is part of “Operation Goldsmith”. If someone reads content available in Western media about Pakistan, he or she can understand that all content has so many similarities and it appears that all material available in media has the same source, with a clear framework to establish that “Pakistan is a corrupt country”.
Since the Western media has proven in recent years that for any event to become “news” it requires to be aligned with a broader Western agenda and the “Western needs”, one has to find what are “Western needs” for publishing/broadcasting/distributing so much material having similar kind of allegations against Pakistan? In an article published recently, the writer tries to answer this question. The writer claims that Imran Khan is a Western-infested leader whose only agenda is to damage Pakistan while pretending ‘anti-West’ leader but working essentially on Western bidding. The article adds that Imran Khan promotes Western agendas. During his previous regime, Imran Khan halted the Chinese CPEC and ruined Pakistan’s foreign relations with Russia, by mocking the gas pipeline, with Turkey through public half-nude parading of Turkish Company officials, with Saudi Arabia by cursing the host who lent him his aircraft to fly to the US, Iran by maximizing the Taliban backed Sunni militias on Iranian borders, and with Qatar by accusing corruption in Pak-Qatar LNG deal. In a nutshell, Imran Khan sabotaged everything for or in favor of the Global South.

What is to be done?

The question is how long the state of Pakistan will sit and watch this circus? Pakistan must not have any doubt that an information war has been waged upon it, just to bend it to accept that Imran Khan is the first choice of the West and that demand must be abided by.
Lastly, there is a need to take strict actions against such persons and make them an example for others that if someone goes against the state what could be the consequences? This PTI delusional lot is a weapon in the hands of our enemy, they must be strafed down and eliminated as an imminent threat to our national security.


The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.

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