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T H E I N F O R M A L WAR

unnamed elder statesman in Pakistan organized covert supplies of weapons


to the princely state of Hyderabad in 1948, which was using armed force to
resist accession to the Indian Union. According to General Khan, the elder
statesman organized at least one shipment of .22 pistols on a DC-3 aircraft.44
Indian intelligence reports that Hyderabad was negotiating a large weapons deal
with a Czechoslovak firm had caused considerable disquiet, but no one seems
to have picked up on the flow of weapons from Pakistan.45 The weapons appear
to have been used by two ideologically distinct but tactically allied forces, th
e
Islamist gangs of Kasim Rizvi and the Communist Party. In an April 1948 press
conference, using rhetoric that anticipated jihadist polemic of the 1990s, Rizvi
announced that he would plant the flag of the Muslim monarch of Hyderabad
on the Red Fort in Delhi .46
Pakistan s support of such covert activity served a wholly rational purpose:
acquiring Jammu and Kashmir remained a real possibility despite the end of the
war of 1947 1948, and sub-conventional warfare in support of its political objecti
ves
was the sole leverage it had in the parts of the state India now controlled.
A significant escalation in this form of warfare became evident from 1951. The
year is of some significance. Elections to Jammu and Kashmir s Constituent
Assembly were scheduled for later that year. Pakistan clearly understood that
events were heading towards a full-scale integration of Jammu and Kashmir with
the Indian Union, provoking a renewed crossing of swords at the United Nations.
In March, Pakistan s representative at the UN, Sir Zafarullah Khan, charged
India with having orchestrated a deep conspiracy and with long preparation for
sending troops to Kashmir ; Prime Minister Nehru responded by insisting this
was cent per cent false .47 The aggression was not just polemical. Between the
spring of 1951 and April 1952, a full-scale mobilization was ordered by Pakistan
in anticipation of the possibility that the sub-conventional war could escalate
into
full-blown hostilities.48
Amidst this near-crisis, Pakistani intelligence planners set in place the first
post-war covert initiative. On August 20, 1951, the Government Rest House at
Akar, on the Srinagar Pahalgam road, was set on fire, along with a nearby bridge.
Jammu and Kashmir Police investigators discovered that the group responsible for
the Government Rest House arson had also carried out five earlier, unexplained
attacks, the burning of the Kangan, Sagipora and Singhpora Bridges on roads
leading out of Srinagar, the destruction of a Forest Department Hut in Nagranag
and the cutting of a military telephone line from Srinagar to Gulmarg. The
attacks preceded the elections to the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly
and, in the state government s view, were intended to disrupt the democratic
process.
Fourteen conspirators were eventually tried for the attacks, of whom nine
were convicted. Significantly, another 18 conspirators charged with the attacks
could never be tried, as Indian criminal law does not allow for the prosecution
of suspects in absentia. These suspects included several Pakistani nationals,
notably Abbas Ali Shah, the Superintendent of Police in charge of the Criminal
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