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

piece to the puzzle: the flow of intelligence reports on the sustained Pakistani
covert warfare in Jammu and Kashmir. Although communications between the
Intelligence Bureau and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs may never become
public knowledge, the documentation that became available in the course of
research for this book gives us unprecedented insight into the perceptions of th
e
intelligence community, and their understanding of Abdullah s conduct. Sheikh
Abdullah himself, however, would have no direct role in events for the next
several years. The stewardship of his cause would remain in the hands of the
only lieutenant who had stayed loyal to him, Mirza Afzal Beg. In 1955, Beg
would set up the Plebiscite Front, the group that would proceed to spearhead the
struggle for an independent Kashmir, and at once provide a pool of cadre for
Pakistan s covert campaign against India.
The builder s regime
From the optic of Indian intelligence, the low-level covert activity that had po
ckmarked
the first years after Independence was, in essence, the armed form of
the continuing political contestation of Jammu and Kashmir s accession to India.
The covert war that continued on from the war of 1947 was intended to sabotage
the process of Jammu and Kashmir s integration within the Indian union. It was
on this political process that the energies of both India and Pakistan were to b
e
focused over the coming years.
If Pakistan had learned one lesson from the war of 1947, it was that a military
victory against India was not possible without external help. Its search for all
ies
was to have momentous consequences for Pakistan itself. In 1952, the Pakistani
Foreign Minister, Zafarullah Khan, visited several West Asian states, attempting
to sell the idea of an Islamic Bloc stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Medi
terranean.
The idea was greeted with hostility in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, where
it was seen, with good reason, as a British-sponsored enterprise to create a rea
ctionary
Islamist counterweight to Arab nationalism. Choudhury Khaliquzaman,
a prominent Muslim League politician who was to become Governor of East
Pakistan in April 1953, had no greater success. During a meeting with Egypt s
King Farouq, he was bluntly told that Islam was not born on August 14, 1947 ,
the date of Pakistan s independence.73
By the time Pakistan declared itself an Islamic Republic on October 31, 1953,
the dream of a global Islamic bloc seemed far-fetched. The new designation was
driven by domestic compulsions, not overseas ambitions. In February that year, a
group of Islamist parties led a violent agitation, demanding that members of the
heterodox Ahmadi sect be declared infidels. Within a month, the government of
Prime Minister Khwaja Nazimuddin was forced to admit that it had lost control
of law and order, and asked the Army to take charge of Lahore. General Azam
Khan, appointed as martial law administrator in the city, soon succeeded in
restoring order, but the affair also laid the foundations for the Pakistani mili
tary s
subsequent domination of the country s political life.74 In the wake of the events
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