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

territory, he made contact with Sajawal Khan, a Pakistani Security Officer poste
d
at the Mori Maidan pass. The enterprising Khan prevailed on Ahmad Ullah Bhat
the necessity of offering his daughter s hand in marriage only if Parwana first
agreed to work as a Pakistani agent. Acting under Khan s supervision, Parwana
eventually organized a cell of 14 members, who set off bombs at Srinagar s
Palladium Cinema and under a bridge in Allochi Bagh. Four more bombs were
recovered after Parwana s interrogation, two planted in the Hind Kashmir Hotel
and two under bridges around Srinagar.95
By the accounts of Indian counter-intelligence operatives, Sajawal Khan was
instrumental in giving political content to these covert operations. Khan was
claimed, by prosecutors of the Kashmir Conspiracy Case, to have first met with
key members of the Plebiscite Front, including Mirza Afzal Beg, Mohammad
Akbar Sofi and Peer Maqbool Vilgami, in 1955. The meeting was held at the home
of another activist, Ghulam Mohammad Bhat. Sajawal Khan paid a second visit
to Kashmir in 1956, travelling across the CFL through the densely forested, high
altitude
Yus Maidan pass with Jehangir Khan, this time carrying explosives. On
a third visit, again in 1956, Sajawal Khan again met Jehangir Khan
evidence, as
Nath saw it, of the active and direct manner in which Pak [Pakistan] authorities
controlled and guided the activities of the conspirators .96
So far, however, Pakistan s Intelligence Bureau had registered little success.
Occasional bomb blasts had not brought the Indian state to its knees, and there
had been no popular uprising against Sheikh Abdullah s incarceration. Hidden
away in some archives in Islamabad, there must be accounts of how Pakistan s
intelligence community understood this reversal, and how they planned the next
phase of the covert war. What evidence is already available, however, allows us
to attempt at least an initial answer to the most crucial question of all: what
in
fact was the relationship of the covert war with the political war?
The contested truths of the Kashmir conspiracy case
On the face of it, there ought to be little reason for surprise at the propositi
on
that Sheikh Abdullah s circle may have turned to Pakistan for assistance. As
early as 1952, Victoria Schofield has noted, Abdullah had become disillusioned
with India s secularism . And, although he remained opposed to the two-nation
theory, contrary to his earlier expectations, Pakistan was proving viable .97 Face
d
with a hostile government in New Delhi, it would have been only natural for his
supporters to have taken what help they could from Pakistan.
Jammu and Kashmir police authorities filed their charges against Abdullah
and his supporters on May 21, 1958. In a legal document presented to a Srinagar
magistrate, D.W. Mehra, the then Inspector General of Police, alleged on behalf
of the State that Begum Abdullah and the circle around her:
approached Pakistan agencies and officials to devise plans to overthrow
the Government of the State and to make it a part of Pakistan.
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