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

right that for a time ranked among the most brutal conflicts in the world, and
would have a direct bearing on Jammu and Kashmir s fortunes.
His secret life in Jammu and Kashmir received no notice: few even knew of it.
Twenty-eight years before his death, Nath, then a senior police official, had
authored a classified history of India s counter-intelligence campaign against
terrorist groups in Jammu and Kashmir from 1948 onwards. The still-secret
Report on Pakistani Organized Subversion, Sabotage and Infiltration in Jammu
and Kashmir is perhaps the sole history of the Informal War, and provides
encyclopaedic account of its course. Writing two decades after Nehru proclaimed
the existence of the Informal War, Nath affirmed many of its conclusions. The
cease-fire which came into effect on the 1st of January, 1949 , Nath wrote was
merely a prelude to the Pakistani efforts to grab Kashmir by other means .40
The object of Pakistani sub-conventional efforts, he argued,
was to create conditions in which the Government established by law in
this State could not function, to arouse communal passions, to assassinate
important nationalist leaders and ultimately overthrow the Government
and capture power either through their agents or by direct intervention.
Pakistan was uniquely well poised to launch such a covert campaign, for
reasons which are little understood. Despite its ostensible military superiority
,
India s intelligence apparatus was in ruins after Independence. Its Intelligence
Bureau, staffed mainly by police officers, was charged with reporting on events
in Jammu and Kashmir. At Independence, however, the Intelligence Bureau was
in what one participant has described as a tragic-comic state of helplessness .41
Qurban Ali, the senior-most Indian in the organization s last months as an institu
tion
of British India, was to choose Pakistani citizenship and had used his
offices to transfer every file of importance to that country. India s intelligence
personnel were left with the office furniture, empty racks and cupboards, and a
few innocuous files dealing with office routine .42 India s Military Intelligence
Directorate had the capability to monitor events in Jammu and Kashmir, but the
chaos across much of northern India meant the Army had neither the time nor
resources to do so.43 Put simply, Pakistan s covert warriors were the only team
on the field.
Low-level covert activity mirrored Pakistani conventional military responses
to India s spring counter-offensive of 1948. That year, the Jammu and Kashmir
Police recovered 643 crude bombs, 666 hand-grenades and 83 tins of fuses in
raids, which led to 22 arrests. Authorities claimed that these explosives had be
en
brought from Pakistan by a Srinagar resident working for Pakistani intelligence,
Salim Jehangir Khan. What little published material is available suggests that
Pakistan s intelligence services, and powerful elements in its political establish
ment,
used such tactics fairly widely. One remarkably candid admission has come
from Lieutenant-General Gul Hasan Khan, who served as the last commanderinchief of the Pakistani armed forces. General Khan s memoirs record that an
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