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and to this end have arranged to send a US port specialist to East Pakistan to assist.
-Emphasized the need for maintaining restraint toward India. Recommendation:6
1. That you sign the determination [at brown signature tab] to transfer $5 million from Foreign Assistance Funds to use for refugee relief."
2. That you approve announcement by the State Department.
❝ Haig signed the approval option on Kissinger's behalf for the President and put a checkmark to approve the announcement by the Department of State. On June 8 the Department announced that the United States planned to allocate an additional $15 million for relief assistance to East Pakistani refugees in India. (Department of State Bulletin, June 28, 1971, p. 823)
7 On June 7 President Nixon signed Presidential Determination No. 71–15. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 370, Subject Files, Presidential Determinations, 71-11-72-09/71)
Memorandum From Acting Secretary of State Irwin to
Washington, June 9, 1971.
Pakistan: Economic Aid Prospects
Over the last three weeks, we have been able to put ourselves in a reasonably good position for dealing with the situation in Pakistan. M. M. Ahmad returned from his Washington visit with an understanding of our desire to be helpful and of the need for Pakistan to come up with a credible program that we and other donors could support.
Ahmad was also fully exposed to our humanitarian concern for the millions of people affected in East Pakistan. He visited the UN Secretary General in New York before he left the U.S., and as a result of
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, SOC 10 PAK. Secret. Drafted by Deputy Assistant AID Administrator Curtis Ferrar (AA/NESA), and Alexander S.C. Fuller (NEA/PAF) and cleared by Spengler, Townsend Swayze of the Office of South Asian Affairs (AID/NESA), Van Hollen, and Sisco.
our strong initiatives, fully supported by the British and others, the Pakistan Government has requested an international relief program. UN Assistant Secretary General Kittani is now in Pakistan to work out the modalities for the relief effort under United Nations auspices.
With our encouragement, the IMF and the IBRD have sent a joint team, some of whose members are already at work in East Pakistan. After assessing the evolving circumstances on the ground, the team will seek to assist Pakistan in working out a program of measures necessary to avoid economic collapse. Such a package will undoubtedly include trade, fiscal and monetary reforms, already overdue before March 25, as well as specific new measures arising from problems caused by the civil disorder, Pakistan's unilateral debt moratorium, the loss of East Pakistan production and exports, and the lack of business confidence in the West.
If a viable program can be worked out, it will probably include support for Pakistan in the form of an IMF drawing and regularization of the debt moratorium on a short term basis. While it is recognized that the Bank and Fund would not expect from the Consortium2 a normal year's aid pledge there may be an appeal for a lesser amount of special bilateral financing as part of a short term financial package to supplement an emergency Fund drawing. The Bank/Fund team will make its first, informal report to a restricted Consortium meeting in Paris on June 21.
In summary, Pakistan has been accorded a favorable opportunity to come forward with a program the Consortium and the donors can support. Indications are, however, that the Pakistan Government will have severe difficulties in formulating a credible program. The picture emerging from our reporting shows:
-a population still largely cowed and fearful of Army action: people are hesitant to return to work in government and private offices and factories. The Hindu population has suffered strong persecution, and many have fled the country. The total number of refugees in India is now over four million.
-evidence of increasingly organized and effective insurgency, including guerrilla disruption of transport and commerce, and intimidation of those who cooperate with the Martial Law Administration.
-failure so far of the political initiatives taken by President Yahya
to achieve any substantial response in East Pakistan.
-a continued low level of law and order, and partial breakdown of the local government apparatus, outside of the main towns where the army has achieved some security.
2 Reference is to the Pakistan consortium; see footnote 5, Document 42.
--lack of effective action to deal with the food distribution problem in spite of expressions of concern from the Government in Islamabad. There is still no one in charge of this question in the East Wing, and no effective priority on the use of water transport for moving food.
-imminent food shortages in some areas. We have been pressing the Government of Pakistan to permit us to have access to the cyclone affected districts. When access is finally achieved, we may discover that some starvation will already have occurred.
As a result, the economy of East Pakistan is still stagnant. The provincial government is barely functioning. Peace and normalcy have not returned. There has been a consistent disparity between the official Pakistan Government expectations, and the facts as they emerge. The gap may be widening.
Work on humanitarian programs goes forward as the situation allows. Hopefully Mr. Kittani will establish a framework within which effective relief can be extended on a broad scale. The next major decisions on the economic program will arise in the context of the report of the IMF/IBRD team late in June. We are not sanguine, however, that a viable and soundly based economic program will emerge at that time.
Memorandum of Conversation1
John N. Irwin II
Washington, June 11, 1971, 1:03–1:56 p.m. Lunch Conversation Between Indian Ambassador Jha and Mr. Kissinger
The purpose of the conversation was to prepare for the meeting of Foreign Minister Singh and also to prevent Indian military action against Pakistan while the Chinese channel was being maintained.
I opened the conversation by telling Jha that we understood the suffering that was caused in India and the sense of concern that India
1 Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 150, India, 21 May 1971–21 Dec 1971. Secret. Drafted by Kissinger. The memorandum is dated June 1, but it is apparently a typographical error. According to Kissinger's appointment book, the luncheon meeting took place on June 11. (Ibid., Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule)
would naturally feel. I also told him that if India took unilateral military action, it would have to mean the end of any assistance on our part. It would turn the issue into an international problem involving China, the Soviet Union and other great powers, in which the Bengal problem would soon be submerged.
Jha made a very eloquent defense then of the Indian position. He said six million refugees had already entered India. They were in the most heavily-populated states, in the states with the most heavy radical element. They could shift the voting balance in Bengal, for example, entirely in the direction of the Communists. It was a matter in India of its internal stability-there was nothing that the government wanted to do less than to go to war, but something had to be done.
I asked him for a solution. He replied that it wasn't enough to offer for the refugees to come back while new refugees were being created all the time. What was needed was a political conversation and a political solution, which he personally believed were unlikely except on the basis of independence for East Pakistan. He thought we could stop economic aid to Pakistan or suspend it as an interim measure.
I said that the President had a special relationship to Pakistan which enabled him to use his influence behind the scenes much more effectively. But I said that I remembered very well a conversation he had with me at Kay Graham's2 house in which he said that at some point India and the United States would have to see how to bell the cat. I was prepared to have personal contacts with him in a channel going from the President to the Prime Minister if they could give us four or five months to work on matters. Ambassador Jha said he thought that this was feasible. I told him that to show our goodwill we would immediately review the aid request to see whether we could substantially increase the refugee aid.
2 President of the Washington Post company.
Telegram From the Embassy in India to the Department of
New Delhi, June 11, 1971, 1222Z.
9162. Pass White House and Ambassador Keating.
1. You will have seen from our refugee sitreps that number of refugees is now 5.4 million and that rate of flow is increasing. This should be evidence enough that no matter what noises President Yahya may make about restoration of normalcy, he has not yet done anything to effectively impede reign of terror and brutality of Pakistan army, the root cause of the refugee exodus.
2. I believe the United States, whether we like it or not, bears very heavy responsibility for the continuing deterioration of the situation. Unless forceful and effective action is promptly undertaken to stem the refugee flow, the GOI will be forced into an act of desperation to halt a situation that is clearly not of India's making.
3. Our responsibility to act in this situation is the concomitant of our role as the principal contributor and acknowledged leader of the Pakistan consortium. We are the key factor in all of Yahya's calculations for the immediate future. Despite his apparent lack of realism in recognizing the facts of life in East Pakistan, it is difficult for me to believe he does not perceive that the mainstay for the survival of his government is the continued flow of support and resources from the USG. To hold this card in our hand without playing it seems to me to be indefensible in the present situation.
4. There may be those who think the Soviets have a similar responsibility to our own. I believe the Soviets see their long-term interest of expansion of communism in both countries as being served by a continued deterioration of the situation, at least so long as it can be confined to its present dimensions (i.e., China does not become involved). The Soviets' role appears to be one of making sounds that will be receptive to Indian ears but effectively doing nothing to bring pressure on Pakistan. Their basic motivation in providing an airlift for refugees in India is in order not to permit the U.S. to make major capital at their expense by our responsiveness to the Indian request. As the fabric of society in both countries continues to be assaulted by the manifold political, economic and social pressures borne by this crisis, the present situation would appear tailor-made to lead to an expansion of communism in the subcontinent. Presumably, Soviets will be
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, REF PAK. Secret; Immediate; Exdis.