« PreviousContinue »
with unity. GOI does not advocate any particular political solution which might be autonomy under 6 points, federation, confederation or independence. This up to Pakistan to decide upon, but India does wish to end conflict which both weakens Pakistan and causes refugee burden for India.
8. Swaran Singh described at some length Indian desire concentrate on social objectives following Mrs. Gandhi's sweeping victory. Refugee influx was major setback and inflicted social and political strains in addition to economic drain. FonMin emphasized new, unsettled, unstable element in area which already beset with political problems. Indicated fear that instability in East Pakistan and Eastern India could contribute to general problems of Southeast Asia, possibly creating situation similar to Viet Nam. If international community does not join with India and heed warning now, trouble may be much greater in future.
9. Concluding his presentation, Swaran Singh asked how long India could go on waiting helplessly while events in East Pakistan continued to unfold and refugees poured into India. Said he had heard from Indian Embassy that U.S. was already engaged in diplomatic efforts to help. He wondered how far U.S. had succeeded. Can India contribute its views regarding recent events? Does U.S. believe there is some hope for future? U.S., because of world position, has special responsibility. In a sense Washington was only important visit on his tour. Other stops had merely been on the way. FonMin had not come with any fixed ideas. Wanted U.S. advice on how to proceed.
10. Responding to Swaran Singh's presentation, Secretary said we view East Pakistan question in large measure as Swaran Singh had described. Problems such as this one, however, were frequently beyond any power's ability to bring about solution at one point in time. We are prepared to play responsible helpful role but we have no simple, easy solution. Perhaps best course would be to discuss what we could do to improve situation as we have already been doing with India, UN, UK and GOP.
11. Secretary said we had already had many discussions with Pakistan in regard to the need for political solution and we had become increasingly insistent. Like India, we have no formula to offer. We agree there should be less repression in East Pakistan and we will try to get GOP to create peaceful conditions in which refugees can return.
3 Washington was Singh's final stop on a 10-day tour of major capitals, including Moscow, London, Paris, Bonn, and Ottawa, undertaken to reinforce the seriousness with which India viewed the situation in East Pakistan. (Memorandum from Rogers to Nixon, June 15; ibid., Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 INDIA)
12. Sisco referred to efforts by UNHCR Sadruddin to make possible reversal of flow of refugees. Wondered what short-run measures such as those being examined by Sadruddin might be helpful to deal with refugee flow. Would it be possible to seal border? Swaran Singh replied GOI quite prepared cooperate with Pakistan on such measures but it doubted GOP genuinely interested in stopping flow. Described deliberate steps being taken by Pak army to expel Hindus.
13. Saying GOI prepared cooperate with any effort designed to bring about return of refugees, Swaran Singh cited as one possibility UN administered refugee camps inside Pakistan. Sisco commented what little we know about Sadruddin's thinking is in this general direction, i.e., UN presence in reception centers. This seems to us to be promising idea. Swaran Singh remarked that if such camps were in existence, at least refugees en route to India could be supported there. Secretary commented this was good suggestion. We prepared to do what we can to assist in this general area. Jha pointed out fear was only one factor deterring refugee return. It important they be able to get back their homes and property. Sisco said this was point we would make to Sadruddin and GOP at appropriate time.
14. Sisco noted Indian emphasis on political accommodation. Asked how "Bangla Desh" leaders' insistence upon independence as only solution relates to this. Swaran Singh replied GOI has carefully avoided committing itself to any particular solution. It has not recognized Bangla Desh nor decided that Bangla Desh must be separate entity, but one cannot expect East Bengalis to abandon idea of independence until they see real possibility of an acceptable alternative. Welcoming this view, Secretary stated we can urge Yahya to try to work out political solution but we cannot urge him to accept separatism. We can only advocate solution which has some prospect for success and point out to Yahya difficulties which he would face if he did not seek accommodation.
15. Secretary raised subject of economic assistance and indicated our experience had shown us it could not and should not be used for political leverage. Swaran Singh argued that in case of Pakistan our giving aid constitutes interference in that it strengthens military regime. He urged U.S. to "postpone" aid until GOP takes corrective political action. Secretary replied U.S. could not withhold aid for political reasons. U.S., however, will not give aid unless it actually reaches intended recipients. We will not permit it to be used by the military, nor do we intend to increase aid to Pakistan, but we do not accept view that if a country takes political actions with which we disagree, we should cut off our assistance. To do so would be inconsistent with traditional noninterference policy India has favored. Furthermore, our aid gives us influence and withdrawal of aid would deprive us of that influence.
Swaran Singh replied that account should be taken of Pakistan economic plans and how current situation affects them, applying aid criteria. In regard humanitarian aid, India is not opposed, but would hope there could be assurance such aid would not strengthen military. The Secretary agreed with latter point. Secretary said we had made no military shipments and want keep this under careful review.
16. Later, at working lunch, Sisco made clear U.S. has not rushed in with aid for Pakistan. It has been very careful. There has been substantial holding operation in regard aid and in other areas as well. U.S. is being very careful about aid and will continue to be infuture.
17. Also, at lunch, Swaran Singh made only allusion to possible alternate course by GOI. Said India was pursuing international diplomatic route but he was fearful situation might be created in which GOI would have to use some means other than persuasion. He wanted GOP to be clearly aware of risks involved.
18. Summing up situation Swaran Singh said time may be running out but GOI believes there is a chance for political accommodation within unified Pakistan. India has long wished to get away from atmosphere of confrontation with Pakistan. Although this effort has been set back, this is still Indian objective, and achievement does not depend upon emergence of independent East Pakistan.
19. Also summing up during working lunch, Sisco remarked USG view very close to that of GOI as we have demonstrated by word and deed. We will do everything we can to help India deal with refugee burden. We recognize this assistance is only a palliative, an interim step. The answer is political accommodation. Neither U.S. nor India has a blueprint for solution. Whatever differences there may be in our analyses, we both agree Pakistanis must work out own settlement. Secretary remarked there no substantial difference of view between U.S. and India.
Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in
Washington, June 17, 1971, 2303Z.
108624. Subject: Swaran Singh Visit; Additional U.S. Assistance. 1. During meeting with Swaran Singh June 16, the President indicated that because of refugee burden U.S. would try to find additional $20 million in assistance this fiscal year and would find $50 million more soon after July 1.2 We are working out details regarding composition this assistance and how much may be development lending. We are urgently preparing message providing details re assistance and guidance for discussions with Indian officials.
2. This message intended to alert you to new US offer in event Swaran Singh reports it to GOI or Indian delegation at Paris Consortium or news leaks to press. You should not on your initiative discuss with Indian officials prior receiving further guidance.
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, REF PAK. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Schneider on June 16; cleared by Saunders at the White House, and in draft by Farrar (AID/NESA), and Louis A. Wiesner (S/R); and approved by Van Hollen. Also sent to Paris OECD for MacDonald.
2 On June 24 the Department of State spokesman announced that the United States would provide India with an additional $70 million in refugee-related assistance. (Telegram 113886 to New Delhi, June 24; ibid.)
Letter From Pakistani President Yahya to President Nixon1
Islamabad, June 18, 1971.
I am addressing you to invite your attention to the rapidly mounting threat to peace and security in the sub-continent. In the last few days belligerent statements have been made by the Indian Prime Minister and her Cabinet Ministers which amount to a threat of war. The latest of these is a statement in the Indian Parliament by the Indian Prime Minister on 15th June, relevant extracts of which are attached.2 It makes it obvious that the speaker is determined to exploit the presence of displaced persons in India to aggravate a tense situation and justify military intervention in East Pakistan. Should Indian leaders be allowed to continue on this course, consequences would be disastrous not only for the sub-continent but for the entire region.
Notwithstanding the fact, that since independence Pakistan has received millions of refugees from India, a large number of whom still remain unsettled, the Indian Government has spared no effort at this juncture to exploit the presence of Pakistani displaced persons for a political end. These persons should be enabled to return to their homes, and my Government has taken adequate steps to ensure this. We have as you must have learnt, associated the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to advise and assist us in implementation of this objective. The U.N. High Commissioner, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, has personally visited some of the reception centers we have established to welcome returning displaced persons, and satisfied himself that adequate facilities exist to receive them. Relief and rehabilitation arrangements within the province of East Pakistan are also to be provided by the U.N. and a representative of the Secretary-General has already reached Dacca to co-ordinate activities in this field with the provincial government. There is welcome news that thousands have already returned and more would be doing so, if only India would stop discouraging and hindering their return movement. It is most unfortunate that this humanitarian question should be cynically turned into political propaganda by India, and that the Indian Government should
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 759, Presidential Correspondence File, Pakistan (1971). No classification marking. Although undated, a note on the letter indicates that the text was sent by telegram from Islamabad to the Pakistani Embassy on June 18. A copy was sent to Kissinger on June 19 under cover of a letter from Hilaly, who indicated that he was also sending a copy to the Secretary of State. (Ibid.)
2 Attached but not printed.