Page images

Hilaly told me yesterday afternoon that Yahya was holding a meeting this morning to put together a package for you to take back to President Nixon. Presumably that will be given to you at your meeting this afternoon with a request for US diplomatic support, both in the consortium capitals and in New Delhi.

The package, I surmise, will collect things that the Pakistanis were already considering doing:

-Yahya plans to announce appointment of a senior civil servant (sounds like a Bengali elder statesman) to oversee all elements of the refugee program. According to Ahmad, he would have to be responsible directly to the President and would have authority to order the military to desist from excesses. (Whether this is possible remains a question mark.)

-They may draw together and repeat all past statements on nondiscrimination for Hindus, amnesty, property restitution and security.

-They might show some recognition of the food problem. Since they have asked us now to begin moving our PL 480 stocks again, they could look to that to dramatize that food is again moving through the ports. (They have been disappointed in the response of the international community to their appeal for help in transportation.)

-They could include the essence of Ahmad's interim development plan which would focus on East Pakistan development, mobilization of resources via taxation and exchange reform. (These are three of the four points emphasized by AID, the other being decreased emphasis on military spending which Ahmad seems to feel he cannot do right now.)

-They may call for Indian cooperation in all this.

Although I do not know exactly how they will formulate this package, what Hilaly and Ahmad were talking about yesterday seems okay as far as it goes. It is an effort to be responsive to your suggestion for a package to separate the refugee issue from the question of political settlement and hopefully to buy time.

Points for You to Stress


However, there are two points to be made when Yahya gives this to

1. First is the need for energetic follow-up. There has to be a sense of real movement not just the appearance of movement. This may require a hard prod at U Thant since the UN man in East Pakistan is moving much too slowly.

5 No record of Kissinger's conversation with President Yahya on July 11 has been found.

2. The real point will be much more difficult to make. You have suggested this package as a means of trying to separate the refugee issue from the question of final political arrangements in East Pakistan. However, Sultan Khan is right when he questions whether the Indians will let the Paks (or the US) get away with separating the two issues.

Recalling your talk with Foreign Minister Singh, you may wish to tell Yahya that the Indian leadership is not posing specific conditions for a political settlement and would accept any that is "non-military and non-communal." (Presumably this means civil administrationthe Indians would like establishment of elected government-and clear absence of bias against Hindus.)

Talking Points

You might make the above points this way:

1. You are glad to see the Pakistanis pulling their steps together in a package that can be presented as a comprehensive approach toward a refugee solution. It is important that this be followed up energetically.

2. You will recommend to the President that the U.S. support each of these steps diplomatically. One element in the U.S. response might be to resume food shipments.

3. It is also important that special attention be given to following up with a good presentation to the Consortium. You will do what you can with McNamara, but it will be tough going with him and with our Congress and public.

4. The key issue obviously is the terms of political accommodation. You have not presumed to get into this. In fact, you have suggested preparation of a package of steps on the refugee problem in order to try to separate that from the issue of political arrangements in East Pakistan. But the fact remains that this is of great importance.

5. You would like, therefore, to give President Yahya your impression that the Indians would accept any solution that is “noncommunal and non-military." Mrs. Gandhi said she is not wedded to any particular solution. You hasten to add that you do not think India should determine how Pakistan should arrange the political structure of East Pakistan. Nevertheless, the fact is that political progress will be an important part of the package.

101. Analytical Summary Prepared by the National Security Council Staff1

Washington, July 12, 1971.


As directed by NSSM 1332 an Ad Hoc Interagency Group chaired by State has prepared a paper on "Contingency Planning on South Asia."3 As directed, the study includes:

-a description of present U.S. strategy and steps taken to prevent the outbreak of hostilities;

-additional steps in pursuing this strategy that could be considered in the coming weeks;

-a discussion of the options open to the U.S. should hostilities occur between India and Pakistan.

This is by far the best paper so far produced on the situation in South Asia. For the first time we have a vehicle for high level review of our posture and serious consideration of additional steps that might be taken.

I. Present Strategy

Our present strategy is based on the following major assumptions concerning U.S. interests and objectives in South Asia:

-The U.S. has no vital security interest in South Asia but as a global power we are inevitably concerned about the stability of an area where such a large percentage of mankind resides and which is geopolitically significant in terms of the Soviets and Communist Chinese.

-Both India and Pakistan are important to U.S. interests although India is of "potentially greater significance.” Therefore, in formulating U.S. policy in the region the "relative preeminence" of our interests in India should be an underlying factor in the decisions which we make.

1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-058, SRG Meeting, South Asia, 7/23/71. Secret; Exdis. Sent to Kissinger on July 21 under cover of a memorandum from Harold Saunders and Richard Kennedy, who apparently drafted the summary. (Ibid.)

2 Document 88.


This 40-page paper, drafted in NEA/INC by Quainton and approved on July 9 by a State/Defense/CIA Ad Hoc committee, is summarized in the analytical summary, which is published in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 140. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-058, SRG Meeting, South Asia, 7/23/71)

-Peace is essential for the maintenance of U.S. interests. Therefore, our basic objective is to prevent hostilities between India and Pakistan. If hostilities do break out, it would be our objective to ensure that neither we nor any other major external power become directly involved.

-On an operational level, our objectives have been to maintain a "constructively close" relationship with India and "reasonable" relations with West Pakistan while avoiding steps which would do “irreparable damage" to a yet undefined future relationship with East Pakistan.

There are three major ingredients to the strategy we have followed since the outbreak of fighting in East Pakistan on March 25.

1. Restraint. We have counseled restraint on both sides in hope of reducing the possibility of the situation in East Pakistan escalating into a war between India and Pakistan. On the Indian side this seems to have reinforced important elements inclined toward restraint, although contingency planning for an attack against East Pakistan continues and there is considerable public and parliamentary pressure for more forceful action. Our counsels of restraint in Pakistan have been "somewhat less successful."

2. International Assistance. Because the refugee situation is the most likely proximate cause for escalation, we have concentrated considerable effort on lessening this burden for India. To date we have offered grants of $70.5 million and a $20 million supplemental development loan to India and have actively promoted the international relief effort of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. This, of course, leaves untouched the serious social and internal political problem generated by the refugees in India that we can do nothing about. On the Pakistan side, we have also actively promoted an international relief effort, both to deal with the immediate relief needs and to facilitate the return of the refugees. The West Pakistanis were initially very slow to respond but have in recent weeks been more receptive and a UN presence is in the process of being gradually established in East Pakistan. So far the U.S. has granted $2 million for the chartering of boats to distribute food and other relief supplies and $4.7 million for reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the coastal area affected by the cyclone last winter.

3. Political Accommodation. We have urged the West Pakistanis to proceed as expeditiously as possible with political accommodation in East Pakistan. Recognizing the complex and sensitive issues involved and the fact that Yahya may have only limited political flexibility, we have not attempted to spell out the details of such an accommodation beyond the need to deal with representative political leaders. These efforts have not yet led to a meaningful basis for a political settlement.

In addition to the above steps and in order to maintain a constructive relationship with the West Pakistanis, we have taken several other important policy decisions:

1. Economic Assistance. We have decided not to use our economic assistance to Pakistan as a lever for political pressure and have indicated that future assistance would be conditioned only on developmental and legislative criteria.

2. Military Assistance. We have taken the following restrictive actions concerning the shipment of arms to Pakistan:

-A temporary "hold" has been placed on the delivery of all FMS items from Department of Defense stocks.

—The Office of Munitions Control at State has been instructed to suspend the issuance of new licenses and renewal of expired licenses under either FMS or commercial sales.

---The one-time exception offer of lethal end items announced last October is being held in "abeyance".

II. Limitations on Present Strategy

The judgment of the paper is that although our present policy has had a limited effect in meeting the immediate requirements of the situation, it has not provided the basis for a viable long-term resolution of the crisis.

-The Indians have so far exercised restraint but the problem which the refugees represent and which India considers a threat to its vital interests remains unresolved. The Pakistanis have not created yet either the political, economic or social conditions for the return of most of the refugees.

-Some international relief assistance is reaching the refugees but it is not yet nearly enough to substantially reduce the economic burden on India. On the Pakistan side, relief and rehabilitation efforts are only starting to get underway.

—A viable political accommodation between East and West Pakistan appears to be only a remote possibility at this time.

The paper also concludes that our economic and military supply policies toward Pakistan have done little to maintain the constructive relationships which we desire with both India and Pakistan.

-The hold on all military shipments except those licensed before March 25 has not been received with favor in Islamabad where such shipments are of considerable psychological significance. The West Pakistanis have not, however, chosen to make political issue out of this yet.

-On the Indian side, our failure to embargo all arms shipments (coupled with State's misleading handling of this issue) has resulted

« PreviousContinue »