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Mr. Kissinger: (to Williams) Then you could go out at least by the end of next week. I wouldn't want you to wait three weeks or so. Mr. Irwin: He wouldn't wait beyond next week.
Mr. Williams: Just as long as the publicity is directed to the UN. It's a psychological thing. I don't need to wait until they recruit the people to do the job.
Mr. Kissinger: Someone should talk fairly straight to the Indians, too, and tell them the party is over. We will do what we can to help on refugee relief, but if they are planning to use this to split up Pakistan, we won't go along.
Mr. Sisco: The Secretary (Rogers) made this point clearly to Jha, but it will take constant reiteration. They will have less of an excuse now that their treaty with Moscow gives them some assurances.
Mr. Irwin: I have spoken twice to Jha and the Secretary saw him this morning.
Mr. Kissinger: The President has made it plain that there will be an absolute crisis in our relations if two divisions of Pakistan guerrillas cross the border.
Mr. Sisco: I'm convinced there will be no formal Indian attack, but they will probably continue to support the guerrillas in their border crossings. We should watch this very carefully in the light of the new treaty with Moscow.
(Messrs Williams, Van Hollen and Rees left the meeting.)
Mr. Kissinger: There was one other item I wished to take up. Should we not be doing something to prepare for October when the pressure to respond to Pakistan's financial assistance needs would become more acute? At present, there is little support in the World Bank consortium for additional assistance. Yet there might be something the US could be doing to help the Pakistanis present a better case to the consortium. I consider it intolerable that the World Bank should be setting political conditions for the resumption of assistance, but it would be difficult to argue that case if the Pakistanis made no case of their own on economic grounds. Could not Maury Williams, when he goes to Pakistan, also discuss with M.M. Ahmad the elements of a possible case to be presented to the consortium in October?
Messrs. Irwin and Sisco agreed heartily that this should be done. (Mr. Saunders immediately after the meeting called Mr. Williams and informed him of the discussion. Mr. Williams said that he would be quite prepared to take up that subject and had been developing some ideas for an approach.)
121. Memorandum for the Record1
Washington, August 11, 1971, 3:15-3:47 p.m.
Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President
John Irwin, Under Secretary of State
Thomas Moorer, Chairman, JCS
Robert Cushman, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
Maurice Williams, Deputy Administrator, AID
Joseph Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State
Armistead Selden, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, ISA
Harold H. Saunders, NSC Staff
At the opening of a scheduled Senior Review Group meeting on Pakistan, Dr. Kissinger said that the President would like to see the principal members of the SRG in his office to talk about Pakistan.
When the group had moved from the Situation Room to the President's office, the President began by saying that he had had a chance in San Clemente to discuss the South Asian situation with Admiral Moorer, Mr. Helms and, of course, he had been in continuing touch with Secretary Rogers. But he had not had a chance to talk with other members of this group.
The President said that he felt it was important that he state his views on just how the emphasis must be played in the South Asian situation. It is "imperative" to play it this way, he said. He then spoke along the following lines:
First, we must look at this situation above all in terms of US interests. The interests of the US would be "very much jeopardized" by any development that could break into open conflict. "We will have to do anything-anything—to avoid war." We will do “anything—all we can-to restrain" those who want to be involved in a war.
On the public relations side, the media no longer have a great deal to write about on Vietnam. The big story is Pakistan. The political people-Democrat and Republican—are "raising hell" about this issue. "And they should from the standpoint of human suffering.”
While there are great differences between the situation in South Asia and that in 1969 in Nigeria, the US in connection with Biafra stayed
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-058, SRG Meeting, Pakistan/Cyprus, 8/11/71. Secret; Nodis. Prepared by Saunders. The meeting was held in the President's office in the Old Executive Office Building.
out of the political side of the problem. We are deeply concerned about the suffering in East Pakistan and about the refugees in India. We must increase our effort on that front. We have already done a lot, but we must think of the "most massive" program possible in terms of our budget. And we must encourage other international support.
Dr. Kissinger interjected that there are two aspects to the humanitarian problem. First, there is the problem of potential famine in East Pakistan. Maury Williams is working on our programs to avert that. Second, there is the problem of the refugees that already exist in the Indian refugee camps.
The President continued:
Whether we help in a bilateral or an international framework, we must do the most that can possibly be done. Indian Ambassador Jha had been in "a month or so ago." The Ambassador was "bullyragging me" about the great statements the French and British had made with regard to the Pakistani situation. He had told the Ambassador not to talk about what they had said but to look at what they had done. The US has contributed more to refugee relief than all the rest of them combined in terms of simply aiding the refugees in India.
We have to press other European countries to contribute. We are "not going to get very much" but we should "make a little issue of it." Embarrassing them a little bit will make it easier for us to dramatize how much we have actually done.
He doubted that this problem would generate a great deal of enthusiasm in the US. It would not generate as much response as the catastrophe in Chile had. Still we must "go all out-all out-on the relief side."
Turning to the political part of the problem, he could not emphasize his position too strongly. India's interest, some Indians think, would be served by war. Some Pakistanis would be willing to have a war. "The USSR-I don't know what they want." The interests of the US would not be served by a war. The new China relationship would be imperiled, probably beyond repair, and we would have a "very sticky problem" with the USSR.
"Now let me be very blunt." He had been going to India since 1953. Every Ambassador who goes to India falls in love with India. Some have the same experience in Pakistan—though not as many because the Pakistanis are a different breed. The Pakistanis are straightforward—and sometimes extremely stupid. The Indians are more devious, sometimes so smart that we fall for their line.
He "holds no brief" for what President Yahya has done. The US "must not-cannot-allow" India to use the refugees as pretext for breaking up Pakistan. The President said with a great deal of empha
sis that he is "convinced" that that is what India wants to do. That is what he might want to do if he were in New Delhi.
Now, as far as the US is concerned, the US has to use its influence in the other direction. The USSR has "this little deal" with India. [Reference to USSR-India Friendship Treaty signed August 9.]2 Some think that the Russians want to punish the Pakistanis for their relationship with China. In his view, the Russians are looking at this situation as they looked at the Middle East before the June war in 1967. The danger is that they may unleash forces there which no one can control.
The problem is that if the Indians "romp around in East Pakistan” or send guerrillas, the Pakistanis may well go to war even though they feel that would be suicidal.
Returning to his basic point, he said to Mr. Sisco and Mr. Irwin that we "have to cool off the pro-Indians in the State Department and out in South Asia."3 We want to help India but we will not be parties to their objective [of breaking up Pakistan]. "If there is a war, I will go on national television and ask Congress to cut off all aid to India. They won't get a dime."
We have to keep some leverage in Pakistan. Our concerns must be communicated to the Pakistanis through Ambassador Farland. If we go along with the Congress and cut off all assistance to Pakistan, then we will lose what influence we have on the humanitarian problem. Perhaps the worst we fear will happen anyway, but certainly the USwhile the Soviet Union is fishing in troubled waters-must use its influence to keep the war from happening.
In summary, publicly our position is that (1) we will go all out to help the refugees and to help people in East Pakistan; (2) there must not be a war because war would help no one; (3) we will not publicly exacerbate the political situation. We will deal with the political problem in private. It is not our job to determine the political future of Pakistan. The Pakistanis have to work out their own future. We will not measure our relationship with the government in terms of what it has done in East Pakistan. By that criterion, we would cut off relations with every Communist government in the world because of the slaughter that has taken place in the Communist countries.
2 All brackets in the source text. See Document 116.
On August 10 Ambassador Keating sent a telegram from New Delhi pointing out that relations between the United States and India had sunk to a "poisonous" level. He argued that the United States should begin to take the steps necessary to reverse the general Indian perception of a U.S. preference for "politically authoritarian, inherently fragile, thirdrate Pakistan over democratic, relatively stable, regionally dominant India." (Telegram 12722 from New Delhi; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 23-9 PAK)
The President concluded by asking whether there were any questions.
Mr. Sisco said that we had followed the three-pronged approach that the President had outlined. He would like to make an observation on one point. He hoped that the President did not intend to preclude having Farland go to President Yahya when we have concrete suggestions to communicate on steps that might help with the overall political settlement. Given our overall objective-admitting that the real Indian political objective is probably to establish an independent Bangla Desh by peace or by force-he hoped that within the framework of friendship with Yahya where we have concrete suggestions and could help Yahya move a little bit toward political accommodation, Farland could mention the suggestion.
Mr. Sisco expected serious repercussions from the Soviet-Indian Treaty. The Indians may feel constrained from conventional military moves across the border, but they may feel encouraged to support guerrilla crossings. "Relief alone won't do the job." President Yahya may not be able to go far enough. But if there is not some progress on the question of political accommodation, the guerrilla warfare would continue, Pakistani military reprisals would continue and the refugees would be unlikely to return to their homes. More important, Yahya may feel he has to attack guerrilla camps in India.
Mr. Sisco continued, noting that the Indians have behaved very badly. They have prevented the UN from working with the refugees on their side. He agreed that their real policy is one establishing an independent Bangla Desh. We don't care how that turns out. Our interest is that, if it happens, it happens by peaceful means.
Mr. Sisco concluded by asking whether it will be all right if in a friendly posture-noting that we have no blueprint for a political solution to make suggestions when we have them. One of these might be not to execute Mujibur Rahman [Awami League leader now on trial in West Pakistan for treason].
The President replied that in view of the fact that we have not cut off aid and have a good personal relationship with Yahya, it is possible that unless he is "totally trapped" he might be responsive. Yahya considers Ambassador Farland his friend. Any suggestions that we might have such as "not shooting Mujib"-Farland might point out to him. The President said he had felt from talking to Ambassador Farland that it was his intention to try to persuade President Yahya to be "more flexible or more sophisticated" on the question of political settlement.
Dr. Kissinger interjected that we should not ask the President in this meeting to arbitrate the nuances of what we might ask President Yahya to do. The basic problem is not some specific proposition. It is