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5. Caveats-We are confident posts share Department's awareness need for utmost caution and discretion in carrying out these next steps. Publicity concerning possibility of direct contacts between GOP and BD reps; exposure of our role; or knowledge of our contacts with Mushtaq Ahmed could cause sudden termination of this exercise. Furthermore, we should all keep in mind at every step that what may appear sincere desire to negotiate on one or both sides might in fact prove to be little more than tactical maneuver in complex process of pursuing greater influence over US policy. We will also need to bear in mind those who would want to see negotiations fail. We presume such elements would exist in Pakistan, India, and in BD movement.
6. For Calcutta: If Ambassador Farland receives Yahya's approval, you should at earliest opportunity contact BD Foreign Minister Mushtaq Ahmed with object accomplishing purposes outlined in paras 3 and 4 above, at same time reiterating that we are passing messages but not acting as mediator. If subject of visa for Mushtaq Ahmed surfaces, you should follow guidance State 154078,4 i.e., request has been referred to Washington and he should be given no encouragement. You may also suggest Ahmed's visit might better be deferred while present effort to arrange BD and GOP contacts under way. If Mushtaq Ahmed out of India, report info on whereabouts soonest.
7. For all addressees: We will welcome continuing analysis and comments on: (a) possibilities for negotiation between BD reps and GOP; (b) dynamics of possibly troublesome divisions within BD movement (including Mukti Bahini) over "independence vs. accommodation"; (c) GOI attitudes toward negotiated settlement in lieu of independent Bangla Desh; (d) kind of settlement Yahya could sell in West Pakistan to military and politicians; and (e) ways in which apparent BD insistence on central role for Mujib (Calcutta 2204) might be reconciled with Yahya's apparent need for "secessionist scapegoat." Any other observations or contributions would of course also be welcome.5 8. Messages this subject should be transmitted Nodis.
See footnote 5, Document 133.
Ambassador Farland endorsed the Department's scenario and indicated that he would put it forward during his meeting with Yahya scheduled for September 4. He stated that he would stress that U.S. contacts with Bangladesh representatives would be conditioned by what Yahya considered appropriate. (Telegram 8909 from Islamabad, August 31; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 626, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. VI, 1 Aug 71-31 Aug 71) Yahya gave his approval on September 4 to discreet U.S. contacts with Bangladesh representatives and the Department instructed the Consulate General in Calcutta to proceed along the lines of paragraphs 3 and 4 of telegram 159587. (Telegram 163594 to Calcutta, September 4; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)
137. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in
Washington, August 31, 1971, 1551Z.
159706. Subj: Trial of Mujibur Rahman. Ref: State 149347.2
Because of possibility that Indians might attempt to exploit any written reply to Mrs. Gandhi's August 11 message on trial of Mujibur Rahman, we have decided that it would be preferable for Ambassador to make oral response on behalf of President to Foreign Secretary Kaul. Ambassador should make following points: the President has received Mrs. Gandhi's message and has considered it with care. There has been extensive interest in United States in trial of Mujib. Secretary Rogers has conveyed our concern about summary treatment of Mujib to GOP. We intend to continue to indicate our concern on appropriate future occasions, not only for humanitarian reasons, but also because we recognize importance which trial, and possible execution of Mujib, would have in broader context of search for peace and stability in South Asia.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 29 PAK. Confidential; Exdis. Drafted by Quainton on August 19; cleared by Schneider, Laingen, and Kissinger; and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Islamabad.
2 Telegram 149347 to New Delhi, August 14, transmitted the text of the letter sent to President Nixon on August 7 by Prime Minister Gandhi; see the attachment to Document 128.
See Document 119.
138. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Assistant for
National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)
Washington, September 1, 1971.
Attached is a memo from Saunders which deals with the subject the Secretary has been talking to you about personally and which confirms what Sisco indicated to me last week. You will note that Yahya is sending over a personal emissary to discuss with Sisco the actual status of items remaining in the pipeline as a further refinement of the proposal.
As you know, Secretary Rogers has done this on his own despite contrary hints. Very few people in the Department are aware of the project according to Eliot. I told Eliot that this project could upset the President a great deal and that it would be well for us to take stock of the situation in the light of Yahya's response and his obviously cooperative but apparently concerned attitude. I believe you will want to focus on this as soon as possible before it progresses any further. The real problem is the large number of unfilled military requests which have been stonewalled by Defense.
Memorandum From Harold Saunders and Samuel Hoskinson of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)
Washington, September 1, 1971.
Sisco-Hilaly-Yahya on the Military Aid Pipeline
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 626, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. VII, Sep Oct 1971. Secret; Nodis.
? Major General Inam-ul Haq, Director General of Defense Procurement in Pakistan's Ministry of Defense. On September 3 Kissinger sent a special channel telegram to Farland instructing him to make certain General Haq understood that he should contact Kissinger personally to obtain an accurate appraisal of President Nixon's thinking with respect to arms shipments. (Ibid., Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, July 1971)
Kissinger responded in the margin with the following handwritten note: "AlThey cannot play fairly. Make sure we are cut in & that Paks know what must be done." Haig added a handwritten note in the margin that reads: "Saunders will be sure Pak General sees HAK."
4 Secret; Nodis. Sent for information.
Ambassador Farland has cabled to you Yahya's reaction to a recent conversation between Assistant Secretary Sisco and Ambassador Hilaly in which Sisco indicated that the possibility of the stoppage of economic aid to Pakistan could be averted if the arms flow were shut off. We have no record of the Sisco-Hilaly talk-although the Paks have now provided us with the text of Hilaly's report—and were not previously informed about this approach. Sisco's Proposition
According to Hilaly, Sisco called him in on August 23 and made the following major points:
—the question of arms shipments had become an important internal political issue in the US with the passage of the Gallagher amendment. There was every likelihood that the Senate would pass a similar restriction which would also insist on the stoppage of economic aid until there is a satisfactory political settlement in East Pakistan.
—The possibility of such a stoppage of economic aid could be averted if the Administration agreed to cut off military supply to Pakistan. If the delivery of some of what little remained in the pipeline could be speeded up and the Paks agreed to sacrifice the remainder, the Administration could then placate the Senate by saying the pipeline had been closed and that "no Defense stores whatsoever would move to Pakistan in the future."
-Pakistan's stake in the "immediate resumption" of economic aid from the consortium was much longer than its stake in the small amount of arms remaining in the pipeline.
-It was a mutual problem and both governments needed to help each other and devise a political strategy that could ensure the resumption and increase of economic aid. Sisco, “confidentially and unofficially" suggested that both governments sit together secretly as friends to look at what remained in the pipeline with a view to “announcing" its final close. Yahya's Response
According to Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan, Yahya instructed Hilaly to inform Sisco' that (1) the gesture of initiating prior unofficial
Ambassador Farland reported on September 1 that Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan had made available Hilaly's account of his recent conversation with Sisco. (Telegram 8934 from Islamabad; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK) Because of the practice of reducing the size of telegrams by eliminating words considered to be obvious, Farland's report of receiving Hilaly's account on August 23 was taken to mean that the conversation was held that day. The conversation between Sisco and Hilaly took place on August 20; see Document 131.
6 See footnote 7, Document 105.
and confidential consultation on this matter of “vital importance” is appreciated; (2) he agreed that this was a mutual problem which required a common political strategy.
Yahya then went on to ask that President Nixon be informed that:
-"We" would do well to consider the effect a public announcement of the kind suggested by Sisco would have on Pakistan internally and externally and on the image of US-Pak relations. Internally, it would be a "setback” to the "strengthened good feeling toward the Nixon Government" in Pakistan. Externally, other states might also cut off military supply and the impact would “merit very serious consideration."
-Pakistan's difficulties with India would be "compounded." It is for "serious consideration" whether it would not be in the US interests in South Asia to prevent development of a "precarious imbalance" between India and Pakistan.
-Then (almost as an afterthought in his instructions to Hilaly) Yahya added that the President be informed that he "in no way wishes to weaken the position of the Nixon Government. Therefore, should President Nixon feel that the proposed announcement would enable him to defeat the Democratic designs to make the existing position a political issue for the Presidential election, Pakistan will accept it despite the sacrifices it involves.” If this is the case, then Yahya would at least hope that the announcement would say "shipments of military stores to Pakistan have terminated, and their resumption will depend upon the improvement of the situation in East Pakistan," and he would hope that under these circumstances "essential supplies" could later be “quietly resumed."
-Finally, Yahya "notes with deep appreciation” the assurances that the cut off would help the Administration to (1) save economic aid for Pakistan (2) take a stronger line with Congress for resumption of economic aid to Pakistan and (3) to take the lead in the consortium for immediate resumption of international aid to Pakistan.
Unless you have talked to Sisco or Secretary Rogers had the permission of the President, Sisco has been free-wheeling again. We had no idea until this cable was received from Islamabad today (September 1) that he had made this approach on August 23.
That issue aside, however, Yahya's response raises some important substantive questions.
1. Yahya realizes that there is very little (about $2.6 million) in the pipeline and that there is virtually no chance with Congressional pressure that more will be made available in the foreseeable future. This being the case he may well see this as a unique opportunity to trade