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"cleared customs” and are pending loading on ship at the conclusion of the dock strike. It might also be said that the value of those items is about $160,000 and the value of the unused licenses is about 2 million dollars. The content of the announcement would be worked out with the Pakistanis.

My question for you is: Do you see any objection to completing this exercise provided it is fully cleared with the Pakistanis and informing the Indians at the same time we tell them of the other problem??


2 Kissinger initialed the yes option and added the following handwritten notation: "(No objection—but let me see what we tell them)." Ambassador Farland was instructed on November 1 to inform the Pakistani Government that Congressional support for the administration's policies in South Asia would benefit if key Congressional leaders were informed that the military pipeline was being closed down except for a small final shipment awaiting the end of a dock strike. (Telegram 198915 to Islamabad; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK) Farland met with President Yahya on November 2 and Yahya agreed to the necessity to close down the pipeline, subject to the understanding that title to the items on the New York dock had passed to Pakistan. (Telegram 10904 from Islamabad, November 3; ibid.) The same day Under Secretary Irwin called in Ambassador Jha and informed him of the plan to close down the pipeline to Pakistan and of the supply slippages not previously made public. (Telegram 200295 to New Delhi, November 3; ibid., DEF 12–5 PAK)

174. Briefing Prepared for President Nixon?

Washington, October 29, 1971.


Indo-Soviet Relations: From all indications, the Soviets appear to be keeping an unusually close watch on the situation in South Asia. At the end of last week, Deputy Foreign Minister Firyubin made a hurriedly arranged trip to New Delhi apparently to get a fresh reading on the situation. Then yesterday a military delegation, headed by the



Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Indo-Pak Crisis, Withdrawn Files, Boxes 570–573. No classification marking. Prepared on October 29 by Hoskinson and Saunders for an October 30 briefing of the President. The memorandum does not indicate who was scheduled to do the briefing, but it was customarily done by Kissinger.

commander of the Soviet air force and including representatives of the other services, arrived with little advance preparation.?

If nothing else, this is a graphic demonstration of the consultation clause in the new “friendship" treaty. It also would seem to reflect Soviet concern that the Indo-Pak military confrontation could blow up into full scale fighting. By visibly demonstrating their support for India, the Soviets may hope to deter the Paks from taking any rash actions.


2 Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Firyubin visited New Delhi October 22–27. The military delegation, which arrived in New Delhi on October 28, was headed by Marshal Pavel Kutakhov, Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of Staff of the Soviet Air Force. An analysis prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research on November 3 concluded that Firyubin assured India of continued Soviet support in the event of hostilities and Kutakhov conveyed a Soviet willingness to discuss an emergency military supply program for India. (Intelligence Note; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL INDIA-PAK)

3 An intelligence report circulated on October 15 indicated that the Soviet Union had assured India that in the event of a war between India and Pakistan, India "would not be alone." (Intelligence Information Cable TDCS DB-215/06104_71; ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 597, Country Files, Middle East, India, Vol. IV, 1 Jul30 Nov 71)

175. Letter From President Nixon to Pakistani President Yahyal

Washington, October 30, 1971.

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your letters of October 6 and October 92 concerning the dangers to peace in South Asia. I am grateful to you for conveying your concerns to me and for the confidence and friendship in which your letters were written. The Vice President has conveyed your good wishes from Persepolis.

We share most deeply many of the concerns you have expressed. I am keenly aware of the continuing difficulties you face and know how much the threat of war adds to the burdens you already bear. I


Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 759, Presidential Correspondence File, Pakistan (1971). No classification marking. The text of the letter was transmitted to Islamabad on October 31 in telegram 198807 for delivery to President Yahya. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 US/NIXON)

2 See Documents 161 and 169.

have asked Ambassador Farland to discuss with you as a concerned friend further steps that might be taken to reduce tension.

Because of our concern for peace, we have requested both your government and the government of India to consider withdrawal of forces along your respective borders as an action that would contribute to restoring mutual confidence and reducing the risks of war. We appreciate your prompt and positive response to this proposal. We hope that both your government and that of Mrs. Gandhi will keep this possibility under serious consideration in the days ahead. Your strong desire to avoid hostilities is most encouraging.

Nonetheless, there are still serious risks in the present situation and hostilities could still erupt inadvertently. Such hostilities could easily escalate with a much wider conflict with tragic consequences for the entire South Asian subcontinent. We therefore share your view that the United Nations has a serious responsibility in this situation to act in ways that will help reduce tensions and begin the difficult task of building a lasting peace in that area.

For those reasons we have welcomed the initiatives taken by the United Nations in recent months, both those designed to reduce the risk of conflict and those in the field of humanitarian relief. I know of the Secretary General's very recent letter to you and Mrs. Gandhi, and I welcome the tenor of your response to that letter. We intend to be in close touch with the Secretary General, with your government, and with the government of India to consider ways in which these initiatives might be followed through.

Meanwhile, I have asked Ambassador Farland to talk with you about what might be a feasible next step toward beginning the withdrawal of forces from their dangerous border positions. I know the importance you attach to enlisting the maximum degree of participation by the elected representatives of the people of East Pakistan. I also believe you agree that this process is essential to restoring those conditions in the Eastern wing of your country which will end the flow of refugees into India and achieve a viable political accommodation among all the people of Pakistan.



See footnote 2, Document 171.

On October 26 the press in Pakistan printed the text of Yahya's October 25 letter to U Thant welcoming his offer to mediate in the dispute between India and Pakistan. (Telegram 10700 from Islamabad, October 26; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL INDIA-PAK)

We have recently said farewell to Ambassador Hilaly who has completed more than five years of dedicated service to the cause of friendship between our two countries. I want you to know how much we have appreciated his wise counsel and understanding and how much I have enjoyed my relationship with him.


Richard Nixon

176. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in


Washington, October 30, 1971, 0056Z.

198660. Subject: Indo-Pak Confrontation. For Ambassador Farland. Deliver 8 a.m. October 30.

1. You should seek earliest possible appointment with Yahya to deliver President's letter? (septel) and to elicit response from Yahya to presentation below to be available here if at all possible before Mrs. Gandhi's arrival November 4. Overall objective of your talk is elicit maximum Pakistani package which can be used during talks with Mrs. Gandhi here in urging Indian restraint and reciprocal de-escalation.

2. You should emphasize at the outset that you are speaking as a concerned friend in a desire to be helpful and make most of the Gandhi visit in the context of common desire to preserve peace and to follow through with orderly political process. We need a Pakistani position that is as forthcoming and defensible as possible.

3. Presentation outlined below covers two subjects: (a) military pullback and (b) next steps in Yahya's political process. Question for Yahya is how he mixes variety of political and military moves open to him. US not the party to make that judgment. Approach described below designed strictly to help Yahya canvass options open to him.


Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL INDIA-PAK. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Laingen and Constable on October 29; cleared by Schneider, Van Hollen, Sisco, and Saunders; and approved by Irwin. Repeated to London, Moscow, New Delhi, Paris, Tehran, USUN, Calcutta, and Dacca. A note for the record, attached by Saunders on October 29 to a draft of the telegram, indicates that Kissinger revised and cleared it. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 626, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. VII, Sep Oct 1971)

2 Document 175.


4. On military pullback, we now have response from both GOP and GOI to our proposal for mutual withdrawal of forces. Despite largely negative and now public nature of Indian response and some disadvantages in Yahya's going public with a proposal to which he has added his own conditions, we have achieved reaffirmation by both of their intention not to initiate hostilities and each has expressed a willingness to consider withdrawal in context some action by the other.

5. We believe our next step should be to advise Yahya directly of what we have heard from Indians and probe whether he prepared consider action unilaterally that might serve as means of triggering some response from Indians and thus be start of self-generating series of steps. We should also note Yahya's positive response to U Thant (Islamabad 10700) and particularly reference to pullback to "mutually agreed safe distance." Promise of such a step would be useful here in talking with Mrs. Gandhi. At a minimum, a unilateral beginning of this kind could put pressure and onus on India to take a reciprocal step.

6. While we recognize difficulty for GOP of unilateral actions in present crisis (para. 5 Islamabad 10479), it seems to us that Pakistan has most to gain from any reduction present military confrontation and that some risk, therefore, may be worth taking. Is such a pullback possible without diminishing significantly precautionary moves already made by GOP? In this connection, it is our understanding (on basis DIA information) that GOP was first to undertake major movement of forces when in mid-Sept. it deployed Sixth and Seventeenth divisions from Kharian cantonment to Sialkot border area. Indian reaction occurred in early October with movement of several divisions opposite Pakistan forces at Sialkot.

7. In this context, you should broach with Yahya whether some initiative by Pakistan along western border involving visible pullback of some specified force would be feasible and could be signaled by local commander to his opposite number by means that may be open to him. We leave it to you with DATT advice what specific examples you might cite, but pullback of elements Sixth and Seventeenth divisions noted above would be one possibility, particularly in light Yahya's comments to Chargé Sober in Karachi 20285 suggesting forces from Kharian and other cantonments as types that might move back from border if there were reciprocal move on Indian side. Alternatively, you should raise with Yahya possibility more limited withdrawal of forces (of kind spoken of in his letter to U Thant) in specified sectors of dis

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See footnote 4, Document 175.

Dated October 18. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL INDIA-PAK)

Document 165.


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