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specifics; however, current conditions now require USG be informed of specific determinations of GOP. Consequently, Yahya said that, when he received my call, he was in the process of instituting a request for me to come to see him this morning.

7. Also, he advised me that he had attempted to call Governor Malik this morning but the communication system was largely inoperative and no satisfactory conversation was concluded. He added that his call to Malik was predicated upon a communication from the Governor which he had received yesterday and which now prompted his (Yahya's) current evaluation and thinking. He read and then, at my request, gave me a copy of Governor Malik's report, asking that I send it to the Department. It is being dispatched separately by reftel Islamabad 12538.

8. Because of his now firm decision that the military situation in East Pakistan was chaotic and irretrievable and that, for over-riding humanitarian considerations, he had decided to give Vice Prime Minister-designate and Foreign Minister-designate Zulfikar A. Bhutto the widest possible latitude in his approach to the United Nations to effect a ceasefire and troop withdrawal. Yahya went on to say that the Foreign Office had prepared and processed a communication to him spelling out his commission in detail. Yahya added that Bhutto would get in touch with Ambassador Bush at the USUN and would convey to him the substance of the reported message. At this juncture I asked Yahya if he would care to elaborate at this time upon Bhutto's commission. Yahya replied that the communication to Bhutto was couched in Foreign Office jargon but what it said in brief was “do the best you can under the circumstances."

9. Yahya concluded the conversation by telling me that he would advise Governor Malik of our meeting and of his decision to give Bhutto widest discretion. Also, he said he would be sending military instructions to General Niazi to continue moderate defensive activities during present diplomatic maneuvering, but with every effort being made to reduce loss of life.


302. Telegram From the President's Assistant for National

Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the President's Deputy
Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)

Lajes, Azores, December 14, 1971.

1. Here are my present thoughts on India-Pakistan.

2. We should move a ceasefire resolution soonest. It would be best if British resolution were introduced. But the Italian? would serve as a vehicle as well. The major objective should be to get a cease-fire resolution with vague political formula not mentioning Bangla Desh or East Pakistan. In this round we must make a record and get asked by Paks to do the political yielding. Make sure Paks keep Chinese informed and abroad. Put it hard to Vorontsov that vague formula is the bridge to our common objective on political side. It is imperative that they show good faith and stop stalling if they want serious dealing with White House.

3. Spivack is to stay away from Bangla Desh. See you soon.

4. Re Delhi 19203, Keating is to give no such assurances. Many thanks.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 432, Backchannel Files, Backchannels To/From HAK. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only; Flash. The telegram is not numbered; it was received in the White House at 11: 51 a.m. A draft, found in another file, indicates it was transmitted at 1637Z. (Ibid., NSC iles, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan)

2 The texts of the Italian and British draft resolutions were transmitted to Kissinger on December 14 in White House telegrams WH 11159 and WH 11176, respectively. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 432, Backchannel Files, Backchannels To/From HAK) The differences between the two resolutions were summarized by Saunders in a December 15 memorandum to Kissinger as follows:

"The British is a simple ceasefire on all fronts. The Italian still provides, in addition, for 'disengagement leading to the withdrawal of all their respective armed forces from the areas of conflict.'

“The British tries to say enough about a political settlement to hint that it could be what the Indians want. The Italian provides for direct negotiations between the West and East Pakistanis without pre-conditions and could save some Pakistani dignity.

“The British sets up a UN special representative to help sort out political and humanitarian problems. The Italian leaves it to the locals.” On balance, Saunders felt that the Italian resolution was preferable from the U.S. perspective. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 573, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/14/71-12/16/71)

3 In telegram 19203 from New Delhi, December 14, Ambassador Keating reported that rumors of possible U.S. involvement the Indo-Pak war were circulating in India. He asked for authorization to offer assurances that the United States did not intend to support Pakistan with U.S. arms or equipment. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

303. Memorandum for the Record

Washington, December 14, 1971.


Meeting with Minister Vorontsov on Tuesday, December 14, 1971

At 12:22 p.m., I summoned Minister Vorontsov to the White House in connection with the crisis in South Asia. He arrived at 12:40 p.m., and I covered the following points:

-I noted that Dr. Kissinger and the President had received and carefully considered the message? delivered by Minister Vorontsov from the Soviet leadership which was delivered by Mr. Vorontsov at 3:00 a.m. this morning.

-Dr. Kissinger and the President were somewhat concerned that the Soviet note was vague and imprecise in several major respects. The most important of these was the reference to India's plans not to seize West Pakistani territory. I stated that this issue was one of the utmost importance to the United States Government and that it was our assumption that the message meant precisely what it said; i.e., that there would be absolutely no change in the existing territorial lines between Pakistan and India—in other words, that there would be a precise return to the status quo ante with respect to Pakistan's and India's territories. Mr. Vorontsov stated that it was his personal understanding that this represented precisely the Soviet view.

-I pointed out that I would be less than frank were I not to emphasize the fact that the U.S. side was greatly concerned by the amount of time it took the Soviet Union to respond in detail on this issue following Mr. Vorontsov's initial message of Sunday morning (December 12). I made the point that delays of this kind in times of crisis can only contribute to misunderstanding and a breakdown in confidence between the two governments. It can also result in the initiation of unilateral action by one party or the other which could further aggravate the situation.

- In this instance, it was hard for the United States side to understand, especially after reading the contents of the Soviet reply, what the cause might have been for the extensive delay, other than a Soviet


Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 8. Top Secret; Sensitive.

Document 295.
Document 284.



desire to permit the situation on the ground rather than mutual consultation decide the issue.

-I emphasized that Mr. Vorontsov knew that conflicting interests involved in this situation were such that any acceptable formula which would promptly bring the fighting to a halt must be sufficiently vague so that all interested parties could support the formula. This would mean that the United States for its part would seek to insure that reference to political settlement be purposely vague and at the same time the United States Government would wish to urge good faith on the part of the Soviets that we had every intention of abiding by the principles outlined in the messages from President Nixon to the Soviet leadership as well as the discussions between Dr. Kissinger and Mr. Vorontsov. -For our part, we intend to seek a formula for negotiation under

a the assumption that the assurances given by the Soviet leadership will be strictly adhered to by the Soviet Union.

-At this juncture and on the eve of most important discussions between the two Governments, it is the U.S. view that the Soviet Union must now move promptly to bring a halt to the fighting. If we are to experience the kind of delays from the Soviet side which have characterized their performance since the start of this crisis, it cannot have but the most serious impact on the relationships between the Government of the Soviet Union and the United States on the full range of issues which we are now discussing in other forums, both bilateral and multilateral.

After making the above points, Mr. Vorontsov asked if General Haig's statements represented the views of the President, Dr. Kissinger or General Haig. General Haig stated that these views were conveyed to him by Dr. Kissinger and that they are totally consistent with the President's personal views on the situation.

Alexander M. Haig, Jr. Brigadier General, U.S. Army Deputy Assistant to the President

for National Security Affairs 304. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in


Washington, December 14, 1971, 1848Z.

224566. Subj: Carrier Deployment in Indian Ocean.

1. Indian Ambassador Jha called at his request on Assistant Secretary Sisco to express GOI concern over reported US deployment of nuclear carrier in Indian Ocean for evacuation purposes. Ambassador accompanied by First Secretary Verma; Van Hollen, Schneider and Quainton present from NEA.

2. Jha said he wished to raise subject which has arisen out of his talks with Under Secretary Irwin. Under Secretary had, he said, informed him that helicopters had been pre-positioned in Thailand for evacuation purposes. Impression which he had received was that they were in Bangkok. However, subsequent reports indicate that helicopters were on nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, equipped with “all kinds of devices and gadgets." In earlier conversations Jha said he had tried to make clear that GOI anxious to help in evacuation of foreign personnel and had made every facility available for that purpose. GOI is as anxious as before to insure safety of personnel in Dacca or their evacuation if necessary. In view of aircraft carrier report, GOI had instructed him to seek assurance from USG that there will be no evacuation operation without prior agreement with GOI or by force.

3. Sisco said he would report what Jha had said, but had nothing to add to December 13 statement by Secretary Laird re aircraft carrier. He said he would be back in touch if he had anything to add.

4. Jha said he had also a report from New Delhi that USG had some plan or intention to establish a beachhead in some part of Bangla Desh for evacuation of US personnel or to facilitate transfer of Pakistani personnel to West Pakistan. Any such attempt would be a very serious matter and would endanger long-term Indo-US relations. It


Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 578, IndoPak War, India Chronology, Dr Kissinger. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Quainton, cleared by Van Hollen, and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Islamabad, London, Calcutta, Dacca, USUN, CINCPAC, and CINCSTRIKE.

2 Laird was asked in a press conference at the Pentagon on December 13 to comment on reports that the aircraft carrier Enterprise had been ordered to sail to the Indian Ocean. Laird responded that he made it a practice not to comment on operational orders, but he noted that the government had contingency plans to deal with situations involving evacuation and he implied that the movement of the carrier was connected with those plans. (Public Statements of Secretary of Defense Laird, 1971, vol. VI, pp. 2262–2274)

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