« PreviousContinue »
2. The Foreign Minister replied that the information to which I referred was "absolutely incorrect." Foreign Secretary Kaul referred me to the reports of Frank Moraes in the Indian Express as well as to those of British and American journalists regarding the organization and training of the liberation forces inside East Pakistan. Kaul said the refugees were in no state to fight. They were hungry, sick and at times almost naked.
3. Foreign Secretary Kaul insisted that the GOI had prevented the organizing of volunteers to fight in East Pakistan. They had not retaliated against fighting that had occurred on Indian territory or the more recent strafing of Agartala Airport by Pakistan air force planes.
4. Foreign Minister Swaran Singh said he had a very uncomfortable feeling that without making a careful assessment of what had actually transpired in East Pakistan an attempt was now being made by people who were close to Pakistan to allege that India's actions were politically motivated against Pakistan. The Foreign Minister said, “I stoutly refute these allegations." He went on, as he put it, to "make a special request to you" that the U.S. Government should be the last to put India on the defensive in a situation like this. He expressed concern if this was the type of international recognition that India would get for all the restraint that they had shown. Foreign Secretary Kaul commented that we were politicizing our relief.
5. The Foreign Minister said he felt extremely unhappy that there should be any such feeling. He said in a very basic way, the sense of justice of the international community would be shaken. Whether India received help or not was a relatively minor matter. If the international community was prepared to come to India's assistance they would be most welcome.
6. At this point the Foreign Minister referred to J.P. Narayan, who has historically been the principal exponent of Indo-Pak reconciliation and who has now publicly condemned developments in East Pakistan. He said these were factors which should not be lightly ignored.
7. I told the Foreign Minister that I thought he was misstating some of my remarks. I was conscious of the situation which he faced and that I would prefer to leave the matter at that.
8. Later on in the conversation, Foreign Secretary Kaul asserted that the GOI did not wish to provoke war with Pakistan. The Pakistanis, on the other hand, were now deliberately killing Hindus in East Pakistan in order to provoke India. The GOI had suppressed this news.
9. In closing, I told the Foreign Minister that I was pleased with the increased consultation that had been going on between the Ministry
4 Jayaprakash Narayan, senior member of the Congress Party.
of External Affairs and the Embassy on a wide range of issues of mutual interest. I told him I would like to see this continued in even greater depth. The Foreign Minister said he was happy to hear this from me. He said he had already had a report from Ambassador Jha following his conveying the suggested dates for our next round of bilateral talks. The Foreign Minister said it had been his desire that relations with my country should be as close or closer than those with any other country in the world. That, he said, was the policy of his government. It was their desire that a close exchange of views take place. The GOI was anxious that our relations be one of mutual confidence and understanding.
10. The Foreign Minister said that the GOI was "not keen for leadership in the area" but they were prepared to face their responsibilities and they appreciated the increased understanding of the USG in this regard.
11. The Foreign Minister then referred to my pre-election article in which I stated that America's candidate was not any one political party but rather the Republic of India and he said that my candidate had won and that he wanted to congratulate me on that.
12. Referring to the suggested dates of our bilateral talks the Foreign Minister explained that by September 1 parliament would no longer be in session. The United Nations General Assembly was scheduled to resume about September 17 or 18. He said he wanted a clear ten days before that time to prepare himself. It was these factors that had influenced him. He said he also understood that the USG was in the process of making a reassessment of its policy in this area and he realized we would want to have our reassessment completed before undertaking bilateral talks.
5 The annual bilateral talks to review relations between the United States and India had initially been scheduled for January 27-28. The talks were postponed several times, most recently in a meeting on April 19 between Ambassador Jha and Under Secretary Irwin. (Telegrams 209080 and 66318 to New Delhi, December 17, 1970, and April 20, 1971, respectively; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, ORG 7 U and POL INDIA-US)
Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National
Washington, May 7, 1971.
Letter to President Yahya
In response to the suggestion in the Acting Secretary of State's memorandum of April 27 that the President review the substance of the paper prepared on Pakistan for the Senior Review Group, the President has reviewed the options and approved the attached letter3 to President Yahya.
As a result of this review, he has decided that our posture should be one of making a serious effort to help President Yahya bring an end to civil strife and achieve a peaceful settlement of the political problems which triggered it. While adjustments in some of our programs will be necessitated by the situation, these will be for development reasons only and not as a facade for application of political pressure. He recognizes that the only long-term prospect of restoring normal life in East Pakistan may be under conditions of greater East Pakistani autonomy, but he would prefer to see West Pakistanis reach that conclusion, if it is valid, for themselves. The U.S. position for now, therefore, will be to give President Yahya time to follow through his efforts to work out his own arrangements transitional to greater East Pakistani cooperation or autonomy.
The President also requested that the foregoing guidance be passed by the Department of State to Ambassador Farland in a restricted channel.
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 759, Presidential Correspondence File, Pakistan (1971). Secret; Nodis. Copies were sent to the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Under Secretary Irwin was Acting Secretary of State while Secretary Rogers was on a 2-week trip beginning April 26 to attend a SEATO meeting in London and a CENTO meeting in Ankara.
2 Irwin's April 27 memorandum to Nixon is ibid., Box 625, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. IV, 1 Mar-15 May 1971. For a reference to the paper on Pakistan that Irwin called to the President's attention, see footnote 3, Document 28.
3 Document 41. A draft of this letter was attached to Irwin's memorandum to the President.
* Haig signed for Kissinger above Kissinger's typed signature.
Letter From President Nixon to Pakistani President Yahya1
Washington, May 7, 1971.
Dear Mr. President:
I have given most serious thought to your message2 on the tragic situation which has developed in East Pakistan in the past few weeks. This situation has been of great concern to me.
Having labored so hard to carry out free national elections and to achieve an early and orderly transition, you must also be deeply disappointed not to have been able to transfer power to a civilian government according to the plan you had adopted and which you explained to me during your visit here last fall.
First, I should like to emphasize the sympathy which we in the United States feel for all the people of Pakistan who have been affected by these events and our concern over the loss of life and human suffering. I understand the anguish you must have felt in making the difficult decisions you have faced.
We also share your distress over the economic losses which have occurred and the serious resulting problems with which your Government has been faced. As you know, some of the Americans who were affected by the cessation of economic activity have had to leave East Pakistan because they were no longer able to perform their usual work. Because of the uncertainties, some of our programs are in abeyance.
We look forward to an early renewal of your national development effort and of normal economic activity throughout Pakistan. We especially hope for the restoration of internal communications in East Pakistan to forestall food shortages, and we are prepared to support international humanitarian relief there.
As you are probably aware, some opposition has been expressed among our public and in our Congress to continuing economic and military assistance to Pakistan under present circumstances. This was due largely to the circumstances of civil strife which will hopefully continue to subside. Further, it is to no one's advantage to permit the situation in East Pakistan to lead to an internationalization of the situation. Foreign involvement could create new problems and compound the difficulty of securing an ultimate settlement. We have been in touch with the Government of India and have discussed the implications of the present situation. We have stressed the need for restraint.
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 759, Presidential Correspondence File, Pakistan (1971). No classification marking.
2 Document 29.
Please let me know if there are any ways in which you believe that we can be helpful to the achievement of a satisfactory settlement. I would hope Ambassador Farland may have an early opportunity to discuss these matters with you and your colleagues.
With warm personal regards,
Memorandum of Conversation1
Palm Springs, California, May 7, 1971, 2:50-5:45 p.m.
Joseph S. Farland, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan
Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
After an exchange of pleasantries, Ambassador Farland stated that the State Department had accepted his cover story without question. Mr. Kissinger expressed appreciation for the cables sent by Ambassador Farland, and for his loyalty over the past weeks.
Mr. Kissinger then stated that McNamara3 was preparing to submit a devastating report concluding that it would take $250 million to give Pakistan breathing room; he then asked Ambassador Farland whether it is, in fact, possible to provide breathing room, and whether $250 million is a realistic estimate of the support required. Ambassador Farland replied that although he thought it would be possible, there are some real problems to contend with:
-Ambassador Keating seems to have gone berserk; he has violated security and appears determined to break Pakistan. For example, he recently called in a New York Times reporter and, although he did
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 138, Kissinger Office Files, Country Files, Middle East, Farland, Amb. (Pakistan). Top Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. The meeting took place at the home of Theodore Cummings.
2 According to a May 4 memorandum from Haig to Nixon, the meeting between Kissinger and Farland was arranged as a "covert meeting" on Nixon's instructions. Farland accordingly "arranged a personal pretext" for an urgent visit to California. (Ibid.) 3 Robert McNamara, president of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank).