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use the problem of the displaced persons, as an instrument of pressure on Pakistan to impose a political government of Indian choice in East Pakistan. No government could yield to such blackmail.
As I have repeatedly stressed, war would solve nothing and we do not want a conflict with India. It remains our earnest hope that India will not resort to a conflict. The danger is that through constant repetition of threats, Indian leaders may succeed in creating an atmosphere and mood in their country which could inevitably lead to a conflict. In recent days the Indian army has indulged in numerous aggressive activities from across the border and there are confirmed reports of increasing concentration of Indian forces. There have also been reports by neutral observers of establishment of camps in India to train saboteurs to infiltrate into East Pakistan.
Your Excellency, it is in this serious situation and in the interest of preserving peace, that I would request you to use your influence with India to persuade her to desist from actions, which could lead not only to a breach of peace but as a result of that, to unforeseen consequences which could affect the world community.
Your personal interest in the maintenance of peace in the subcontinent and in the security and progress of Pakistan is a very important factor to which I attach great importance. Now, when considerable progress has been made on our side for receiving back displaced persons, I find that Mrs. Gandhi is unfortunately not willing to permit them to return to Pakistan, except in circumstances of her own choosing. I am confident that your advice to her, not to compound our difficulties, will make a profound difference to the prevailing situation. I have also made a commitment to announce my political plans for the country on 28th June. But unless India is restrained, my efforts would be seriously affected.3
With my warm personal regards,
A.M. Yahya Khan
3 Henry Kissinger summarized this letter in a July 2 memorandum to President Nixon. He felt that the letter was intended to make certain that Pakistan's "side of the story" was being heard in Washington in the wake of Foreign Minister Singh's visit. He concluded of the letter that: “Like the Indian presentation, it is a brief for a position, and the truth probably lies somewhere between the two." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 759, Presidential Correspondence File, Pakistan, (1971))
77. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan1
Washington, June 22, 1971, 0029Z.
110978. Subject: Communication concerning recognition of Bangladesh.
1. Department has received document dated "Mujibnagar", April 24, 1971, addressed to President. Document requests immediate USG recognition of "sovereign independent People's Republic of Bangladesh" and establishment of diplomatic relations between USG and Bangladesh Government which it says "exercising full sovereignty and lawful authority within the territories known as East Pakistan prior to March 26, 1971." Document signed by Syed Nazrul Islam, "Acting President," and Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed, "Foreign Minister." Also attached are "Proclamation of Independence" dated April 10, 1971, proclamation by "Acting President" Islam continuing East Pakistan laws in force in "Bangladesh", and purported cabinet of Bangladesh Government including "President" Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Document mailed regular international air mail from West Berlin, postmarked May 26, 1971 with no return address.
2. Method of transmittal naturally raises question, but if document genuine (and we have no reason to think it is not) it is first formal request from officials of Bangladesh movement for USG recognition and has sensitive political implications. US of course continues to consider East Pakistan part of State of Pakistan which we recognize, and to counsel GOP with whom we maintain diplomatic relations to develop political solution to present troubles. Document, however, makes it difficult for us to continue to take public line that we have never received any request for recognition of State of Bangladesh.
3. Department is taking following actions: (a) no acknowledgement will be made of document; (b) document will be recorded by Records Services Division, OPR/RS, which routinely logs all communications received in Department; this step involves no determination of nature of communication by Department; (c) NEA/PAF will retain document routinely in office files; (d) we will continue to say "We consider the territory of East Pakistan to be part of the State of Pakistan";
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15 PAK. Confidential; Limdis. Drafted by G. Jonathan Greenwald (L/NEA) on June 17; cleared by Spengler, Deputy Legal Adviser J. Edward Lyerly, and Donald J. Simon (A/OPR/RS); and approved by Van Hollen. Repeated to New Delhi, Calcutta, Dacca, and Karachi.
2 Not found.
(e) if we are asked whether we have ever received a request to recognize Bangladesh, we would answer: "We have received through international air mail a letter mailed from Berlin without return address which purported to ask for recognition of the 'People's Republic of Bangladesh'. It would be inappropriate for us to take any action with respect to it since we consider the territory of East Pakistan to be part of the State of Pakistan."
Memorandum From the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon1
Washington, June 25, 1971.
Military Supply for Pakistan
Attached is a study covering a recommendation from Secretary Rogers2 that all shipments of military equipment be temporarily suspended until it can be determined what remains in the pipeline. This recommendation is in reaction to press stories and Congressional criticism of shipments that have left the US in recent days.3 One more ship is known to be loading.
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 574, Indo-Pak War, South Asian Military Supply, March 25–August 26, 1971. Secret. Sent for action. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
2 A June 23 memorandum from Rogers to Nixon was attached but not printed. 3 On June 22 The New York Times reported that two Pakistani freighters were preparing to sail from New York with cargos of military equipment for Pakistan. Ambassador Jha called on Under Secretary Irwin on the same day to warn that if the report were true, the shipment of arms to Pakistan would have an unfortunate impact upon relations between the United States and India. Irwin replied that no export licenses for military equipment had been issued since March 25. He speculated that the ships carried arms and munitions authorized before March 25. (Telegram 112954 to New Delhi, June 24; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 12-5 PAK) The Embassy in New Delhi reported on June 23 that news of the arms shipments had come to Foreign Minister Singh as a “shock and surprise” after his trip to Washington. (Telegram 9984 from New Delhi; ibid.) News of the arms shipments prompted angry scenes in both houses of the Indian parliament. (Telegram 10110 from New Delhi, June 25; ibid.) On June 27 the Indian Embassy delivered a note to the Department of State formally protesting the shipments and urging that steps be taken to prevent the shipments from reaching Pakistan. (Telegram 10211 to New Delhi, June 27; ibid.)
The Secretary poses three options:
1. Continue present policy. This would retain under administrative hold those items still under US Government control but would allow to continue shipments of items which have already passed to Pakistani control or which were licensed before the outbreak of fighting in East Pakistan.
2. Suspend further export of all military items. This would, in effect, be a formal embargo, and no one urges this now.
3. Suspend all shipments temporarily while we review items still in the pipeline. The purpose would be to screen out those items which could have military significance in East Pakistan or cause trouble on the Hill.
Secretary Rogers recommends Option 3. The attached study recommends Option 1-continuing present policy-with an urgent study of what is in the pipeline and an accurate explanation to the Congress of what our policy is.
The rationale for this recommendation is that a temporary suspension would convey the wrong political signal to the Pakistanis-it would look like an embargo. Also, temporary suspensions have a way of becoming permanent, and we could become locked into a full embargo. Approving this recommendation would require meeting critics head-on with the argument that a total suspension would be counterproductive in our effort to work with Pakistan in helping to resolve the present problem. The recommendation is spelled out on the last pages of the attached.
Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National
Military Supply for Pakistan
A relatively low point in scheduled military equipment shipments to Pakistan has, by coincidence, helped keep military assistance from becoming a pressing issue between us and the Pakistanis since the outbreak of fighting in East Pakistan March 25. Knowing the sensitivity of this issue in the Congress, the Pakistanis seem to have chosen not to press it.
* Secret; Exdis. Sent for action. The attachment is dated by hand and is not signed.
On the US side, we have deliberately avoided imposing the kind of formal embargo that was declared during the 1965 India-Pakistan war. What has been done is to establish a series of internal Executive Branch controls that permitted us to hold any dramatic shipments without putting ourselves in the box of a publicly proclaimed embargo which would be difficult to reverse. The WSAG felt that close control was warranted in view of the strong public and Congressional outcry here in reaction to the reports of killing in East Pakistan. It was thought that the appearance of insensitivity could result in restrictions to the Foreign Assistance Act that could have prevented our being helpful, if possible, with economic aid, which is more important than our military sales.
Under these in-house measures:
-No Foreign Military Sales items from US stocks under direct Defense Department control have been released since early April.
-No new licenses for Munitions List items have been issued since early April, either under the Foreign Military Sales program or for export through commercial channels.
-No action under the one-time exception (300 APCs and about 20 aircraft) approved last fall was scheduled for this period and it is in suspense.
But shipments in the following categories have not been held: -Items under the Foreign Military Sales program which had been turned over to the Pakistanis in the US prior to early April. The Pakistanis normally make their own shipping arrangements for items like these under their control.
-Items under the Foreign Military Sales program which Defense Department had contracted out to commercial suppliers before early April.
-Items purchased by Pakistan through normal commercial channels for which licenses had been issued prior to early April. These licenses are valid for one year.
The rationale for this approach was that (a) an in-house hold could be made to appear to the Pakistanis for a time as simple administrative sluggishness while (b) an effort to reach out into the commercial market or to stop export at Customs would have the appearance of an embargo. Since we wanted to avoid the political signal which an embargo would convey, it was decided not to try to control any items which had already passed beyond US Government control.
Now opponents of the military assistance and sales policy who have been particularly upset by the reports of brutality from East Pakistan (e.g. Senators Church, Kennedy and Mondale) have attacked a policy that allows any military items at all to be shipped to Pakistan.