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powers for the Center and "maximum" autonomy for the provinces. The new element would be a modified version of martial law to serve as a protective cover for the new government for an unspecified period.
Pakistan's new political leaders would not include any representatives of the outlawed Awami League of East Pakistan under that party label. While reiterating the illegal status of the League, Yahya announced that Awami League members-elect of the national and provincial assemblies who had not disqualified themselves by secessionist activities would be eligible to participate in those bodies. Those Awami Leaguers who had disqualified themselves would be replaced through by-elections to take place this fall.2
In a strongly worded economic section of his address, Yahya called for national austerity and asserted that Pakistan would do without foreign aid rather than submit to political pressure to obtain it. At the same time, he thanked unnamed friendly foreign countries which had shown sympathy and understanding of the problems his government had been facing and trying to resolve and which had "given complete support to the action taken by the Government to maintain the unity and integrity of Pakistan." He noted that such countries had warned others (i.e., India) against interfering in Pakistan's internal affairs.
Yahya's formulation for a political accommodation is highly conditional and its time-frame is imprecise. Its disqualification of many of the 440 Awami League members-elect and its probable unacceptability to most of the others means that most of those seats would have to be filled through by-elections in East Pakistan. A new political campaign in the East Wing will require adroit handling if existing tensions are to be reduced and a viable political settlement achieved. It is doubtful that promises of maximum provincial autonomy will be enough to satisfy the Bengalis, who have in effect again been reminded that their earlier electoral decisions are not acceptable to the West Pakistan establishment. Thus genuine political accommodation remains the crux of Pakistan's internal crisis and Yahya's speech offers little basis for optimism over his chances of early success under the terms and conditions he has prescribed.
2 Sisco added a handwritten marginal comment at this point that reads: "Banning Awami League makes political accommodation almost impossible."
85. Letter From President Nixon to Pakistani President Yahya1
Dear Mr. President:
Washington, July 1, 1971.
Thank you for your two recent messages2 expressing your concern over indications of a mounting threat to peace in the sub-continent and stressing the importance of clarifying the stance of Aid-to-Pakistan Consortium countries toward future economic assistance to Pakistan.
I am very pleased that Dr. Kissinger will have an opportunity to discuss with you in Islamabad3 a number of questions that concern us both. He will deliver to you this letter responding to both of your recent messages.
Your message of June 18 conveying your apprehension of a growing threat to the peace of your region of the world has received my most serious consideration. This trend is of grave concern to all friends of Pakistan and India alike, and I sincerely trust that any such development can be averted through the exercise of good will and the forebearance by all concerned.
As you know, Foreign Minister Singh recently visited this country. He reflected deep concern over the rising refugee problem India faces and the burden which this problem is placing on the Indian economy and people. It remains our earnest hope that you and your government will succeed in your efforts to enable these refugees to return to their homes. For our part, we continue to urge the Government of India to exercise restraint, as we have in our discussions with you.
Your several recent statements welcoming the return to East Pakistan of all the refugees irrespective of caste, creed or religion and promising them full protection provide a necessary foundation along with the steps you have taken to facilitate their return and rehabilitation. We recognize, too, the significance of your initiative in seeking the assistance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Your address to your countrymen on June 284 setting forth the framework
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 759, Presidential Correspondence File, Pakistan (1971). No classification marking.
2 Documents 76 and 82.
3 Kissinger left Washington on July 2 for what was publicly described as a factfinding trip to South Vietnam, Thailand, India, and Pakistan. The trip included a secret visit to China, undertaken during Kissinger's stop in Pakistan with the collaboration of Yahya Khan. Kissinger returned from Pakistan on July 11. Documentation on the China portion of the trip is in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume XVII, China, 1969-1972. 4 See Document 84.
within which you propose to proceed in restoring constitutional government and returning political power to the elected representatives of your people is also an important step.
The misunderstanding that has arisen over the meeting of the Aidto-Pakistan Consortium in Paris on June 21 is regrettable, and the anxiety which it has caused in your country understandable. I sympathize with the statement you made in your address of June 28 disapproving of foreign aid if political strings are attached.
The Consortium meeting was an informal one. No decisions with respect to economic aid to Pakistan were sought, and none were reached. Furthermore, a common position was not developed whereby all members of the Consortium would jointly suspend future aid or withhold already committed assistance. The Consortium members are now awaiting the final reports of the World Bank and Fund Missions and also the completion by your government of a revised national development plan. As soon as resumption of national development programs is possible, we expect that a formal meeting of the Consortium, with Pakistani participation, will be called to review new aid requirements.
We wish to proceed with new agreements, subject to U.S. legislative criteria, as soon as adequate grounds are established for a resumption of economic development throughout Pakistan. In the meantime, we are extending new humanitarian relief aid to East Pakistan within the framework of the UN-coordinated program, and are urging others to contribute as well.
Please continue to let me know of any ways in which you feel we can help promote our common interests in safeguarding the peace of your region and the welfare of its people.
With personal regards,
86. Letter From President Nixon to Indian Prime Minister
Dear Madame Prime Minister:
Washington, July 1, 1971.
Dr. Kissinger is visiting New Delhi to discuss United States relations with India and in particular to seek your views on the problem caused by the movement of millions of refugees from East Pakistan into India. As I told your Foreign Minister when I talked with him in the White House on June 16, we are concerned about this problem not only because of its humanitarian aspects, but more importantly because it is a major international issue with implications for all of us. It is because of these implications and our concern for the peace and well being of Asia that we must all devote so much attention to encouraging progress toward a solution.
I hope that the assistance which we have been able to provide in support of the refugees and which has been discussed with your Foreign Minister will help to meet your most pressing immediate needs.
With regard to the need for actions which will make possible a reversal of the refugee flow, we have continued to emphasize that a return to peace and security in East Pakistan and a viable political settlement are crucial to restoration of a more stable situation in South Asia. Dr. Kissinger will also be talking to President Yahya about this subject and will be delivering a personal message from me. I think there has been some forward movement in this regard over the past several weeks, but there is a need for more.
It is hoped that the recent difficulties over the delivery of arms ordered by Pakistan prior to March 25 will not prevent us from working together to achieve the objectives of peace and prosperity in South Asia, which are in the United States' interest as well as in India's. I understand the nature of your Government's concern. You can appreciate the essentially restrictive nature of the interim actions we have taken since the civil strife began in East Pakistan. The United States must maintain a constructive relationship with Pakistan so that we may retain some influence in working with them toward important decisions to be made in that country, as we have in the past.
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 755, Presidential Correspondence File, India (1971). No classification marking.
It was a great pleasure for me to have had the opportunity to discuss these issues with your Foreign Minister last month. I very much hope that we can continue to have frank exchanges of views on these matters and that you will be entirely candid with Dr. Kissinger in telling him how my government can be of assistance in resolving such complex and difficult problems.
Evening Briefing Notes Prepared for the President's
Washington, July 2, 1971.
Singh Conversation with Kosygin: [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] discussions in early June between Indian Minister of External Affairs Swaran Singh and Chairman Kosygin resulted in a major political development for India. According to [name not declassified], Kosygin pledged support for the Indian guerrilla army operating in East Bengal, and, upon receipt of a formal request from India, the Soviets promised a guarantee of military protection to enable India to resist pressure from Communist China. Soviet policy makers, in [name not declassified] view, assume a divided Pakistan is no longer politically viable, and that an independent East Bengal is inevitable. [name not declassified] believes the Soviets are willing to concede West Pakistan to Chinese influence and to concentrate on backing India and the Bengali independence movement, probably with hopes of securing naval bases in East Bengal and great influence in the Indian Ocean area.
[Omitted here is an assessment of the report prepared by Samuel Hoskinson for Harold Saunders. Hoskinson found the report somewhat surprising but credible. As such, he concluded, it was disturbing: "The most disturbing aspect of the report is that, if Kosygin does come through on the guarantees against China, the Indians will feel much less inhibited about attacking East Pakistan."]
1 Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 210, Geopolitical File, South Asia, Chronological File, Nov 1969-July 1971. No classification marking.