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-Prepare a comprehensive relief program for East Pakistan, including what has already been moved and where the bottlenecks are. -Prepare a telegram, to be approved by the President, outlining an approach to Yahya telling him what needs to be done on refugees, food relief, etc.
-Talk with the British about a joint approach or separate but concurrent approaches to India and Pakistan.
-Talk with the Russians to get a mutual assessment of the situation.
-Develop a contingency plan for a possible Indian-Pakistani war. -Schedule fifteen minutes at the beginning of the next NSC meeting for the President again to express his views on the subject.
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-112, SRG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Secret; Nodis. No drafting information appears on the minutes. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. Another record of the meeting was prepared on August 9 in OASD/ISA by Brigadier General Brett. (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330 76 0197, Box 74, Pakistan 092 (Aug-Dec) 1971) A brief record of the meeting was prepared in the CIA on August 2 by John H. Waller, Chief of the Near East and South Asia Division, Directorate for Plans. (Central Intelligence Agency, O/DDO Files, Job 79-01229A, Box 7, Folder 8, NSC 1971)
Mr. Kissinger: This is a continuation of our meeting last week on this subject.2
Mr. Irwin: Our basic feeling is that we should do something, and we recommend some movement along the lines of the scenario we have prepared. We think we should try further with the Pakistanis to seek some restraint on military activity and persuade them to take steps to reduce the flow of refugees and move toward some form of political accommodation in East Pakistan. We should also try to counsel restraint on India in connection with some of the things [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] they are doing.
Mr. Helms: There are indications that India is doing something in the military field to keep everyone stirred up. We don't think they are preparing for a physical attack, but the indicators keep flashing. This is all designed to keep the pot boiling.
Mr. Irwin: We think we might also talk to the British and the Soviets. We can talk with the British about a joint or separate but concurrent approaches to the two states, and to the Soviets about getting an assessment of the situation.
Mr. Helms: Has anyone given any thought to involving the Shah of Iran in working with Pakistan? [1 line of source text not declassified]. He might be able to help us; at least it's worth considering since we seem to be out of gas with Pakistan.
Mr. Kissinger: We're not out of gas with Yahya. I think he will do a lot of things that are reasonable if we concentrate on the refugee problem. One thing he will not do is talk to the Awami League, at least not as an institution. He might talk to some League leaders as individuals. Mr. Irwin: Ambassador Farland thinks there is a bare possibility that he might talk to the Awami League.
Mr. Van Hollen: Yahya's estimate of how far he might be able to go with the Awami League depends on whether or not he thinks he might be cut down from behind by his military leaders.
Farland thinks it's worth trying to move him a step further. There has been no progress along the lines of the June 28 formula. The flow
2 See Document 105.
An undated "Scenario For Action In Indo-Pakistan Crisis" was drafted on July 29 in NEA/INC by Quainton and circulated to the Senior Review Group. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-058, SRG Meeting, South Asia, 7/30/71) This paper is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 142.
of refugees is continuing, the insurgency is on the increase and there has been no move toward political accommodation. As a result, the Indians are still actively supporting the insurgents and they are facing the prospect of famine in October or November. We have to think of some way of breaking out of this vicious circle.
Mr. Kissinger: What are the Indians after? Do they want a political accommodation or do they want to split off East Pakistan?
Mr. Irwin: It's impossible to know. They would probably prefer to split off East Pakistan, and they are assisted in this objective so long as the refugees are still coming out, the Pakistan army is still active, there is no political accommodation and the country is moving toward famine. We should try to make it more difficult for India, by improving the situation in East Pakistan through reducing the refugee flow, putting a UN presence in East Pakistan, and making a start toward political accommodation. If Pakistan can move in this direction, it may be possible to put pressure on India.
Mr. Kissinger: Is it possible to ask the Pakistan Army to withdraw to its barracks when India is supporting guerrilla activity in the country?
Mr. Irwin: I don't think so, but we might work toward this. If conditions improve, this might be our goal.
Mr. Williams: I wouldn't want to take the Army out of its role of maintaining security. You can take them out of the civil administration, though-out of Government House-without insisting that they return to their barracks.
Mr. Kissinger: Why is it our business to tell the Pakistanis how to run their government? We can appropriately ask them for humanitarian behavior, but can we tell them how to run things?
Mr. Williams: It is not our business as such, but we can tell them what we think as a friend and counselor.
Mr. Kissinger: What would an enemy do to Pakistan? We are already cutting off military and economic aid to them. The President has said repeatedly that we should lean toward Pakistan, but every proposal that is made goes directly counter to these instructions. There are undoubtedly some things Pakistan must do, particularly to stop the refugee flow. They ought to do something to make the refugees come back or make India explain why the refugees are not coming back.
Mr. Irwin: What would they have to do to get the refugees to go back?
Mr. Kissinger: In part, India can control this. At the moment, they are expelling all foreigners from the refugee areas and we don't know what they are telling the refugees. Do we think India is encouraging or discouraging the refugees from going back?
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Mr. Van Hollen: India is probably discouraging them, or at least is linking their return with some sort of political accommodation. Even if we take India out of the picture, though, the problems in East Pakistan are indigenous. They are merely accentuated by Indian activity.
Mr. Kissinger: So we have the following problems which are, to some extent linked: 1) the refugees-how to stop and reverse the flow; 2) political accommodation; 3) the threat of famine and the necessity for humanitarian relief, which in turn would affect the flow of refugees; and 4) the nature of an East Pakistan government. On famine relief, we must get a program started under any and all circumstances. If famine develops, it will generate another major outflow of refugees. This is one thing we can do something about. I think we can get considerable Pakistani cooperation on this.
(Mr. Kissinger was called from the room at 3:35 and returned at 3:50.)
Mr. Irwin: (to Dr. Kissinger) You mentioned the question of tilting our policy. The State Department is not trying to tilt the consideration of this matter. We have problems of political stability, refugees and the prospect of famine. Fundamental to each of these is the question of some move toward political accommodation. It will be very hard to solve these problems unless there is some start in the political field. Mr. Kissinger: The relief effort has to be undertaken anyway. Mr. Irwin: If there is not some move toward political accommodation we may not be able to carry out relief efforts. We can get the food there but if we can't get it distributed to the people who need it our relief efforts won't succeed. The whole distribution mechanism can be upset by the cross-border operations.
Mr. Kissinger: The cross-border operations depend on India. You could put the greatest civilian government in the world in East Pakistan and if India wants to continue the cross-border operations, they will.
Mr. Irwin: I agree, so the question is how to stop the cross-border operations. If we can do it by direct pressure on India, fine. If that is not possible, one way to help would be to start some form of political accommodation in East Pakistan.
Mr. Kissinger: But the famine will start in October. Under the best possible scenario, political accommodation will have barely begun in October. The relief plans have to be started fairly soon.
Mr. Williams: "Political accommodation" is a shorthand expression. What is more important is some effective administration. Traditionally, in this part of the world, that means a civilian administration. The ability to mount an effective relief effort depends on how much of the civil administration is left intact.
Mr. Kissinger: Are we to tell the Pakistanis that unless they install a civilian administration we will let the famine develop?
Mr. Williams: No, but we can tell them that unless they install an effective civilian administration it will be harder to prevent famine.
Mr. Irwin: We are doing everything we can to prevent famine. We can get the food to them and try to see to it that it is properly distributed.
Mr. Hannah: There will be damned little satisfaction in getting the food to the ports if we can't get it where the people are. The Pakistan Army just isn't used to this kind of an operation, plus the fact that they are still under pressure from the guerrillas. They have invited the UN in to give overall direction to the program but that won't get the food delivered. And Pakistan won't let us in.
Mr. Kissinger: Have the Paks said they won't let us in?
Mr. Williams: They have approved a UN presence in principle, but they still haven't actually admitted them.
Mr. Kissinger: They told me they hoped we would get the UN people in faster.
Mr. Williams: It has been approved in principle in Islamabad but they have not yet agreed to admit the 28 UN people who are poised and waiting to go in.
Mr. Kissinger: We have no problem with the list of things that have to be done. We have to tell Yahya that this is what needs to be done, but why do we have to tell him that it has to be done by civilians?
Mr. Zumwalt: He can't do it with civilians while he is fighting a war. The prevention of famine and our interest in supporting Yahya dictate more help in granting him military supplies than we are apparently prepared to give him. This relates to the spare parts he needs to keep his vehicles moving. He has to keep the roads and waterways open. If we cut off his source of spare parts he can neither fight a war or distribute supplies-both because he couldn't stop the crossborder operations which could interdict the relief distribution and because he wouldn't have the vehicles to move the relief supplies themselves.
Mr. Waller: We have a report from India that if the relief efforts were under UN administration, they would not be interdicted by crossborder operations.
Mr. Kissinger: If we are faced with a huge famine and a huge new refugee outflow in October and we're still debating political accommodation, we'll have a heluva lot to answer for. We need an emergency relief plan and we need to tell Yahya that this is what has to be done to get the supplies delivered. Yahya will be reasonable.