Department of State

 

TELEGRAM

CONFIDENTIAL 851

 

 

13 JAN 1971

ISLAMA 00348 01 OF 03 130849Z

10

ACTION : NEA - I S

INFO : OCT-O1 CIAE-OODODE-OOPM-OSH-02INR-08L-04NSAE-OONSC-lOP -03RSC-01 PRS-01 SS-20USIA -I2EA-ISEUR-200-03RSR-OIAID-28 /149 W

112925

R 130700Z JAN 71

FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6507

INFO AMCONSUL DACCA

AMCONSUL KARACHI

AMCONSUL LAHORE

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

CONFIDENTIAL SECTION I TO 3 ISLAMABAD 0348

SUBJ : Z.A. BHUTTO ON PAK/US RELATIONS AND OTHER SUBJECTS

 

1. I had hour's private conversation with PPP Chairman Z.A. Bhutto Jan 12 in his suite on top floor Hotel Intercontinental, Rawalpindi. Call had been arranged at my request through Consul Gen Luppi in Karachi who telephone Bhutto at latter's Larkana home last week. Consul General learned then that Embassy's message of congratulations and good wishes to Bhutto which he had transmitted in late Dec. through one of latter's senior lieutenants had not actually reached him. Principal purpose of my call was to reestablish relations with Bhutto whom we had not seen since last August under our strategy of avoiding meetings with major political leaders in final stages of electioneering. (We had heard meanwhile that Bhutto thought we had deliberately neglected him.)

 

2. In congratulating Bhutto on his sweeping victory and offering best wishes, I regretted fact that our Dec. message had not reached him. I said that I had much appreciated chance to talk with him last August (ref Karachi 1553), and thanked him for effective help at that time in dampening variety of allegations by some of his supporters against Amb. Farland. I added that we had deliberately avoided seeing him in final months of campaign for reasons which were obvious. (I did not tell him that additional factor was Pres. Yahya's request to Amb. that we avoid further meetings with Bhutto until after elections.)

 

3. Bhutto said he had been looking forward to this meeting. He hoped we could be frank with each other. If we descended only to diplomatic niceties, then at our next meeting we would talk only about the weather and other non-subjects. Our mutual interests were such that we should be frank. I responded that he had voiced my sentiments perfectly.

 

4. Bhutto then launched into minor monologue on theme qte I"m not anti­American, or pro-Chinese; I'm a nationalist. unqte. US, we said, is not only a great power, it is the greatest power. It would be absolutely wrong not to want good relations with US. Noted he had many ties with US and now had daughter studying there qte Would I be sending my daughter to school in US If I were anti-American? unqte. As for China, be said he would attack Peking if its policies or actions damaged Pakistan. He had not seen Chinese Ambassador for several months, but latter asked to see him today and he would do so. As for other countries, Bhutto said he was neither anti-Soviet nor anti-Indian. Soviets had caused Pakistan some trouble but good relations were desirable. As for India, he was in favor of resolving Bdo-Pak disputes, but he couldn't do less than continue active effort to resolve them. (Bhutto did not say, as he did to Canadian Hicomer Small few days ago, that he was elected on platform calling for "confrontation" with India and that he would be guided accordingly.) Was in Pakistan's interest, he added, to have good relations with all neighbours. His acts were determined by his judgment of what was good for Pakistan.

 

5. Coming back to US, Bhutto said he knew that some of "Your people" have held him out as anti-American and as a danger. This had never been true. Even in his earliest days in Government, as minister of commerce under Ayub, he had broken through an impasse in negotiation of treaty of friendship and commerce between Pakistan and US. He had tried to be frank and to serve his country's interest. We had had our differences but, he said, it had never been right to term him anti-American. Said he hoped we could pass that word. Even very recently, he added, he had heard that some officers in State Dept. had scoffed at his chances in elections and said he would not even be able to carry his own constituency.

 

6. I commented it was only fair for both sides to recognize we had had some problems. I knew there were people both in Washington and our Embassy here who in past years thought Bhutto was unfriendly. Both times and people have changed, I added. US view of world is not static any more than Pakistan's. Our stance toward communist China for example had undergone some important modifications as he knew.

 

SOBER

 

 

 

Department of State

 

TELEGRAM

CONFIDENTIAL 850

 

 

ISLAMA 00348 02 OF 03 131001Z 11

ACTION NEA - 15

INFO   OCT-01 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PM-OS H-02 INR-08 L-04 NSAE-00 NSC-10 P-03

RSC-01 PRS-01 SS-20 USIA-12 EA-15 EUR-20 0-03 RSR-Ol AID-28/149W

113389

R 130700Z JAN 72/

FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6508 INFO AMCONSUL DACCA AMCONSUL KARACHI AMCONSUL LAHORE AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

CONFIDENTIAL SECTION 2 OF 3 ISLAMABAD 0348

SUB : Z.A. BHUTTO ON PAK/US RELATIONS AND OTHER SUBJECTS

 

As to election guesses which he atributed to some in Washington, I acknowledged we had not foreseen extent of spectacular PPP victory, along with others and I suspected Bhutto himself; but had been clear to us he had picked up considerable strength in final months of campaign. In any event, there was nothing personal in this, and I did not see value to brooding over past and over what may or may not have been misunderstandings between us. We recognize that Bhutto has important new role in Pakistan. We respect it and wish him well. I said elections seem to be pretty clear mandate for change and we were sympathetic to desire of Pak people to improve their lot. What internal changes might be made under new political processes would be fundamentally Pakistan's concern. On foreign side, I said we understood Pakistan's concerns and its desires promote its interests as it sees them. That left ample room to maintain and develop US-Pak relations along positive lines. On other hand we naturally wished, at least, that Pakistan's relations with other countries would develop in such fashion that they would not damage or present threat to US interests.

 

7. Bhutto replied that my statement was reasonable and that he accepted it. Would be silly for Pakistan to have any other view.

 

8. He went on from there to expound along lines he had taken in our talk last August to effect that he is not communist and would neither be taken in nor taken over by them. He said his program had taken much of wind out of sails of domestic communists. As he had told me last August, he was in something of a nutcracker, squeezed by extreme right and extreme left. He was in stronger position now, but still had problem dealing with leftists among his backers. He would have to say some things publicly with that in mind, and he hoped we would understand. (But, he noted, he had avoided taking hand in favor of militant PPPers who were at moment threatening physical takeover of Pak Times plant in Lahore.)

 

9. He then asked my views about domestic political prospects here and I said I would much rather hear his views. Bhutto said first job was to write constitution, and he would try to work it out with Mujib. He did not know whether Mujib would follow "taking it or leave it" posture on Six Points, but in any event there should be agreement on very major degree of autonomy for each province. Bhutto thought center would nevertheless have to be in position to function effectively in foreign affairs and defence and would require various powers to that end. He felt that any constitution which did not provide for adequate cohesion via center would fall apart after couple of years or so. I recalled that he had referred me at previous meeting to outline of federal constitution drafted by PPP Secretary General Rahim, which had argued for Upper House having equal representation from each province. I asked whether that was still his view, having in mind that West Pakistan has four provinces and East Pakistan only one. Bhutto said he thought problem could be worked out allowing for equal representation from each province. Such system seemed necessary to provide for true union of federating units. On other hand, powers of Upper House would be strictly limited and it would not be able thwart will of Lower House on major questions of Government. (Bhutto told Canadian Hicomer that he would hold out for a general legislature if Mujib insisted on Six-Point formula.)

 

10. Bhutto evinced hesitancy in speculating on chances of effective collaboration with Mujib. Said he himself wishes collaboration. He agreed that recent public exchanges had not been helpful and blamed UNIM mutant "Vice Presidents" of Awami League structure in West Pakistan for having touched off problem. Assuming constitution were written, Bhutto said he was not yet prepared take position on what would be his proper role in Government. He assumed Mujib would want Prime Ministry. Possibilities which might be open to Bhutto included Deputy PM, Leader of House, or Leader of Opposition. He would have to see.

 

11. On my query as to his relations with Pres Yahya, Bhutto said he had recently seen Yahya in Karachi. He had told Yahya he was well aware that Martial Law Administration had singled out PPP for attack during campaign, but that he was

willing to forget all that in facing the future. Bhutto commented to me that some of PPP stalwarts remain vindictive toward Yahya. Noted that Military Administration had not similarly picked on Awami League, and that Gov Ahsan and East Pak Martial Law chief Yaqub were fairly sympathetic to Mujib.

 

SOBER

 

 

Department of State

 

TELEGRAM

CONFIDENTIAL 847

 

 

ISLAMA 00348 03 Of 03 131157Z 10

ACTION NEA-15

INFO   OCT-01 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PM-OS H-02 INR-08 L-04 NSAE-00 NSC-10 P-03

RSC-01 PRS-01 SS-20 USIA-12 EA-15 EUR-20 0-03 RSR-O1 AID-28 /149 W 114199

R 130700Z JAN 71

FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 650 INFO AMCONSUL DACCA

AMCONSUL KARACHI AMCONSUL LAHORE

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

CONFIDENTIAL SECTION 3 OF 3 ISLAMABAD 0348

SUB     : Z.A. BHUTTO ON PAK/US RELATIONS AND OTHER SUBJECTS

 

Bhutto said he was grateful to Yahya for having shown courage particularly for discarding concept of voting "parity" between east and west wings and for breaking up "onessnit" in West. He did not know what Yahya's future role might be, but did not rule out possibility that he would have some position of influence under constitutional system, possibly even including Presidency. After Mujib had his first say on what job he wanted, Bhutto might have something to say regarding Presidency. Bhutto carefully avoided any specificity on this subject.

 

12. At that point Bhutto came back to relations with US and asked our views regarding continued unity of Pakistan. He noted there have been rumors that we would favor breakup of country, on grounds that independent east wing could get along easier with India and also that it might provide base for future US military presence as we phased out of Vietnam. I said those rumors were nonsense. We had firmly supported integrity and unity of Pakistan. What the people of Pakistan might decide to do about organization or unity of their own country was up to them. We had consistently thought, however, that the country had better chance of meeting its challenges by working together. I asserted that allegations to the contrary were without foundation.

 

13. I said this reminded me of other totally unfounded allegations during recent months regarding interference by Amb Farland and/or embassy in Pakistan's internal affairs. Again I thanked Bhutto for his help on that subject. He said he had done what he could. I then stated I had heard reports that Bhutto continued believe that we had helped

one party oust another, and specifically Jamaat-i-Islami, in recent campaign. (Hilaly, Pak Amb to US now visiting here, told me last week Bhutto had confided to him suspicions regarding our help to Jamaat.) That was as silly, I added, as saying we had helped PPP, which I did not have to convince him was untrue. Bhutto said there was no doubt Jamaat had had lots of money to spend during campaign. He also recalled what he said was admission by Amb Avra Warren to PM Liaquat All Khan in early 1950's that US had passed some money to Jamaat. To that I responded I had no knowledge of facts and in any event it was ancient history. Current simple fact was that we had never had any thought or intention of getting involved in Pakistan's election campaign, and that was that. As for Jamaat, I said we knew of rumors that we had been source of funds. I said I thought Bhutto would have no difficulty appreciating distaste many of us felt for some of obscurantist garbage which had been cast about during recent campaign. I added further that, so far as I knew, no American official has had contact with any senior Jamaat official during somewhat more than year that Ambassador and I have been in Pakistan. Bhutto did not respond to my firm rejection fo these allegations, but I think I may have made some impression on him.

 

14. I then referred to recent new charges by some of his supporters against Ambassador and US. Said I was concerned that continuation of these further baseless allegations could endanger what he and I agreed was desirable, i.e. maintenance and development of good US-Pak relations. Bhutto said he is still in something of a nutcracker, but he agreed completely with my concern. He left unsaid what he might do about resurfacing of allegations following the elections.

 

15. Our meeting was cut short because GOP Defense Secretary, who had sent word only as I arrived that he wished see Bhutto, was already waiting outside. As I left, Bhutto asked me please to try to get word to "your people and press" that he is not anti­American and that he values good relations with us. Acknowledging our difficulties in guiding US press, he said he thought we could nevertheless be helpful in briefing them. We agreed it was desirable for us to keep in touch for continued frank exchanges, and Bhutto expressed hope he would be able to meet Ambassador Farland.

 

16. Comment: I believe meeting was helpful in re-establishing relations and setting tone for future conversations with man who has had prominent place here in past and is now moving to new role as a national political leader. Bhutto struck me as being confident in his new role, but not overconfident. An intelligent man, he is well aware of new responsibilities facing him in making good on popular expectations or, more immediately, in dealing with Mujib and East Pak regional biases. Meeting gave Bhutto vehicle to press his own bona fides as realistic, responsible leader who not only is not anti-American but wants keep lines open for good relations with US. As always, actions will speak louder than words but meanwhile it clearly in our interest to maintain dialogue.

 

17. Local press Jan 13 reported that Chicom, Turk, Saudi and French Ambassadors, as well as myself, had called on Bhutto previous day. Longest meeting was with Chinese.

 

SOBER

 

 

Source: The American Papers- Secret and Confidential India.Pakistan.Bangladesh Documents 1965-1973, The University Press Limited, p.450-455