Department of State

 

TELEGRAM

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE 065

 

 

8 FEB 1971

 

 

ISLAMA 01147 091135Z 2047

ACTION NEA - 15

INFO   : OCT-O1 CIAE-OODODE-OOPM-OSH-02INR-08L-04NSAE-OONSC-lOP

              -03RSC-O1 PRS-O1 SS - 20 USIA – 1

              2E-15DOTE -OOFAA-OOAID-28PC-04EA-15EUR20RSR-O1/165W

053594

R 081240Z FEB 71

FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6829

INFO AMCONSUL DACCA

AMCONSUL LAHORE

AMCONSUL KARACHI

AMCONSUL PESHAWAR UNN

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE ISLAMABAD 1147 CORRECTED COPY

SUBJ   : MY CONVERSATION WITH Z.A. BHUTTO

 

1. On Friday evening, February 5, accompanied by Consul General Luppi, I made courtesy call on Z.A. Bhutto, Chairman, Pakistan Peoples Party, at his Karachi
residence. It was at his lead that we spent a full hour discussing a variety of topics.

2. Pak-Indian Relations: Very much on Bhutto's mind was the recent hijacking and destruction of the Indian Airlines Fokker Friendship by two Kashmiris, and
subsequent GOI suspension of all overflights its territory by Pakistan aircraft. Bhutto said only minutes before he had personally discussed situation with President Yahya and that GOP keeping him currently informed all developments. He said that when he met with the hijackers at Lahore Airport he warned them of serious consequences which could follow their action and admonished them to conduct themselves 2143J09, J8; 316." He made no mention his public statement where he congratulated hijackers. Bhutto suggested aircraft destruction and present contretemps with India might have been averted if President Yahya had been present in Islamabad and not visiting Karachi. Bhutto stressed the need for a Foreign Minister with independent power to act since Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan obviously acted only on specific instruction. As a result there was no decisive action taken during the President's absence and there was a continuing tendency on the part of the Government "To drift" during this fransfecperiod. He did not state what decisive action might have been taken.

 

3. Writing of constitution and East-West Pakistan Relations: Bhutto several times eferred to the writing of a constitution as biggest hurdle to be cleared before representative government could be established. He and Mujib apparently quite far apart on those two of Six Points having to do with taxation and foreign trade. During recent four-day meeting in Dacca, Bhutto maintained these subjects should be under control of Central Government; Mujib held that they should be under provincial control. Bhutto said the "threads" between East and West Pakistan are "weak" but that he had "told Mujib" they should work together to make them "thicker." Bhutto stressed that if only he and Mujib could come to understanding as to taxation and foreign trade (which would include Aid distribution) it should not be difficult to come up with mutually acceptable constitution.

 

4. With respect to convening of National Assembly, Bhutto advised date has not yet been ste and that current refusal of India to permit overflights by Pakistani aircraft has made even more uncertain a convening date. He was unclear why cancellation overflights should delay NA opening.

 

5. East-West Separation: Despite stories circulating to effect US seeks separation East and West Pakistan (which of course, stressed to be contrary to US policy) Bhutto wished me to know that he presently entertains no doubt the United States wants a united Pakistan and has so assured party members who have voiced fears this regard.

 

6. Relations with US: Throughout this meeting Bhutto was most friendly and gratious and seemed bent on dispelling any idea that he, despite his election campaigning attacks on American policy, bore anything but greatest admiration and goodwill for America and Americans. He referred to his years of residence in US describing them as "the best years of my life." He also noted his daughter attends Radcliffe, saying as he has to others that he would not allow his daughter to study there if he did not hold our country in high esteem. In this connection, he mentioned his daughter wants him to visit her in U.S. but, although he does intend do so in the future, he will not do so "Before there is a constitution" since some may take his visit there as proof of accuracy of campaign charges that he is a CIA agent. Bhutto spoke warmly of President Nixon whom he met when the President, then Vice President, visited Pakistan.

 

7. Allegations Against US Ambassador: Bhutto himself made the first references to the calumnious statements made frequently during the campaign by members of his party and reported by the PPP press such as that often heard story that I have been responsible for the death of a million Muslims in Indonesia. Bhutto layed blame on party supporters saying they "didn't understand." He said that when these false allegations were brought to his attention, "I did all I could to stop them." I expressed my appreciation for his efforts in this regard.

 

8. Ties With Russia And China: Bhutto indicated he hoped as leader of his party to strengthen Pakistan ties with all countries, stressing that although he wished to see closer and more extensive collaboration by Pakistan with Russia and China he nonetheless desired similarly close ties with the United States. He cited the "well­known" generosity of the American people and Pakistan's need for U.S. expertise and financial aid. I, of course, assured Bhutto of high importance U.S. places on its good relations with Pakistan and of U.S. commitment to give support to the extent possible. I also congratulated him on his impressive victory at the polls and expressed hope this mark would be beginning of constitutional democracy in Pakistan.

 

9. At close of our discussion Bhutto invited me to visit his place at Larkana and then showed me around his exceptional library, proudly pointing out his very extensive collection of old and new works on Napolean. It was agreed on parting that we would

attempt to meet in Peshawar on February 12-13.         

FARLAND

 

 

Source: The American Papers- Secret and Confidential India.Pakistan.Bangladesh Documents 1965-1973, The University Press Limited, p.487-488