Memorandum From Harold Saunders and Samuel Hoskinson of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/
/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 625, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. IV, 1 Mar 71-15 May 71. Secret. Sent for information.
Overnight reports from
-Mujibur Rahman seems to have virtually slammed the door on the possibility of East-West accommodation by categorically rejecting President Yahya's plan to hold a conference of the major political leaders on March 10.
-Mujib has admitted to several foreign correspondents "off the record" that he will announce the equivalent to independence for East Pakistan on Sunday./2/ He did, however, go on to say that the East and West wings should write their respective constitutions and thereafter discussions over the form of linkage could take place. [This leaves the door open to some sort of confederal relationship and is the reason we advocate-via your talking points/3/-not jumping too soon to recognition of East Pakistani independence.]/4/
/2/ March 7.
/3/ Reference is to
talking points developed for Kissinger in a March 6 memorandum from Saunders,
Hoskinson, and Richard Kennedy to prepare Kissinger for a meeting of the Senior
Review Group that day. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC
Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-052, SRG
/4/ All brackets in the source text.
-At least one Pakistani
air force C-130 has been seen flying into
/5/ Reference is to the
response to NSSM 118 prepared by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for
-The East Pakistanis in the embassy here have approached State concerning their relations with the Department following a "declaration of independence." They expect to be expelled from the chancery and the current DCM, who is an East Pakistani, would then become the Chargˇ of a new embassy.
These developments just
heighten my concern-which I know you fully share-of postponement of discussion
of this issue. Regrettably, State just has not given this issue the attention
it deserves. That is why we wrote the NSSM three weeks ago. Only because of our
prodding is there a contingency paper today. As for the notion that this is not
a policy issue, I cannot believe that the repartition of
Source: Document 5, volume XI, South Asia crisis 1971, Department of State.