Department of State
SECRET 678 POSS DUPE
ACTION SS 70
INFO OCT 01, CLAE 00, /071 W
R 280830Z MAY 69
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3620
: BELIEF THAT YUSUF HAROON IS
1. In May 26 conversation with M.A.H. Ispahani (Karachi 1439-Notal), I asked (having in mind, actually, report in ref A that President Yahya told Primin Hoveyda that Americans supported Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) why Karachites continued to express belief that US supported concept of Independent East Pakistan.
2. Ispahani responded that answer was quite simple; Yusuf Haroon, who had
always had Mujib quote in his pay unquote was widely regarded as American agent: quote Mujib is greatest threat to Pakistan and to Pak unity unquote but remained political ally of Haroon's through pre-RTC period and close liaision between two men obtained until imposition of Martial Law; Mujib was first important politician Haroon sought out after his return here in February (Comment: True): It was therefore logical to conclude that Haroon acted on behalf of USG in supporting Mujib and that USG supported Mujib through Haroon. He added that Ayub quote booted Haroon out of country because of his belief that Haroon was foreign agent unquote.
3. 1 asked Ispahani If he believed all of this himself. He responded he did not rpt not but I had asked question and frank answer that many believed Haroon was US
agent. Belief was not proof: Ispahanis, for example, were widely believed to be supporters of Bhashani and simply because quote my nephew, who is 100 percent capitalist and 100 percent for Pak unity, loves him and supports him and considers him harmless unquote. Ispahani problem was to allay belief that Bhashani was harmful whereas ours was to overcome belief that Haroon acted for USG.
4. I said I had never heard that Haroon
had been exiled in 1967 because of Ayub's considering him foreign agent and
asked why, if this true, had Ayub allowed Haroon to return, reposed confidence
in him and ultimately appointed him Governor of West Pakistan? Response was
that some sort of rapport had been achieved in
5. Comment: This reported for what it
worth. Ispahani is not first establishment figure to tell me that it is widely
believed Haroon, if not American agent, is strongly influenced by
Source: The American Papers - Secret and Confidential
Limited, p. 272 - 273