Department of State

 

TELEGRAM

 

SECRET 678 POSS DUPE

 

May 28, 1969

 

KARACHI 01464 281308Z

47

ACTION SS 70

INFO OCT 01, CLAE 00, /071 W

..105304

R 280830Z MAY 69

FM AMEMBASSY KARACHI

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3620

INFO AMEMBASSY RAWALPINDI

AMEMBASSY TEHRAN

AMCONSUL LAHORE

AMCONSUL DACCA

AMCONSUL PESHAWAR UNN

SECRET KARACHI 1464

LIMDIS

 

SUB : BELIEF THAT YUSUF HAROON IS U.S. AGENT

REF : A) TEHRAN 1977

B) RAWALPINDI 5126

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 London (August 1968) meeting of Ayub and Haroon brothers and that Ayub desperately needed Haroon in pre-MLA period.

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 US policy. Dept and Embassy well aware of our reported belief that Haroon was banished in April 1967 because of intra-PML squabble in Karachi and political pique on Ayub's part that Haroons had defiantly defeated Ayub's candidate and elected an enemy. As for Yusuf's returning to New York, Haroon Family believes he serves their interest best there; Mahmood Haroon is the real family business manager and considered the more skilful politican within Pak context; and Yusuf told me when here that his wife (childless niece of Begum Aga Khan) refused to live in Pakistan, had lived abroad during entire Ayubian period, and had incurred considerable liabilities in New York by purchasing Fifth Avenue apartment which required him to get back to work as soon as possible. It can be added that Yusuf, despite his abilities and his influence within Haroon fiefdoms here is not rpt not widely respected within Karachi establishment and is disliked by Ispahani.

 

 

RAMSEY

 

 

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

    Limited, p. 272 - 273