From the President's Assistant for National Security
Affairs (Kissinger) to the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security
Source: Library of Congress, Kissinger Papers, Geopolitical File, Box TS 58,
Trips, HAK, Chron File, July 1971. Secret;
Sensitive. Kissinger sent his report to Haig
for the President's information. On July 10 Haig sent
the memorandum to Nixon under cover of a memorandum summarizing the report. (Ibid.)
Talks in Pakistan have begun in cordial,
low-key businesslike atmosphere with straightforward and unemotional discussion
of what measures might help decrease tension between India and Pakistan generated by almost
seven million refugees now in India. All those with whom I
have spoken here seem to recognize the need to do something to defuse the
issue. I have told them that all press accounts of my talks in India must have been based on
Indian sources since no one on the American side talked to the press there, and
the Pakistanis seem unconcerned.
Secretary Sultan Khan stressed the need for Indian cooperation in encouraging
the return of refugees to East Pakistan. He expressed concern,
echoing that in Yahya's last message to the President, that India step by step is
building a momentum that could lead to war. I told him that, after being in India, I would not consider
it impossible that India might take military
I told him
of the bitterness, hostility and hawkishness I had
found there. When he asked what would be the objective of such military action,
I said that the action might be taken just for the sake of taking action in
response to heavy pressure on the government to do something. Also, the Indians
seem confident they would win in any confrontation.
the background, I emphasized the importance of attempting to defuse this issue
over the next few months. One way to do this, I suggested, might be to try to
separate as much as possible, at least in international eyes, the refugee issue
from the issue of rebuilding the political structure of East Pakistan. If this were to be
tried, it would seem important for Pakistan to put together a collection of
major steps in one package designed to have important impact both on the
refugees and on the world community and perhaps to internationalize the effort.
Pakistan had tended to make
public in bits and pieces the constructive steps it had taken. It might now
wish consider packaging those steps so they would appear as a comprehensive
approach toward solution.
Foreign Secretary questioned whether India would permit separation
of the refugee issue from that of political settlement with East Pakistan itself. However, he
seemed very receptive to the idea of pulling together a comprehensive package.
He emphasized again that Indian cooperation would be essential in the return of
the refugees because Indian stories about conditions in East Pakistan and threats of military
intervention discourage refugees from returning.
conversation with President Yahya, I described mood
in India along much the same
lines as above, and we discussed possible approaches to the present problem,
including the possibility appointing new civil authority in East Pakistan to coordinate an
energetic program for the return of refugees. I urged this and he said he would
consider it and would discuss it further with me in our next talk.
interesting point to emerge from a talk with M.M. Ahmad, Senior Economic
Adviser to President Yahya, was a new sense of the time framework for future economic
assistance decisions. Ahmad no longer sees a foreign exchange crisis as
imposing that framework by itself but rather the fact that Pakistan's unilateral six-month
debt moratorium expires at the end of October and, if there is no new aid by
then, would have to be extended. If it were, he felt it would cause a complete
breakdown of Pakistan's relationship with aid
consortium countries. He discussed interim aid measures which might help avert
that contingency, and I shall weave them into our policy review when I return.
response, I urged the importance of his providing the aid consortium with a
serious development framework and said we would do what we could to help if Pakistan could help us by making
the best possible economic case for assistance.
97, volume XI, South Asia crisis 1971, Department of State.