Department of State
TO : DEPARTMENT OF STATE
INFO : DACCA, HONG
KONG, KARACHI, LAHORE,
MOSCOW, NEW DELHI,
: AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
SUB : FOOTNOTES ON YAHYA'S VISIT TO CHINA
REF : HONG KONG
4580, 4632, 4800
ISLAMABAD 8821, 8887, 8932
INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY.
an hour-long session December 12 at the MFA, Director-General (Socialist
Countries) Tabarak Husain, who accompanied President Yahya on the November
10-14 visit to China,
confided inter alia the following information.
1. Pakistan had
reason to hope for more Chinese economic assistance than the 500 million yuan
credit now committed.
The Chinese leaders seemed relatively relaxed about the USSR and the U.S.
Normalization of Sino-Indian relations must await New Delhi's
respect for China's
The Chinese, who do not aspire to superpower status, evinced keener interest
than previously in UN membership.
Cessation of the supply of Soviet tanks, and the U.S.
refusal to supply tanks, left Pakistan
with no alternative but to procure more tanks from China. Pro-China sentiment in the
officer corps was increasing.
information was consonant with that reported in reftel, and with Yahya's
December 12 statements to the Ambassador, being reported separately. A November
24 session with Husain was interrupted due to the pressure of other duties from
both sides. Some of Husain's comments to the reporting officer were made in
"strict confidence". Please protect source.
A. Developmental and
500 million yuan interest-free loan for use during the Fourth 5 year Plan was
regarded by the GOP as less than China
could and should afford Pakistan.
According to Husain, the Paks have reason to hope for more Chinese economic aid
as the Plan matures. In response to other questions, Husain: (I) stressed that
the Chinese had agreed only to study the possibilities of a bridge over the
Brahmaputra; (2) acknowledged that the Chinese water studies would include possible
flood control works in the upper reaches of the river system under Chinese
control; (3) said the Paks were not interested in labor intensive projects of
the Chinese type, and (4) confirmed that the expansion of bilateral trade and
commerce was very unlikely to be significant, in terms of volume.
did not respond to a query on China's
utilization of the Trident aircraft sold by the Paks, and suggested that such
questions as content of Chinese economic aid (project, commodity) be addressed
to Economic Adviser M.M. Ahmed. When the reporting officer noted the World
Bank's extensive involvement in East Pakistan
water control and development, Husain opined that the Paks would guard against
duplication of effort in this field.
B. Military Supply
the context of an exchange on Pakistan's
military supply problems (see Section III below), Husain tated that China
would provide additional end items including tanks..
A. Nuclear Summit Conference
emphasized that the Paks had only noted this proposal with positive interest;
they had not agreed to "broker" it with the Arabs or other friends.
time the Chinese leaders did not evince so much concern about the border
situation. They appeared more confident of their defensive capabilities. They
noted that the Soviet military buildup in the border areas was continuing, but
in private sessions refrained from attacking the Moscow leadership.
observed that the PRC did not attach much importance to exchanges of ambassadors.
What counted was a country's "respect for China's vital interests",
especially with regard to territorial rights.
Chinese leaders refrained from any serious or sustained criticism of the U.S., though they reiterated the centrality of
Chinese indicated they were prepared to normalize relations with India when the latter showed respect for China's
vital interests. Given India's
(1) stance on border disputes, (2) "trouble making" in Tibet, and (3) reception of visitors from Taiwan,
normalization did not appear imminent.
E. United Nations
and the Vice President this time showed keener interest in UN membership. They
profusely thanked Pakistan
for its support. Chou was critical of the UN's failure to resolve the
Arab/Israel and Kashmir problems, and opined
that the medium powers had a key responsibility vis-a-vis the two superpowers.
In this context Chou said the dictates of economic realism would prevent China from
becoming a superpower during the foreseeable future.
MILITARY SUPPLY PROBLEMS
the no. noted that President Yahya's party had included some military officers,
Husain rendered a spirited declamation on Pakistan's
difficulties in maintaining a minimum deterrent capability vis-a-vis India.
After the usual enumeration of pertinent factors as perceived by Islamabad, he was
critical of our current sales offer on three counts. First, we had excluded
tanks, which every self-respecting Army must have. Second, we were offering
"ancient" aircraft. (The r.o. interjected that our offer was based on
stated requirements.) Third, we had informed the Indians who were certain to
leak everything, with the aim of queering any significant deal.
about the status of Soviet military supply to Pakistan, Husain even more
caustically acknowledged that deliveries under previous commitments had been
cut off some time ago. When prodded by the Paks, Soviet representatives here
claimed that no assurance to stop supplies had been made to India, and that
Soviet arms policy in the Subcontinent had not changed. But the fact was that
the Soviets were not fulfilling their commitments. This had caused severe
bitterness against the USSR
on the part of the Army officer and the GOP generally.
the Soviet cut-off and the U.S.
refusal to supply tanks, Husain continued, there was no alternative but to
obtain more, and some other equipment, from the Chinese. Speaking personally,
he claimed this situation was intensifying pro-Chinese sentiment in the officer
corps, and noted Bhutto's election success in West
asked to review Pakistan's
strategic rationale for maintaining a strong deterrent capability vis-a-vis India,
Husain responded along the following line. Acknowledging that India was not likely to attempt to occupy Azad
Kashmir by force, he maintained that outstanding problems including Kashmir
would never be resolved if Pakistan
let down its defenses. Moreover, India would "stirup the border
areas and keep us off balance". Husain concluded by stressing Pakistan's need
to shift resources from defense to economic development, especially in the East
The American Papers- Secret and Confidential India.Pakistan.Bangladesh
Documents 1965-1973, The University Press Limited, p.437-439