Foreign Relations, Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972
Released by the Office of the Historian

 

Department of State   TELEGRAM

SECTION 1 OF 3 ISLAMABAD 5842

CONTO 237

SUBJECT: SECRETARY CONNALLY'S JULY 3 MEETING WITH BANGLADESH FOREIGN MINISTER

WHITE HOUSE FOR MRS. DAVIS

TREASURY FOR DIXON

STATE: A/OPR, S/S, NEA

BUDAPEST FOR SECRETARY'S PARTY

SECRETARY CONNALLY TRAVEL

 

SUMMARY: AFTER TRACING HISTORY OF LIBERATION MOVEMENT, FOREIGN MINISTER SAMAD SAID SITUATION IN BANGLADESH NOW STABLE, GOOD LAW AND ORDER PREVAILED AND DEMOCRATIC PROCESS WAS WORKING EFFECTIVELY. ALTHOUGH BDG HAD PREVIOUSLY FELT US ADMINISTRATION PRO-PAKISTAN, IT WAS NOW HAPPY WITH US-BD RELATIONSHIP AND THANKFUL FOR GENEROUS US ASSISTANCE. SIMLA SUMMIT APPEARED TO HAVE MADE PROGRESS BUT BHUTTO MUST RECOGNIZE BANGLADESH. HOPED US WOULD USE ITS INFLUENCE WITH GOP RE BENGALIS IN PAKISTAN WHILE NOTING THAT BIHARIS WELL TAKEN CARE OF. RE FOREIGN POLICY, BANGLADESH WANTED NON-ALIGNMENT, QTE FREE ZONE UNQTE IN BAY OF BENGAL, MEMBERSHIP IN UNITED NATIONS (FOR WHICH US SUPPORT SOLICITED), AND CLOSER ASSOCIATION WITH COUNTRIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. SECRETARY CONNALLY SAID USG COULD AGREE WITH ALMOST ALL BDG ASPIRATIONS BUT CORRECTED SAMAD'S CONTENTION US WAS PRO-PAKISTAN DURING 1971. US WISHED BANGLADESH EVERY SUCCESS, SOUGHT NO SPECIAL PRIVILEGES OR ADVANTAGES IN AREA AND WOULD HELP BANGLADESH WITH UN MEMRERSHIP. WAS NONCOMMITTAL RE APPROACH TO GOP ON BENGALIS. NOTED US HAD NO DESIGNS ON ANY PART OF SOUTH ASIA AND HDPED EXTERNAL POWERS LIKEWISE HAD NO DESIGNS. END SUMMARY.

 

1. SECRETARY CONNALLY MET FOR ONE HOUR AND QUARTER JULY 3 WITH BANGLADESH FOREIGN MINISTER SAMAD. SAMAD ACCOMPANIED BY FOREIGN SECRETARY KARIM, S.A.M KIBRIA AND REXAUL KARIM OF FOREIGN OFFICE AND J.KARIM, BDG CHARGE IN WASHINGTON. SPIVACK, HENNESSY, VAN HOLLEN, DONLEY AND HOSKINSON SAT IN WITH SECRETARY.

 

2. FOREIGN MINISTER OPENED WITH COMMENT BANGLADESH HAD TAKEN CONSIDERABLE INSPIRATION FROM AMERICAN INDEPENDENcE BEING CELEBRATED FOLLOWING DAY. HE THEN ENTERED INTO DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EVENTS LEADING UP TO OUTBREAK OF CIVIL WAR IN EAST PAKISTAN DURING 1971, NOTING THAT AS RESULT OF FIGHTING 10 MILLION BENGALIS HAD FLED TO INDIA, ABOUT 3 MILLION HAD BEEN KILLED AND MANY WOMEN RAPED BY PAKISTAN SOLDIERS OR BIHARIS. HOWEVER, WITH ATTAINMENT INDEPENDENCE THERE WAS NOW LAW AND ORDER, DEMOCRATIC PROCESS WAS IN OPERATION AND FREEDOM OF PRESS EXISTED.

 

3. SAMAD EXPRESSED PLEASURE USG HAD REALIZED POLITICAL REALITIES OF BANGLADESH AS WELL AS GIGANTIC TASKS NEW GOVERNMENT FACED AND HAD CONTRIBUTED GENEROUS ASSISTANCE, FIRST THROUGH UN AND LATER BILATERALLY. BDG WAS GRATEFUL TO PEOPLE AND PRESS OF UNITED STATES ALTHOUGH AT FIRST IT HAD FELT US ADMINISTRATION HAD FAVORED PAKISTAN REGIME. NOW, HOWEVER, BANGLADESH PEOPLE WERE FRIENDLY TO UNITED STATES WHICH RECENTLY HAD ESTABLISHED EMBASSY IN DACCA AND GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS GOOD.

 

4. EXPRESSING HOPE FOP DURABLE PEACE IN SUB-CONTINENT, FOREIGN MINISTER NOTED RECENT INDO-PAK SUMMIT AT SIMLA HAD RESULTED IN SOME STEPS FORWARD WHICH WAS ALSO FAVORABLE SIGN FOR BANGLADESH. SECRETARY CONNALLY HAD CORRECTLY STATED IN HIS ARRIVAL REMARKS AT AIRPORT THAT SETTLEMENT IN SOUTH ASIA MUST BE WORKED OUT BY THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, PAKISTAN AND BANGLADESH. HOWEVER, THERE WERE ABOUT ONE-HALF MILLION BENGALIS STILL IN PAKISTAN AND ALTHOUGH BDG HAD AGREED TO VARIETY OF PROPOSALS FOR REPATRIATION, INCLUDING INITIAL EXCHANGE OF 1,000 BENGALIS
IN PAKISTAN FOR LIKE NUMBER PEOPLE IN BANGLADESH, GOP HAD RENEGED AND BENGALI PLIGHT REMAINED SERIOUS. THEREFORE BDG HOPED USG WOULD USE ITS INFLUENCE WITH GOP TO EXPEDITE BENGALIS' RETURN. BHUTTO MUST RECOGNIZE THAT HE ONLY REPRESENTS PAKISTAN AND CONSEQUENTLY MUST RECOGNIZE BANGLADESH WHOSE PEOPLE HAVE NO ENMITY FOR PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN.
CONNALLY


Department of State    TELEGRAM

PAGE 01 ISLAMA 05842 02 OF 03 061136Z

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ACTION SS-25

INFO    OCT-01  SSO-00  CCO-00  FILE-01  NSCE-00 /027 W
006285
R 060852Z JUL 72
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5166
INFO AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
AMCONSUL BOMBAY
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
AMEMBASSY DACCA
AMCONSUL CALCUTTA
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR
AMCONSUL MADRAS
AMEMBASSY RANGOON
AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

SECTION 2 OF 3 ISLAMABAD 5842

CONTO 237

SUBJECT: SECRETARY CONNALLY'S JULY 3 MEETING WITH BANGLADESH FOREIGN MINISTER

WHITE HOUSE FOR MRS. DAVIS

TREASURY FOR DIXON

STATE: A/OPR, S/S, NEA

BUDAPEST FOR SECRETARY'S PARTY

SECRETARY CONNALLY TRAVEL

 

5. SAMAD THEN RAISED BIHARI QUESTION NOTING THAT BGG WAS PROVIDING THEM SHELTER AND FOOD IN EXCESS OF AMOUNTS RECEIVED BY POPULATION AT LARGE. BIHARIS WERE BEING WELL ATTENDED BY BOTH ICRC AND BANGLADESH RED CROSS.

 

6. TURNING TO BD FOREIGN POLICY AND READING FROM BRIEFING PAPER, SAMAD EMPHASIZED BASIC UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE WAS NON-ALIGNMENT. BANGLADESH WANTED TO STEER CLEAR OF SUPER-POWER INVOLVMENTS AND ACHIEVE ECONOMIC SELF RELIANCE. IT DID NOT WANT TO DIVERT SCARCE RESOURCES TO MILITARY BUILD-UP BUT RATHER RELY ON NON-ALIGNED FOREIGN POLICY FOR ITS DEFENSE. BDG WANTED FRIENDSHIP WITH ALL COUNTRIES INCLUDING CHINA AND HOPED CHINA WOULD SOON RECOGNIZE BD. BAY OF BENGAL SHOULD REMAIN QTE FREE ZONE UNQTE WITHIN WHICH NO FOREIGN NAVAL BASES SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED. SOVIET SHIPS CLEARING CHITTAGONG HARBOR WERE THERE ONLY ON TEMPORARY BASIS BECAUSE UN COULD NOT PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE HARBOR-CLEARING FACILITIES SOON ENOUGH.

 

7. RECALLING USG HAD ALREADY SUPPORTED BANGLADESH'S ENTRY INTO SEVERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS SAMAD SAID BDG WOULD SOON APPLY FOR UN MEMBERSHIP AND HOPED FOR US SUPPORT. ALSO WOULD APPRECIATE ASSESSMENT OF PROSPECTS FOR BD MEMBERSHIP.

 

8. RE MIDDLE EAST BDG DID NOT SUPPORT ACQUISITION OF TERRITORY BY FORCE BUT SUPPORTED SETTLEMENT ON BASIS OF NOVEMBER 1967 UN RESOLUTION.

 

9. CONCLUDING SAMAD RECOUNTED COMPONENTS IN RECENT US ASSISTANCE TO BANGLADESH NOTING AGAIN THAT BDG WAS PARTICULARLY GRATEFUL. WISHED TO THANK USG FOR VERY GOOD BEGINNING IN BILATERAL RELATIONS. SUCH AID WAS PARTICULARLY FAVORABLE BECAUSE NO POLITICAL STRINGS WERE ATTACHED AND AID WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY TIED TO US PURCHASES. NOTED THAT US ADMINISTRATION HAD ALSO REQUESTED $100 MILLION FOR FY 1973, ADDING THAT BANGLADESH WAS ALSO INTERESTED IN IDA LENDING WHEN AVAILABLE.

 

10. SECRETARY CONNALLY, IN THANKING SAMAD FOR HIS EXPOSITION ON BANGLADESH POLICY, SAID US SYMPHATHIZED WITH BANGLADESH PROBLEMS AND HE COULD AGREE wITH ALMOST EVERYTHING sAMAD HAD SAID. HOWEVER, DID WISH MAKE BRIEF COMMENT IN RESPONSE SAMAD'S REMARK USG POLICY IN 1971 APPEARED PRO-PAKISTAN. FROM US PERSPECTIVE WE DID NOT FEEL WE HAD TAKEN PAKISTAN'S SIDE. PRESIDENT NIXON HAD BEEN CONSUMED WITH EFFORT TO CREATE ATMOSPHERE TO REDUCE INTERNATIONAL TENSIONS AND CONTRIBUTE TO STABLE WORLD PEACE. THAT WAS REASON HE WENT TO PEKING AND MOSCOW. US HAD CONTRIBUTED TO BENGALI REFUGEE RELIEF MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH AS ALL COUNTRIES OUTSIDE SOUTH ASIA. WHILE WE COULD UNDERSTAND WHY BDG MIGHT FEEL US WAS TAKING SIDES, USG DID NOT HOLD SIMILAR VIEW BUT RATHER HAD WORKED ACTIVELY FOR POLITICAL SETTLEMENT WHICH, UNFORTUNATELY, COULD NOT BE ACHIEVED.

 

11. SECRETARY STRESSED US WISHED EVERY SUCCESS FOR BANGLADESH FROM WHICH US DID NOT WANT ANYTHING EXCEPT FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION. WE DID NOT FOR ExAMPLE WANT ANY SPECIAL POSITION IN BANGLADESH OR IN INDIA OR PAKTSTAN. WE WANTED ALL PARTIES TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT AND WANTED TO HELP WHERE POSSIBLE. WE HAD DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF BANGLADESH-PAKISTAN PROBLEM HAVING OURSELVES SUFFERED CIVIL WAR A CENTURY AGO.

Department of State TELEGRAM

PAGE 01 ISLAMA 05842 03 OF 03 061144Z

50
ACTION SS-25

INFO   OCT-01  SSO-00  CCO-00  FILE-01  NSCE-00   /027 W
006311
R 060852Z JUL 72
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5167
INFO AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
AMCONSUL BOMBAY
AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
AMEMBASSY DACCA
AMCONSUL CALCUTTA AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR
AMCONSUL MADRAS
AMEMBASSY RANGOON
AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

SECTION 3 OF 3 ISLAMABAD 5842

EXDIS

CONTO 237

SUBJECT: SECRETARY CONNALLY'S JULY 3 MEETING WITH BANGLADESH FOREIGN MINISTER

WHITE HOUSE FOR MRS. DAVIS

TREASURY FOR DIXON

STATE: A/OPR, S/S, NEA

BUDAPEST FOR SECRETARY'S PARTY

SECRETARY CONNALLY TRAVEL

 

12. RE BANGLADESH MEMBERSHIP IN UN SECRETARY SAID WE WOULD TRY TO BE HELPFUL. HE cOULD NOT IMAGINE US WOULD NOT SUPPORT BANGLADESH MEMBERSHIP WHEN APPLICATION WAS ENTERED, ALTHOUGH SOMEONE MIGHT VETO APPLICATION. IN ANY EVENT WE WOULD PROVIDE OUR ASSESSMENT OF BANGLADESH'S PROSPECTS FOR MEMBERSHIP. WE WOULD ALSO TAKE LOOK AT WHAT WE MIGHT DO WITH REGARD ISSUE OF BENGALIS IN PAKISTAN ALTHOUGH OUR BASIC STANCE WAS TO REMAIN DETACHED AND LET COUNTRIES DIRECTLY INVOLVED SORT OUT OWN PROBLEMS. WHAT WAS NEEDED WAS COOPERATION AND COORDINATION BETWEEN INDIA, PAKISTAN AND BANGLADESH. FURTHER OUTBREAKS OF VIOLENCE IN SOUTH ASIA, WHERE 700 MILLION PEOPLE LIVED, COULD RELEASE MAJOR DESTRUCTIVE FORCE IN WORLD. SECRETARY AGREED MRS. GANDHI AND BHUTTO SEEMED TO HAVE MADE SOME PROGRESS AT SIMLA AND NOTED THAT SOME DAY SOON MUJIBUR RAHMAN AND BHUTTO WOULD HAVE TO GET TOGETHER. REAFFIRMED US HAD NO DESIGNS ON SOUTH ASIA, EMPHASIZING WE HOPED NO OTHER EXTERNAL POWER HAD ANY DESIGNS EITHER.

 

13. IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION, SAMAD SAID HIS RECENT VISITS TO BURMA, MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE HAD BEEN DESIGNED TO STRENGTHEN TIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, AREA IN WHICH BANGLADESH INTERESTS LAY BUT WHICH HAD BEEN NEGLECTED DURING PERIOD OF WEST PAKISTAN RULE. DURING VISITS DISCUSSIONS HAD FOCUSED ON METHODS OF IMPROVING TELECOMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN BANGLADESH AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES AND INCREASING TRADE, INCLUDING TRADE IN RICE. BANGLADESH WAS LINK BETWEEN SOUTH ASIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA AND HOPED EXPLOIT ITS GEOGRAPHIC POSITION. AT PRESENT BANGLADESH HAD DECIDED NOT TO ENTER INTO FORMAL REGIONAL ARRANGEMENTS WITH OTHER SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES, SUCH AS ASEAN, AND THIS POSITION HAD BEEN CONVEYED TO LEADERS OF COUNTRIES SAMAD HAD VISITED. CHINA'S ATTITUDE TOWARD BANGLADESH WAS NOT CLEAR AND THERE HAD BEEN NO FORMAL CONTACT TO DATE.
CONNALLY