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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Nixon-Ford Administrations > Volume E-7
Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972
Released by the Office of the Historian

India and Pakistan: Crisis and War, March-December 1971

122.  Editorial Note

The political crisis in Pakistan, which escalated into civil war in East Pakistan in March 1971, ultimately led to armed conflict between India and Pakistan and convulsed the subcontinent of South Asia through the end of the year.  Most of the important documents bearing on the United States response to that crisis are in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, South Asia Crisis, 1971.  The documents in this electronic publication for that period supplement, and should be read in conjunction with, the printed volume.


123.  Memorandum From the Staff Secretary of the National Security Council (Davis) to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Packard), Washington, March 3, 1971

Davis circulated to members of the Senior Review Group the response to NSSM 118, a contingency study that examined the policy options available to the United States in the event of a move by East Pakistan to secede.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–053, SRG Meeting, Pakistan, 3/6/71.  Secret; Exdis.  Keith Guthrie signed for Davis.  Also sent to Irwin, JCS Chairman Moorer, and CIA Director Helms.  A copy of the contingency study in the Department of State files indicates that it was prepared by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Near East and South Asia and forwarded to Kissinger on March 2 by Sisco, who was serving as chairman of the group.  (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 PAK–US)  The Senior Review Group meeting scheduled for March 3 was held on March 6. 

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124.  Telegram 697 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, March 10, 1971, 1205Z

Awami leader Mujibur Rahman sent a message to the Consulate General to ask if the U.S. would be willing to indicate to Pakistani President Yahya its preference for a political solution to the crisis.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL PAK.  Secret; Immediate; Exdis.  Repeated to Islamabad, London, Karachi, Lahore, New Delhi, and priority Bangkok for Farland. 

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125.  Telegram 959 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, March 28, 1971, 0540Z

The Consulate General in Dacca began its report on the crisis on March 28 as follows:  "Here in Dacca we are mute and horrified witnesses to a reign of terror by the PAK military."

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 PAK.  Confidential; Immediate; Exdis.  Also sent to Islamabad.  Repeated priority to London, Bangkok, New Delhi, Karachi, Lahore, Calcutta, CINCSTRIKE, CINCPAC, and MAC. 

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126.  Telegram 978 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, March 29, 1971, 1130Z

The Consulate General reported on the continuing "crackdown" in Dacca by Pakistani army units, which seemed targeted in particular upon Hindus.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 PAK.  Confidential; Priority.  Also sent to Islamabad.  Repeated priority to Bangkok, New Delhi, London, Karachi, Lahore, Calcutta, CINCPAC, CINCSTRIKE, and MAC. 

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127.  Telegram 986 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, March 30, 1971, 0905Z

The Consulate General’s report on the crisis on March 30 described the killing of students and faculty at Dacca University.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 PAK.  Confidential; Priority.  Also sent to Islamabad.  Repeated priority to Bangkok, London, New Delhi, Calcutta, Karachi, Lahore, CINCPAC, CINCSTRIKE, and MAC. 

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128.  Telegram 2954 From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State, March 31, 1971, 1245Z

The Embassy analyzed the crisis in East Pakistan for historical perspective and concluded: "deplorable as current events in East Pakistan may be, it is undesirable that they be raised to level of contentious international political issue."

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 PAK.  Confidential; Priority.  Repeated to Calcutta, Colombo, Dacca, Kabul, Karachi, Lahore, London, and New Delhi. 

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129.  Telegram 58039 From the Department of State to the Consulate General in Dacca, Washington, April 7, 1971, 0014Z

This telegram, drafted by Assistant Secretary of State Sisco and cleared by the senior leadership of the Department of State, USIA, and AID, responded to the charge made by the staff of the Consulate General that the U.S. had failed to condemn what it viewed as atrocities in East Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Immediate; Nodis.  Drafted on April 6 by Sisco; cleared by Irwin, U. Alexis Johnson, Eliot, Macomber, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Press Relations Robert J. McCloskey, Deputy Director Henry Loomis (USIA), and Maurice Williams  (AID); and approved by Rogers.  Repeated to Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. 

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130.  Telegram 1249 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, April 10, 1971, 1508Z

The staff of the Consulate General expanded on their objections to the U.S. response to the crisis in East Pakistan first outlined on April 6 in telegram 1138 from Dacca.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Priority; Nodis.  Sent with a request to pass to Islamabad. 

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131.  Special National Intelligence Estimate 32–71, Washington, April 12, 1971

SNIE 32–71 assessed prospects for Pakistan in light of the emerging civil war.

Source:  Central Intelligence Agency, NIC Files, Job 79–R01012A.  Secret; Controlled Dissem.  According to a note on the cover sheet, the estimate was prepared by the CIA and the intelligence organizations in the Departments of State and Defense, and NSA.  All members of the U.S. Intelligence Board concurred in the estimate except the representative of the FBI, who abstained because the subject was outside of his jurisdiction. 

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132.  Paper Prepared by the National Security Council’s Interdepartmental Group for Near East and South Asia for the Senior Review Group, Washington, undated

The paper assessed the crisis in East Pakistan and its impact on U.S. relations with Pakistan.  It also weighed U.S. interests in South Asia and outlined policy options for dealing with the crisis.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–054, SRG Meeting, Pakistan and Ceylon, 4/19/71.  Secret.  On April 16 Sisco sent this paper under a covering memorandum to Kissinger in his capacity as chairman of the NSC Review Group for use by the Senior Review Group at its April 19 meeting.  (Ibid.) 

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133.  Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, May 25, 1971

Eliot conveyed to Kissinger, for circulation to the members of the WSAG, a contingency study prepared in the Department of State assessing the policy options for dealing with the escalating crisis in East Pakistan.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1–1 INDIA–PAK.  Secret.  This memorandum and, apparently, the attached study, were drafted by Quainton and cleared by Schneider and Sisco. 

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134.  Memorandum From Samuel Hoskinson of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, May 26, 1971

Hoskinson summarized Indian policy toward the crisis in East Pakistan.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–082, WSAG Meeting, India-Pakistan, 5/26/71.  Secret; Exdis. 

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135.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, May 26, 1971, 10:38–10:44 a.m.

Nixon and Kissinger discussed a letter that had been received from Indian Prime Minister Gandhi and another to be sent to Pakistani President Yahya.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 505–4.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portion of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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136.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, June 4, 1971, 9:42–9:51 a.m.

Nixon and Kissinger discussed Ambassador Keating and his view of India and the building crisis in East Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 512–4.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portion of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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137.  Conversation Among President Nixon, his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), and the Ambassador to India (Keating), Washington, June 15, 1971, 5:13–5:40 p.m.

Keating gave Nixon and Kissinger his appreciation of the developing crisis in South Asia in the course of briefing them on their impending meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Singh.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, and Keating, Oval Office, Conversation No. 521–13.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portions of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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138.  Conversation Among President Nixon, his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), the Indian Foreign Minister (Singh), and the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco), Washington, June 16, 1971, 2:58–3:41 p.m.

In a discussion of mounting tensions on the subcontinent, Singh sought to emphasize the "tremendous problem" created for India by the influx of refugees from East Pakistan.  Nixon counseled patience while the U.S. provided additional funds to deal with the refugees and used quiet diplomacy to try to mediate a settlement in Pakistan.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation among Nixon, Singh, Kissinger, and Sisco, Oval Office, Conversation No. 523–2.  No classification marking.  Ambassadors Keating and Jha were also present. 

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139.  Memorandum of Conversation, New Delhi, July 7, 1971

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger and Indian Defense Minister Jagjivan Ram discussed Ram’s perception of the threat posed by China to India.  Kissinger said that the U.S. would take a "grave view" of any Chinese move against India.  The conversation concluded with a discussion of what might be done to improve relations between the U.S. and India.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL INDIA–US.  Secret; Exdis.  Drafted on July 12.  Published from an unsigned copy.  The meeting was held in Ram’s office.  Kissinger left Washington on July 2 for what was publicly described as a fact-finding trip to South Vietnam, Thailand, India, and Pakistan.  The trip included a secret visit to China, undertaken during Kissinger’s visit to Pakistan, following his stop in India.  He returned to Washington on July 11. 

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140.  Study Prepared in Response to National Security Study Memorandum 133, Washington, July 10, 1971

In response to NSSM 133, the study assessed U.S. policy options in South Asia in light of the crisis in East Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–058, SRG Meeting, South Asia, 7/23/71.  Secret; Exdis.  Drafted by Quainton.  A cover sheet bears the date July 9, but drafting information indicates that it was drafted on July 10.  The study was drafted for the Senior Review Group and approved by a State/Defense/CIA ad hoc committee.  The cover sheet and a table of contents are not published. 

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141.  Conversation Among President Nixon, his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), and the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland), Washington, July 28, 1971, 4:21–4:54 p.m.

Farland briefed Nixon and Kissinger on the developing crisis in Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, and Farland, Oval Office, Conversation No. 549–25.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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142.  Paper Prepared for the Senior Review Group, Washington, July 29, 1971

This "Scenario For Action In Indo-Pak Crisis" was prepared in the Department of State in response to an instruction from the Senior Review Group.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–058, SRG Meeting, South Asia, 7/30/71.  Secret; Exdis.  This scenario was prepared in response to an instruction to the Department from the Senior Review Group on July 23 to draft a paper outlining what the U.S. perceived as a desirable outcome to the crisis developing in East Pakistan.  The instruction called for a paper that could serve as "a scenario for discussions with the Pakistanis, the Indians and possibly the Russians." (Ibid., Box H–112, SRG Minutes, Originals, 1971)  Drafted by Quainton and used by the Senior Review Group at their meeting on July 30.  Because of a typographical error, the drafting date on the paper is given as June 29.  The attached paper on humanitarian relief, cited in the scenario, is not published. 

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143.  Memorandum From the Deputy Administrator of the Agency for International Development (Williams) to Secretary of State Rogers, Washington, September 3, 1971

Williams reported to Rogers on his trip to Pakistan and offered his recommendations.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, SOC 10 PAK.  Secret.  Rogers transmitted the memorandum to Nixon on September 13 under a covering memorandum.  (Ibid.)  Tabs A–D are not published.

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144.  Memorandum Prepared in the Office of National Estimates, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, September 22, 1971

The memorandum assessed the first 6 months of the crisis in South Asia and suggested possible outcomes.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 570, Indo-Pak Crisis, South Asia, 1/1/71-9/30/71. Secret.  SNIE 32–71 is Document 131.  The May 28 memorandum cited in footnote 2 has not been found. 

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145.  Telegram 9833 From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State, September 28, 1971, 1039Z

Ambassador Farland made the case that the U.S. policy of seeking to maintain leverage with the Government of Pakistan had helped to "defuse or ameliorate the crisis."

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 PAK–US.  Secret; Exdis.  Repeated to Karachi, Dacca, and Lahore.  Sent with a request to repeat to other posts as desired. 

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146.  Conversation Among President Nixon, the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), British Foreign Secretary Douglas-Home, and the British Ambassador to the United States (Cromer), Washington, September 30, 1971, 4:10-5:31 p.m.

Nixon, Kissinger, and Douglas-Home shared their assessments of developments on the subcontinent and agreed to maintain close contacts in dealing with Prime Minister Gandhi concerning the crisis.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, Douglas-Home, and Cromer, Oval Office, Conversation 582–9.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portions of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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147.  Telegram 10043 From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State, October 4, 1971, 1230Z

The Embassy reported that the combined efforts of the Government in Islamabad and the army in East Pakistan had "failed to halt anarchy in the countryside, to undercut support to Mukti Bahini, or to restore East Pakistan government to its pre-March level of muddling-through incompetency."

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL PAK.  Confidential; Priority.  Repeated to Bombay, Calcutta, Dacca, Kabul, Karachi, Kathmandu, Lahore, London, Madras, New Delhi, Tehran, USUN, and the US Mission in Geneva. 

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148.  Telegram 186578 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan, October 12, 1971, 1837Z

Secretary of State Rogers commended Ambassador Farland on his assessment of the developing crisis in Pakistan.  Rogers suggested that Farland continue to stress to Pakistani President Yahya the importance of dealing leniently with Mujib.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 PAK–US.  Secret; Priority; Exdis.  Drafted on September 29 by Laingen; cleared by Van Hollen, Sisco, and Irwin; and approved by Rogers.  Repeated to Dacca, Lahore, and Karachi. 

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149.  Memorandum From Harold Saunders and Samuel Hoskinson of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, November 4, 1971

Advisers to President Nixon and Indian Prime Minister Gandhi discussed the building crisis in South Asia while Nixon and Gandhi met  Assistant Secretary of State Sisco said Yahya Khan had accepted the idea of a unilateral military withdrawal and was prepared under certain conditions to open a dialogue with Bangla Desh representatives.  T. N. Kaul responded skeptically to both suggestions.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 919, VIP Visits, India, PM Indira Gandhi Visit, Nov. 1971.  Secret.  Sent for information.  Saunders initialed for himself and Hoskinson.  A notation on the memorandum indicates that Kissinger saw it.  

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150.  Conversation Among President Nixon, the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), and the President’s Assistant (Haldeman), Washington, November 5, 1971, 8:51–9:00 a.m.

Nixon, Kissinger, and Haldeman discussed Nixon’s conversation the previous day with Indian Prime Minister Gandhi, and agreed on the approach to take in the meeting he was scheduled to have with her later in the day.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, and Haldeman, Oval Office, Conversation 615–4.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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151.  Memorandum for the President’s File, Washington, November 5, 1971

President Nixon and Indian Prime Minister Gandhi discussed international developments but not the crisis in South Asia.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President’s Office Files, Box 2, Memoranda for the President, Beginning October 31, 1971.  Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only.  Apparently drafted by Kissinger.  The meeting was held in the Oval Office at 11:20 a.m. 

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152.  Memorandum From the Deputy Administrator of the Agency for International Development (Williams) to Secretary of State Rogers, Washington, November 5, 1971

Williams reported to Rogers on his recent trip to Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 PAK.  Secret; Nodis.  Sent through S/S and initialed by Eliot. A stamped notation on a copy of this memorandum in White House files indicates the President saw it.  (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 627, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. VIII, Nov–Dec 71) 

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153.  Analytical Summary Prepared by the National Security Council Staff, Washington, November 11, 1971

Summary of a contingency paper drafted in the Department of State that outlined options open to the United States in the event of an outbreak of war between India and Pakistan.  The summary was prepared for use by the Washington Special Actions Group.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–082, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 11/12/71.  Secret; Exdis.  The summary was attached to and summarized an undated paper that outlined contingency planning in the event of an outbreak of war between India and Pakistan.  Neither the contingency paper nor the analytical summary have drafting information, but the former was apparently drafted in the Department of State and the summary was prepared by the NSC staff.  Samuel Hoskinson and Richard Kennedy probably drafted the summary, which they forwarded with the contingency paper to Kissinger on November 11 under a covering memorandum for use by the Washington Special Actions Group at their November 12 meeting.  (Ibid) 

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154.  Conversation Among President Nixon, his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan, November 15, 1971, 4:31–4:39 p.m.

Nixon briefed Sultan Khan on his conversation with Indian Prime Minister Gandhi, assured him of U.S. sympathy and support for Pakistan, and discussed U.S. efforts to try to prevent a war.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, and Sultan Khan, Oval Office, Conversation No. 617–17.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portion of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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155.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Rogers and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, November 23, 1971, 10:55 a.m.

Kissinger and Rogers expressed some differences over the U.S. response to the escalation of fighting in East Pakistan.

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 15–23 November 1971.  No classification marking.  The omissions are in the original transcript.  The announcements referred to in the conversation are apparently the projected announcements of Nixon’s scheduled meetings in December with West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, French President Georges Pompidou, and British Prime Minister Edward Heath.  The cable referenced in the conversation is apparently telegram 212549 to Islamabad, November 23.  (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL INDIA–PAK) 

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156.  Conversation Among President Nixon, his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), and Secretary of State Rogers, Washington, November 24, 1971, 12:27–1:12 p.m.

Nixon, Kissinger, and Rogers discussed the implications of the crisis in South Asia and the approach to be taken in dealing with India and Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, and Rogers, Oval Office, Conversation No. 624–21.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portion of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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157.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, November 26, 1971, 10:42 a.m.

Nixon and Kissinger discussed the fighting in East Pakistan.  Nixon said he "would like the Indians to be embarrassed."

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 24–30 November 1971.  No classification marking.  The omissions are in the original transcript. 

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158.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Rogers and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 3, 1971, 3:45 p.m.

Kissinger and Rogers discussed whether to place the blame for the conflict on India.

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 1–5 December 1971.  No classification marking. 

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159.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of the Treasury Connally and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 5, 1971

Kissinger and Connally agreed that the fighting between India and Pakistan had developed as a result of collusion between India and the Soviet Union.  They further agreed that it was necessary to oppose India in the conflict.

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 397, Telephone Conversations, Home File, December 1971.  No classification marking. 

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160.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Minister of the Soviet Embassy (Vorontsov), Washington, December 5, 1971, 4:55 p.m.

Kissinger called Vorontsov to confirm that President Nixon felt that the crisis in South Asia had created a watershed in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 1-5 December 1971.  No classification marking. 

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161.  Conversation Between President Nixon and Secretary of State Rogers, Washington, December 6, 1971, 9:19–9:24 a.m.

Nixon and Rogers discussed the crisis in South Asia and the bleak prospects facing the Pakistani Government.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Rogers, White House Telephone, Conversation No. 16–14.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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162.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 6, 1971, 6:14–6:38 p.m.

Nixon and Kissinger discussed the crisis in South Asia, focusing on the approach to take with the Soviet Union and China, and the best way to deal with Indian Prime Minister Gandhi.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 630–20.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portions of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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163.  Conversation Among President Nixon, Secretary of Commerce Stans, the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig), and the President’s Assistant and Press Secretary (Ziegler), Washington, December 7, 1971, 3:55–4:29 p.m.

Following a report to Nixon by Stans on his trip to the Soviet Union, Nixon, Kissinger, Haig, and Ziegler discussed a background briefing Kissinger intended to give the press concerning the crisis in South Asia.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, Haig, and Ziegler, Oval Office, Conversation No. 631–4.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portions of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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164.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Pakistani Ambassador (Raza), Washington, December 8, 1971, 2:47 p.m.

Kissinger suggested that Pakistan invoke its mutual security treaty with the United States.

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 6-10 Dec 1971.  No classification marking. 

No mutual security treaty has ever been concluded between the United States and Pakistan.  The references to such a treaty and unqualified references to an assurance offered to Pakistan by the Kennedy administration indicate that Nixon and Kissinger were ill-informed about the nature and extent of a U.S. commitment to take military action to assist Pakistan in the event of an attack by India.  Kissinger’s reference to a mutual security treaty during this conversation is an apparent reference to the Agreement of Cooperation signed by the United States and Pakistan on March 5, 1959, in the context of Pakistan’s membership in the Baghdad Pact.  The agreement (10 UST 317) obligates the United States to take appropriate action "as may be mutually agreed upon" to defend Pakistan against aggression.  The agreement cites the Joint Resolution to Promote Peace and Stability in the Middle East of March 9, 1957. (PL–7, 85th Congress)  The Joint Resolution contemplated, among other things, the use of armed forces to assist nations against aggression by "any country controlled by international communism" so long as such use of force was consonant with the treaty obligations and the Constitution of the United States.  The assurance offered to Pakistan in 1962, which was cited by Kissinger repeatedly during the crisis, was that the United States would come to Pakistan’s assistance in the event of Indian aggression against Pakistan.  The assurance was delivered in an aide-mémoire presented to Pakistani President Ayub Khan on November 5, 1962.  (For text, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, volume XIX, page 372, footnote 6)  The aide-mémoire did not subject the assurance to any qualification relating to constitutional constraints.  A Department of State press release issued on November 17, 1962, however, stated that the United States had assured Pakistan that, if India misused United States military assistance in aggression against Pakistan, the United States would take "immediately, in accordance with constitutional authority, appropriate action to thwart such aggression." (Ibid., footnote 7) 

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165.  Conversation Among President Nixon, his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), and Attorney General Mitchell, Washington, December 8, 1971, 4:20-5:01 p.m.

During the course of a discussion of the crisis in South Asia, Nixon, Kissinger, and Mitchell weighed the possibilities of increasing pressure on India.  Nixon instructed Kissinger to contact China to urge the Chinese to initiate military moves toward the Indian border, and he authorized the movement of a carrier group into the Bay of Bengal.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, and Mitchell, Old Executive Office Building, Conversation No. 307–27.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portions of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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166.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 8, 1971, 8:03–8:12 p.m.

Nixon and Kissinger weighed whether to cancel the Moscow summit if the Soviet Union did not restrain India.  Nixon reiterated his conviction that China could exercise a decisive restraining influence on India.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, White House Telephone, Conversation No. 16–64.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume.  

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167.  Memorandum for the Record, Washington, December 9, 1971, 6:59 a.m.

General Colin Hamilton responded to an Indian allegation of U.S. military assistance to Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, NEA Files: Lot 73 D 69, Miscellaneous–SOA 1971.  Secret; Limdis.  Prepared by Brigadier General Colin C. Hamilton, USAF. 

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168.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 9, 1971, 12:44–1:27 p.m.

Nixon and Kissinger again weighed the moves they could make to prevent India from dismembering West Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 633–11.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portions of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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169.  Conversation Among President Nixon, his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), the Soviet Minister of Agriculture (Matskevich), and the Soviet Chargé d’ Affaires (Vorontsov), Washington, December 9, 1971, 4:00–4:41 p.m.

Nixon reviewed progress toward détente and asked Maskevich to inform Chairman Brezhnev that such progress would be seriously jeopardized if the Soviet Union did not act to restrain India from attacking West Pakistan.  If India were to attack West Pakistan, Nixon warned there would be a confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, Matskevich, and Vorontsov, Oval Office, Conversation No. 634–12.  No classification marking.  According to the President’s Daily Diary, Butterfield also attended the meeting.  (Ibid., White House Central Files)  The comments by Matskevich were translated by an interpreter.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume.  

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170.  Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, December 9, 1971

Intelligence assessment of the implications of an Indian victory over Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–083, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 12/9/71.  Secret.  Prepared for the Washington Special Actions Group.  

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171.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 9, 1971, 5:57–6:34 p.m.

Nixon and Kissinger concluded that, while East Pakistan could not be saved, they would have "accomplished a lot" if they managed to "save a strong West Pakistan."

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 634–19.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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172.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 10, 1971, 10:51–11:12 a.m.

Nixon and Kissinger discussed the measures that could serve to preserve the territorial integrity of West Pakistan.  Nixon ordered a program of economic support for West Pakistan and a public relations campaign to fix the blame for the crisis on India.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 635–8.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portions of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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173.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 10, 1971, 12:47–1:01 p.m.

Kissinger reported to Nixon on his meeting with Soviet Chargé Vorontsov.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 635–17.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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174.  Information Memorandum From the Director of the Planning and Coordination Staff (Cargo) to Secretary of State Rogers, Washington, December 11, 1971

Cargo assessed U.S. interests in the South Asian crisis and stressed the importance of brokering a cease-fire in West Pakistan.  Looking beyond the conflict, Cargo suggested the U.S. objective should be to establish a normal and positive relationship with the new Government of Bangladesh.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. A copy was sent to Sisco. 

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175.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Among the Deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan (Bhutto), the Pakistani Ambassador (Raza), and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), December 11, 1971, 7:28 p.m.

Bhutto asked to meet with Nixon, and he and Raza pressed Kissinger for a firm public statement warning India to cease intervention in Pakistan.

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 11–15 Dec 1971.  No classification marking.  Haig was also on the telephone.  Kissinger and Haig were in Washington; Bhutto and Raza were in New York City. 

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176.  Telegram 12414 From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State, December 12, 1971, 0825Z

Ambassador Farland asked Pakistani President Yahya to clarify Pakistan’s position with respect to a cease-fire.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Immediate; Exdis.  Repeated to Dacca, New Delhi, and USUN. 

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177.  Conversation Among President Nixon, his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), and his Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig), Washington, December 12, 1971, 8:45–9:42 a.m.

In the course of discussing the public opinion aspects of the crisis, a UN resolution to condemn India as an aggressor, and a hotline message to Moscow, Nixon, Kissinger, and Haig were confronted with the implications of having offered to protect China from the Soviet Union if China intervened in the conflict between India and Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation among Nixon, Kissinger and Haig, Oval Office, Conversation No. 637–3.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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178.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 12, 1971, 10:27–10:37 a.m.

Nixon and Kissinger reacted to the news that India had offered an assurance that it would not attack West Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 637–6. No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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179.  Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 12, 1971, 11:04–11:14 a.m.

Nixon and Kissinger completed drafting the hotline message to the Soviet Union.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 637–11.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the conversation published here specifically for this volume.

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180.  Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 12, 1971

The contingency paper, prepared for the Washington Special Actions Group, examined the refugee problem created by the conflict in East Pakistan from humanitarian, political, economic and managerial perspectives, but assumed the "overriding importance" of humanitarian considerations.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Nodis.  Drafted on December 10 by Thomas P. Thornton (S/PC).  Thornton also apparently drafted the attached study.  Cleared in S/P by Deputy Director Joseph Neubert and Cargo; in NEA by Van Hollen, Quainton, and Constable; and in S/R, IO/UNP, INR/RNA, and AID/NESA.  

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181.  Telegram 223704 From the Department of State to the Embassy in India, December 12, 1971, 2250Z

Indian Ambassador Jha responded to a U.S. request to outline India’s war aims.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Priority; Exdis.  Also sent immediate as Tosec 9 to the White House with a request to pass it to Secretary Rogers on Air Force One.  Repeated to Dacca, Islamabad, London, Moscow, and USUN.  Drafted by Quainton and approved by Irwin  

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182.  Telegram 11295 from the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State, December 13, 1971, 0211Z

Ambassador Annenberg met with British Prime Minister Heath and Foreign Secretary Douglas-Home to discuss Britain’s position in the United Nations on the fighting in South Asia.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Flash; Exdis.  Sent flash to the Department with a request to pass to the White House for the President and Secretary Rogers.  Repeated flash to USUN. 

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183.  Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Information Cable TDCS–314/13308–71, Washington, December 13, 1971

A report on Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s briefing at which India’s war aims were discussed in light of the United Nations cease-fire resolution.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation.  Secret; Priority; No Foreign Distribution.  Sent to the White House and distributed within the Departments of State, Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the JCS, and NSA. 

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184.  Telegram 5627 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, December 14, 1971, 0408Z

Consul General Spivack met with Governor Malik and General Farman Ali to discuss the possibility of a cease-fire to avoid the danger of a "bloodbath" in East Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27–14 INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Flash; Exdis.  Repeated flash to Islamabad and New Delhi. 

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185.  Telegram 5628 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, December 14, 1971, 0441Z

Governor Malik informed Consul General Spivack that the question of a cease-fire was being handled through Ambassador Farland in Islamabad and that it would be unnecessary to put forward proposals from Dacca.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27–14 INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Flash; Exdis.  Repeated flash to Islamabad and New Delhi. 

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186.  Telegram 12542 From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State, December 14, 1971, 1420Z

In light of the impending collapse of the Pakistani army in East Pakistan, the Embassy assessed Pakistan’s options.  It concluded that Pakistan would concede East Pakistan to Bangladesh if peace "with honor" could be negotiated.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL INDIA–PAK.  Confidential; Immediate; Exdis.  Repeated priority to Calcutta, Colombo, Dacca, Kabul, Kathmandu, Karachi, Lahore, London, Moscow, New Delhi, Paris, Tehran, and USUN. 

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187.  Central Intelligence Agency Information Cable TDCS–315/07612–71, Washington, December 15, 1971

Report on the Soviet response to an Indian request that the Soviet Union recognize and sign a defense treaty with Bangladesh.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation.  Secret; Priority; No Foreign Dissemination.  Sent to the White House, and distributed within the Departments of State and Defense, the CIA, the JCS, and NSA.  Also sent to Islamabad for the Ambassador, the DCM, the political counselor, and the defense attaché.  Sent to Dacca, Karachi, Lahore, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras for principal officers only, and to CINCPAC, CINCPACAF, CINCPACFLT, AND CINCARPAC. 

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188.  Telegram 19243 From the Embassy in India to the Department of State, December 15, 1971, 0738Z

Ambassador Keating asked for the rationale behind the decision to deploy the U.S. carrier task force into the Indian Ocean.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 573, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/14/71–12/16/71.  Secret; Immediate; Exdis.  Also sent to the White House.  

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189.  Conversation Among President Nixon, his Assistant (Haldeman), and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 15, 1971, 8:45–11:30 a.m.

Nixon and Kissinger discussed the implications of the Soviet assurance that India would not press an attack on West Pakistan.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation among Nixon, Haldeman, and Kissinger, Oval Office, Conversation No. 638–4.  No classification marking.  The editor transcribed the portion of the conversation published here specifically for this volume. 

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190.  Telegram 11410 From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State, December 15, 1971, 1656Z

Ambassador Annenberg reported on a conversation with Stanley Tomlinson, British Deputy Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in which Tomlinson discussed U.S.–UK differences of perspective on the crisis in South Asia.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK.  Secret; Priority; Exdis. 

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191.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 16, 1971, 10:40 a.m.

Nixon and Kissinger reacted to India’s declaration of a cease-fire in the west.

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 16–17 Dec. 1971.  No classification marking.  The omissions are in the original transcription. 

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192.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 16, 1971, 12:15 p.m.

Nixon told Kissinger he intended to continue to take a hard line on economic assistance to India.

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 16–17 Dec. 1971.  No classification marking.  The omissions are in the original transcription. 

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193.  Telegram 227784 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan, December 18, 1971, 2222Z

Secretary Rogers met with Pakistani Deputy Prime Minister-designate Bhutto, who expressed appreciation for U.S. support for Pakistan during the crisis.  He said he was returning to Pakistan in anticipation of assuming the reins of political power.  He was prepared to seek reconciliation with India and asked the U.S. not to act hastily in recognizing Bangladesh.

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15-1 PAK.  Secret; Immediate; Exdis.  Drafted by Laingen and approved by Van Hollen.  Laingen initialed for Van Hollen.  Repeated to New Delhi, USUN, London, Moscow, Tehran, Paris, Dacca, and Calcutta.  Sent with an instruction to deliver at the opening of business on December 19. 

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194.  Telegram 19600 From the Embassy in India to the Department of State, December 23, 1971, 1035Z

The Embassy reported on an interview Indian Prime Minister Gandhi gave to a journalist in which she said U.S.-Indian relations could return to normal if the U.S. was prepared to recognize India’s predominant position on the subcontinent.

Source:  National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 573, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/17/71–12/31/71.  Confidential; Limdis. 

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195.  Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Rogers and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 23, 1971, 8 p.m.

Rogers and Kissinger differed over the nature of the U.S. assurance to Pakistan.

Source:  Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 18–23 Dec. 1971.  No classification marking.  The excision was in accordance with the donor’s deed of gift. 

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196.  Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nutter) to Secretary of Defense Laird, December 30, 1971

Nutter’s memorandum to Laird assessed, from the perspective of the Department of Defense, U.S.-South Asia policy in the wake of the crisis on the subcontinent.

Source:  Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 76–0197, Box 74, Pakistan 092 (Aug–Dec) 1971.  Secret; Sensitive. 

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197.  Telegram 232870 From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations, December 30, 1971, 0016Z

The Department’s initial decision was that U.S. humanitarian assistance to the successor state in East Pakistan would be channeled through the United Nations

Source:  National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, SOC 10 BANGLADESH.  Secret; Priority.  Drafted by Sisco and C. Herbert Rees, Director of the Office of South Asian Affairs (AID/NESA) on December 23; cleared in AID/NESA by Williams and in the White House by Saunders; and approved by Rogers.  Repeated to Islamabad, New Delhi, Dacca, and Calcutta. 

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