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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 XI
Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume XI, South Asia Crisis, 1971
Released by the Office of the Historian

302. Telegram From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 432, Backchannel Files, Backchannels To/From HAK. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only; Flash. The telegram is not numbered; it was received in the White House at 11: 51 a.m. A draft, found in another file, indicates it was transmitted at 1637Z. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan)
Lajes, Azores, December 14, 1971.

1. Here are my present thoughts on India-Pakistan.

2. We should move a ceasefire resolution soonest. It would be best if British resolution were introduced. But the Italian/2/ would serve as a vehicle as well. The major objective should be to get a cease-fire resolution with vague political formula not mentioning Bangla Desh or East Pakistan. In this round we must make a record and get asked by Paks to do the political yielding. Make sure Paks keep Chinese informed and abroad. Put it hard to Vorontsov that vague formula is the bridge to our common objective on political side. It is imperative that they show good faith and stop stalling if they want serious dealing with White House.

/2/ The texts of the Italian and British draft resolutions were transmitted to Kissinger on December 14 in White House telegrams WH 11159 and WH 11176, respectively. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 432, Backchannel Files, Backchannels To/From HAK) The differences between the two resolutions were summarized by Saunders in a December 15 memorandum to Kissinger as follows: "The British is a simple ceasefire on all fronts. The Italian still provides, in addition, for 'disengagement leading to the withdrawal of all their respective armed forces from the areas of conflict.' "The British tries to say enough about a political settlement to hint that it could be what the Indians want. The Italian provides for direct negotiations between the West and East Pakistanis without pre-conditions and could save some Pakistani dignity. "The British sets up a UN special representative to help sort out political and humanitarian problems. The Italian leaves it to the locals." On balance, Saunders felt that the Italian resolution was preferable from the U.S. perspective. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 573, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/14/71-12/16/71)

3. Spivack is to stay away from Bangla Desh. See you soon.

4. Re Delhi 19203,/3/ Keating is to give no such assurances. Many thanks.

/3/ In telegram 19203 from New Delhi, December 14, Ambassador Keating reported that rumors of possible U.S. involvement in the Indo-Pak war were circulating in India. He asked for authorization to offer assurances that the United States did not intend to support Pakistan with U.S. arms or equipment. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

303. Memorandum for the Record/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 8. Top Secret; Sensitive.
Washington, December 14, 1971.

Meeting with Minister Vorontsov on Tuesday, December 14, 1971
At 12:22 p.m., I summoned Minister Vorontsov to the White House in connection with the crisis in South Asia. He arrived at 12:40 p.m., and I covered the following points:

-I noted that Dr. Kissinger and the President had received and carefully considered the message/2/ delivered by Minister Vorontsov from the Soviet leadership which was delivered by Mr. Vorontsov at 3:00 a.m. this morning.

/2/ Document 295.

-Dr. Kissinger and the President were somewhat concerned that the Soviet note was vague and imprecise in several major respects. The most important of these was the reference to India's plans not to seize West Pakistani territory. I stated that this issue was one of the utmost importance to the United States Government and that it was our assumption that the message meant precisely what it said; i.e., that there would be absolutely no change in the existing territorial lines between Pakistan and India-in other words, that there would be a precise return to the status quo ante with respect to Pakistan's and India's territories. Mr. Vorontsov stated that it was his personal understanding that this represented precisely the Soviet view.

-I pointed out that I would be less than frank were I not to emphasize the fact that the U.S. side was greatly concerned by the amount of time it took the Soviet Union to respond in detail on this issue following Mr. Vorontsov's initial message/3/ of Sunday morning (December 12). I made the point that delays of this kind in times of crisis can only contribute to misunderstanding and a breakdown in confidence between the two governments. It can also result in the initiation of unilateral action by one party or the other which could further aggravate the situation.

/3/ Document 284.

-In this instance, it was hard for the United States side to understand, especially after reading the contents of the Soviet reply, what the cause might have been for the extensive delay, other than a Soviet desire to permit the situation on the ground rather than mutual consultation decide the issue.

-I emphasized that Mr. Vorontsov knew that conflicting interests involved in this situation were such that any acceptable formula which would promptly bring the fighting to a halt must be sufficiently vague so that all interested parties could support the formula. This would mean that the United States for its part would seek to insure that reference to political settlement be purposely vague and at the same time the United States Government would wish to urge good faith on the part of the Soviets that we had every intention of abiding by the principles outlined in the messages from President Nixon to the Soviet leadership as well as the discussions between Dr. Kissinger and Mr. Vorontsov.

-For our part, we intend to seek a formula for negotiation under the assumption that the assurances given by the Soviet leadership will be strictly adhered to by the Soviet Union.

-At this juncture and on the eve of most important discussions between the two Governments, it is the U.S. view that the Soviet Union must now move promptly to bring a halt to the fighting. If we are to experience the kind of delays from the Soviet side which have characterized their performance since the start of this crisis, it cannot have but the most serious impact on the relationships between the Government of the Soviet Union and the United States on the full range of issues which we are now discussing in other forums, both bilateral and multilateral.
After making the above points, Mr. Vorontsov asked if General Haig's statements represented the views of the President, Dr. Kissinger or General Haig. General Haig stated that these views were conveyed to him by Dr. Kissinger and that they are totally consistent with the President's personal views on the situation.

Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

304. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 578, Indo-Pak War, India Chronology, Dr Kissinger. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Quainton, cleared by Van Hollen, and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Islamabad, London, Calcutta,


Washington, December 14, 1971, 1848Z.

224566. Subj: Carrier Deployment in Indian Ocean.

1. Indian Ambassador Jha called at his request on Assistant Secretary Sisco to express GOI concern over reported US deployment of nuclear carrier in Indian Ocean for evacuation purposes. Ambassador accompanied by First Secretary Verma; Van Hollen, Schneider and Quainton present from NEA.

2. Jha said he wished to raise subject which has arisen out of his talks with Under Secretary Irwin. Under Secretary had, he said, informed him that helicopters had been pre-positioned in Thailand for evacuation purposes. Impression which he had received was that they were in Bangkok. However, subsequent reports indicate that helicopters were on nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, equipped with "all kinds of devices and gadgets." In earlier conversations Jha said he had tried to make clear that GOI anxious to help in evacuation of foreign personnel and had made every facility available for that purpose. GOI is as anxious as before to insure safety of personnel in Dacca or their evacuation if necessary. In view of aircraft carrier report, GOI had instructed him to seek assurance from USG that there will be no evacuation operation without prior agreement with GOI or by force.

3. Sisco said he would report what Jha had said, but had nothing to add to December 13 statement by Secretary Laird re aircraft carrier./2/ He said he would be back in touch if he had anything to add.

/2/ Laird was asked in a press conference at the Pentagon on December 13 to comment on reports that the aircraft carrier Enterprise had been ordered to sail to the Indian Ocean. Laird responded that he made it a practice not to comment on operational orders, but he noted that the government had contingency plans to deal with situations involving evacuation and he implied that the movement of the carrier was connected with those plans. (Public Statements of Secretary of Defense Laird, 1971, vol. VI, pp. 2262-2274)

4. Jha said he had also a report from New Delhi that USG had some plan or intention to establish a beachhead in some part of Bangla Desh for evacuation of US personnel or to facilitate transfer of Pakistani personnel to West Pakistan. Any such attempt would be a very serious matter and would endanger long-term Indo-US relations. It might also have other implications and in any event would not have effect of bringing conflict to speedy end.

5. Sisco said he had seen report; while he was personally not aware of any such plan, he would take note of Ambassador's remarks and if he had anything further would be back in touch. Sisco said he felt constrained to say, in view of Jha's mention of possible impact on bilateral relations, that, although he did not wish to go into past history, we do see in GOI's actions things which not only reflect present strains in our relations but also which obviously could have implications for our long-term relations, which both sides will be looking at in the future.

305. Memorandum for the Record/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 8. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Drafted by Haig.

Washington, December 14, 1971, 6-7 p.m.

Meeting between Henry A. Kissinger, Soviet Minister Vorontsov, and Brigadier General Haig, Tuesday, December 14, 1971, 6:00 p.m.

Dr. Kissinger informed Minister Vorontsov that the President had asked him to meet with the Minister to again reiterate and expand on some of the items that General Haig had discussed with him earlier that day./2/ Dr. Kissinger noted that when the crisis in the Subcontinent became acute, the U.S. Government delayed initiating unilateral action or action in concert with other governments with the hope that the US could work jointly with the Soviet Union in the established confidential channel in a search for a constructive and peaceful solution to the dilemma. It was specifically for this reason that the United States held up military moves and other actions which it might otherwise have undertaken in its own interest and in the interest of world peace. Despite this fact, the prolonged time that lapsed between Mr. Vorontsov's discussions with Dr. Kissinger on Sunday morning (December 12) and the receipt of a formal Soviet response/3/ early Tuesday morning resulted in certain unilateral actions by the U.S. Government. These same delays were experienced following Dr. Kissinger's earlier discussions with Minister Vorontsov during the outbreak of the fighting.

/2/ See Document 303.

/3/ Document 295.

Dr. Kissinger stated that he noted with satisfaction the Soviet Government's assurance that the Government of India had absolutely no territorial designs on West Pakistan, and he wanted it clearly understood that he was referring to a return to the status quo ante or the existing dividing lines between India and West Pakistan and that efforts would not be made to modify these dividing lines in the current crisis. Mr. Vorontsov replied that this was precisely the Soviet view and their understanding of the assurance provided to the United States Government; in other words, that there should be a precise return to the status quo ante which existed prior to the current crisis. Dr. Kissinger stated that Mr. Vorontsov may have noted the press reports/4/ coming from Air Force One during the return of the Presidential party from the Azores. Mr. Vorontsov indicated that he was aware of those remarks. Dr. Kissinger stated that these remarks were somewhat overplayed by the press and they should be interpreted as confirmation of the U.S. view that there was no longer any justification for failing to settle the conflict on the Subcontinent. Further delays of the kind we have been experiencing constitute a temporary irritation in U.S./Soviet relationships and the remarks on the plane were designed to note the U.S.'s concern. Should the situation continue to deteriorate, it must have an impact on future U.S./Soviet relationships. Soviet actions thus far are not consistent with the United States Government's conception of joint U.S./

/4/ The New York Times reported on December 15 that Kissinger told reporters that Nixon regarded the Soviet Union as capable of restraining India. He added that if the Soviets did not do so within the next few days, Nixon was prepared to reassess the entire relationship between Washington and Moscow, including the summit meeting that was scheduled for the following May.

Soviet action in search of an improved environment for world peace.

Dr. Kissinger noted that the United Kingdom now had a resolution before the United Nations./5/ While this resolution appeared to be changing hourly, it is in the general framework of the kind of resolution that the U.S. believes the Soviet Government and the U.S. Government should support. The United States Government is not aware of the view of the People's Republic of China on this resolution, but if all parties could get behind such a resolution then the situation on the Subcontinent could be settled tomorrow. If this is not the Soviet Government's view, how should the United States then interpret the communication from the Soviet leaders? Mr. Vorontsov asked why the United States Government would not be willing to go beyond a resolution calling for a simple ceasefire since this was not adequate in the Soviet or the Indian viewpoint. Dr. Kissinger stated that the resolution might be expanded to include withdrawal since Indian forces have penetrated much Pakistani territory. Thus far, Soviet reactions have been slow and characterized by delaying tactics. The U.S. has observed the Soviet bureaucracy move with the greatest speed when it chooses to do so. Minister Vorontsov stated that the complication arose when the United States Government changed on Monday/6/ the proposals it had made the previous week to the Soviet Government. This was a cause of great concern to the Soviet leaders. Of particular concern was the fact that the United States Government dropped reference to a political solution which was contained in the language given by Dr. Kissinger to Minister Vorontsov earlier. Dr. Kissinger stated that this was true but that the reasons that it was necessary to do so was the failure on the part of the Soviet Government to respond promptly to the U.S. proposal. Minister Vorontsov said the problem is obviously not a question of Soviet or U.S. ill will but one of the complexity of the problem. Dr. Kissinger stated that he was less concerned about the immediate handling of the situation but could not help but blame the Soviet Union for letting the situation develop in the first instance. For example, the provision of massive amounts of modern military equipment to the Government of India, and threats to China which served as a guarantee and cover for Indian action had to be considered as the cause of the difficulty. Minister Vorontsov replied that the Paks had U.S. armament, some Soviet armament and some Chinese armament. The real problem was the result of grievous errors made by Pakistan in the East. Dr. Kissinger stated that we are now dealing with reality which must receive urgent attention. The U.S. is prepared on its part to give up its demand for withdrawal and it has asked that the Soviets on its part give up its demands for a political settlement. This poses an obvious compromise. Minister Vorontsov noted that the U.S. departure from its earlier language is what has caused the problem. Dr. Kissinger reiterated that this was forced on the U.S. side because the Soviet Government gave no answer over a prolonged period. Thus, the U.S. was forced to move based on the principles to which it adhered. There was no Soviet response even after the President's departure for the Azores. Thus, the United States had no alternative but to adhere to the moral principles associated with the issue. Minister Vorontsov said it should be noted that when the United States dropped the three essential points contained in its initial proposal, Moscow was greatly disturbed. Moscow had originally been very pleased by the U.S. move in Dacca which the President noted in his letter to Mr. Brezhnev but then a sudden departure from the political initiative caused great concern in his capital. The problem now is that it is time to prevent a bloodbath in East Pakistan. It is essential that all parties act now. A viable resolution can only transfer power to the Bangla Desh. Dr. Kissinger said that the U.S. Government cannot go along with this kind of resolution. Mr. Vorontsov replied that the question was now academic since he had seen on the news that the East Pakistan Government had already resigned. Dr. Kissinger stated that he would now like to summarize his understanding. This understanding was that:

/5/ See footnote 2, Document 302.

/6/ Vorontsov was apparently referring to the message sent by Nixon to Brezhnev on Sunday, December 12; see Document 286.

-The Indians would not attack the West.

-The Indians would not seek to acquire Pakistan territory and would return to the territorial limits that existed prior to the crisis-in other words to a status quo ante.

Minister Vorontsov said that that would also be the Soviet Union's understanding. Dr. Kissinger stated the issue is now to get a settlement in East Pakistan. Minister Vorontsov agreed noting that a means must be found to prevent the bloodbath which will follow. Dr. Kissinger stated that the original U.S. statement was an objective one not suitable for a U.N. resolution. Minister Vorontsov agreed. Dr. Kissinger stated that continual haggling between parties in the Security Council could only lead to sterile results. If it continues, it cannot sit well with the United States Government. For this reason, something like the U.K. resolution, which the United States side does not like either, appears to offer the best compromise. On the other hand, if the Soviets continue to seek a fait accompli, then the U.S. Government must draw its own conclusions from this reality. Minister Vorontsov asked what Dr. Kissinger considered an ideal solution. Dr. Kissinger stated that the U.S. Government knows that East Pakistan will not go back to the West. On the other hand, the U.S. cannot legally accept an overt change in status at this moment, and efforts within the United Nations to force the U.S. Government to do so must be vetoed. The U.S. considers that a fait accompli has occurred in the East and the problem is to proceed from that point. On the other hand, India seeks not only to break East Pakistan away from the West but to do so under a mantle of legitimacy. This is more than the United States can accept. Just two weeks ago, Madame Gandhi said that the situation in East Pakistan was an internal Pakistani problem. Thus, steps from this point on should be to stop the fighting. Why should the United States struggle with the Soviet Union at costs in its relations with the Soviets on an issue like the Bangla Desh, especially when there are such great issues like the Middle East to be settled between the two sides? Furthermore, the United States is not anti-India as some would infer. Certainly, the Soviets know what the real problem is. Minister Vorontsov stated that the real problem in Moscow is concern that the United States continually airs its complaints in the press. Statements like the Summit statement earlier in the day cause real problems in Moscow. Dr. Kissinger stated that General Haig had advised Minister Vorontsov that we had waited for an extended period for a Soviet response but none was forthcoming. The U.S. had informed the Soviet Government that we were prepared to take parallel action and was confident that the Soviets would join with us. There is no way that the U.S. could permit Pakistan to be dismembered officially in the United Nations framework. It was the U.S. view that an agreement could be worked out between the two governments quietly in the confidential channel. Certainly, the Chinese would oppose such a solution in the United Nations. President Nixon interpreted the Soviet response as a delaying action. Minister Vorontsov noted that the U.S. neglected to reiterate the West Pakistan concession made in Dacca. Dr. Kissinger stated that the President did not focus specifically on that issue. For that matter, Dr. Kissinger himself did not. The U.S. now appreciates this and therefore both sides could wind up the matter without further delay. Minister Vorontsov said that the Soviets would need some help with respect to the Summit statement as soon as possible that would tend to limit the damage in Moscow. Dr. Kissinger stated that the U.S. side would calm public speculation on the issue. Dr. Kissinger directed General Haig to insure that Press Secretary Ziegler modify the exaggerated play that was given to the statement on Air Force One. Dr. Kissinger continued that since Friday,/7/ President Nixon had been concerned that the Soviet leaders were not doing all possible to arrive at a settlement. On the way to the Azores, he commented that it would have been most helpful if he could tell the French that the U.S. and the Soviets had concerted to arrive at a settlement. In the face of continued delays, however, the President began to believe that the Soviet Government was providing words only with the view towards letting events on the ground dictate the ultimate outcome. It is not President Nixon's style to threaten. Certainly he hopes that the U.S./Soviet Summit will work but in this context, President Nixon has long sought a genuine change in U.S./Soviet relations. Despite his desires, however, the Soviets proceed to equip India with great amounts of sophisticated armaments. If the Soviet Government were to support or to pressure other foreign leaders to dismember or to divide an ally of the United States, how can the Soviet leaders expect progress in our mutual relationships? This is the source of the President's concern. He has never questioned mere atmospherics but intends to make major progress in U.S. Soviet relations.

/7/ December 10.

The meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

306. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by U. Alexis Johnson, cleared in the White House by Saunders, and approved by Johnson. Repeated to New Delhi and Calcutta.
Washington, December 14, 1971, 2136Z.
224704. If and when Bangla Desh and or Indian forces occupy Dacca, you should not take any initiative to establish or encourage contact with them beyond that which may be required in emergency situations to protect American lives or to otherwise assure safety of your mission.

307. Telegram From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-14 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Flash; Exdis. Repeated to Islamabad, New Delhi, and USUN.
Dacca, December 15, 1971, 0500Z.

5643. 1. Assistant Secretary General Paul Marc Henry has asked that I arrange to have following message (not verbatim quote) passed from him to SYG.
Begin message: I have been informed by Governor Malik and General Farman Ali that President Yahya Khan strongly desires to put a end to hostilities in EP. For this purpose he wishes to arrange with the Indian Govt an immediate cease-fire period of at least two hours in which discussions for this purpose can take place between the military commanders concerned. The President desires honorable conditions for Pakistani troops and protection of civilians. I pass this message to you for what it is worth, since I have no independent means of verification. End of message./2/

/2/ USUN passed the message to the UN Secretariat at 11:30 a.m. on December 15 and the Secretariat passed it to Bhutto. Bhutto refused to credit the message without authentication from Islamabad. (Telegram 5044 from USUN, December 15; ibid.)


308. Telegram From the Embassy in India to the Department of State/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Immediate; Nodis.

New Delhi, December 15, 1971, 1050Z.
Ref: State 225268./2/

/2/ Telegram 225268 to New Delhi, December 15, instructed the Embassy to comply with the request of Foreign Minister Singh to USUN to convey to Haksar the text of the message from General Niazi as contained in telegram 5637 from Dacca. The Embassy was also instructed to tell Haksar that Singh was attempting to reach him urgently by telephone. (Ibid.)

1. DCM called on Haksar, Secretary to Prime Minister, at 1410 IST, and handed him text of message from General Niazi as contained in Dacca 5637,/3/ DATT simultaneously passed copy to General Manekshaw, Chief of Army Staff.

/3/ Document 300.

2. DCM explained that USG could take no responsibility for content of message nor express views thereon, and was simply transmitting the message at request of Foreign Minister Swaran Singh.

3. Haksar was also informed that Foreign Minister attempting to telephone him urgently. He said he had had difficulty getting call through but had managed disjointed conversation with Foreign Secretary Kaul.

4. Haksar expressed appreciation, then asked where our overall relations had gone off the track. He recounted at some length the discussions with the National Security Adviser, Dr. Kissinger, and with Assistant Secretary Sisco, during Prime Minister's visit in early November. He stressed that there could be no question of the integrity of Mrs. Gandhi's remarks to the President. He said he had a copy of the record of their talk, and that he had agreed in advance to accept the U.S. record as the official record.

5. Haksar stated that all human affairs were transitory and he was not so much concerned about the present, as it would pass, as he was about the future. He expressed concern about the relations our children would have and what we owed to them. Haksar became quite emotional, his eyes watering, and asked what we could do. DCM suggested letter from Prime Minister to President might be in order. Haksar said he would draft such a letter that afternoon.

6. U.K. HICOMer Sir Terrence Garvey called DCM as above being drafted and recounted that Niazi text had been passed back and forth between our respective UN reps. He asked if message had been delivered locally. DCM confirmed that it had.

309. Editorial Note

President Nixon met with Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office of the White House the morning of December 15, 1971, to discuss the latest developments in the crisis in South Asia. Kissinger reported that "the Russians came in yesterday giving us their own guarantee that there would be no attack on West Pakistan." (See Document 305.) Kissinger continued: "Now it's done. It's just a question of what legal way we choose." Nixon said: "Well, what the UN does is really irrelevant." Kissinger felt that a solution to the crisis might be formalized in an exchange of letters between Nixon and Brezhnev that would be made public. Nixon asked how the Chinese would react to a public accommodation between the United States and the Soviet Union. Kissinger responded: "Oh, the Chinese would be thrilled if West Pakistan were guaranteed."

Kissinger drew on his conversation with Vorontsov the previous evening to expand upon the Soviet guarantee: "He said well, I just had a cable to tell the President we give him, that this letter means that the Soviet Government gives him the guarantee that there will be no attack on West Pakistan, no annexation of West Pakistan." Nixon asked: "Vorontsov talking now?" Kissinger replied: "Yeah. He said no annexation of West Pakistan territory as of now. Don't play any legalistic games with me. We consider the existing dividing line, and also that disputed territory cannot be taken. He said yes, that's the guarantee. So now it's just a question of how to formalize it." Kissinger considered the anticipated outcome to be "an absolute miracle." He said: "I have this whole file of intelligence reports which makes it unmistakably clear that the Indian strategy was to knock over West Pakistan."

Nixon and Kissinger were concerned about efforts made by Ambassador Jha to influence public opinion in the United States during the crisis. Kissinger said: "After this is over we ought to do something about that goddamned Indian Ambassador here going on television every day and attacking American policy. Nixon asked: "Why haven't we done something already?" Kissinger responded: "I'd like to call State to call him in. He says he has unmistakable proof that we are planning a landing on the Bay of Bengal. Well that's OK with me." Nixon agreed: "Yeah, that scares them." Kissinger added: "That carrier move is good." Nixon said: "Why hell yes . . . the point about the carrier move, we just say . . . we got to be there for the purpose of their moving there. Look these people are savages." He added: "I want a word-put a word in for Scali to use . . . that the United Nations cannot survive and we cannot have a stable world if we allow one member of the United Nations to cannibalize another. Cannibalize, that's the word, I should have thought of it earlier. You see that really puts it to the Indians. It has, the connotation is savages. To cannibalize, and that's what the sons-of-bitches are up to." Kissinger interjected: "One thing we have done, if I may say so, rather well. We've put the Chinese into position where they're more eager to yield than we are." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 15, 1971, 9:05-9:11 a.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 638-4)

Kissinger returned to the Oval Office later in the morning to ask for Nixon's approval of the line he intended to take in a meeting he had scheduled within the hour with Vorontsov. Kissinger began: "And now Mr. President what I wanted to check with you just to make sure you approved. I am having Vorontsov in at 11:30. And I propose to tell him the following: Look, the Security Council thing can go on forever." Nixon concurred: "That's right." Kissinger continued: "What you and we have in mind, what you and we can do is-the President was very impressed by [unclear]." Nixon said: "By the letter of Brezhnev." Kissinger went on: "Well, that I told him already we weren't impressed with Mr. President. I told him that was just words, what we need is something complete." Nixon agreed: "Yeah, fine." Kissinger said: "He was very impressed with these assurances. That we could make peace formal. That the President writes you a letter and you respond. Or that you write us a letter and we respond. It doesn't make much difference who takes the first step, in which you'd say that you know that no military action [is] planned against West Pakistan." Nixon instructed: "Just put it in the letter." Kissinger said that the letters would then be published to "symbolize Soviet-American concern for peace." Nixon said: "Good, good." He added: "But tell him . . . it would only be beautiful if we do it fast." One of two things were going to happen, Kissinger predicted: "Either they will both vote for the British resolution in the Security Council, in which case they will take credit for it, or they will not vote for the British resolution and exchange these letters." Nixon felt that an exchange of letters would be good in any event and he instructed Kissinger to tell Vorontsov that. (Ibid., 11-11:03 a.m., Conversation No. 638-4) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript of the conversation is published in Foreign
Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 189.

310. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A stamp on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.

Washington, December 15, 1971.

Information Items

India-Pakistan Situation: The proposal of the Pakistani commander in Dacca for a ceasefire/2/ was passed to Delhi last night, but we are aware of no Indian response yet (8:00 a.m.). Consultations on the UK-French draft Security Council resolution are scheduled to continue this morning.

/2/ See Document 300.

Foreign Minister Bhutto declined to pass General Niazi's ceasefire proposal to the Indians in New York, so our UN mission was instructed to communicate it to Foreign Minister Singh, and subsequently Ambassador Keating was instructed to pass its text to Mrs. Gandhi's secretary, Haksar. In this as in the negotiations on the Security Council resolution, Bhutto is apparently being careful to sidestep onus for the surrender of East Pakistan. Meanwhile, latest Indian reports indicate that Dacca is receiving heavy artillery fire, and three Indian columns have advanced to within a few miles of Dacca where they are preparing for attack.

Despite initially favorable reactions to the first UK draft Security Council resolution, positions on both sides hardened as they became aware of the rapid deterioration of the Pakistani military position in Dacca.
-The Indians are being tough on aspects of the transfer of East Pakistan governmental functions to a new civilian government. They have submitted their own draft which includes the following: "Recognizes that simultaneously with the ceasefire in East Pakistan power shall be transferred to the representatives of the majority party elected in December 1970."

-The Pakistanis have shown a new turn of attitude. They now seem to feel that, since East Pakistan is lost, a UN resolution which "legitimizes" the Indian seizure may be unacceptable. His [Bhutto's?] greatest concern now is a ceasefire in the West.
British consultations will continue this morning, but these views may set the stage for a simple ceasefire resolution which also calls on all parties to safeguard the lives of civilians and captured soldiers.

On the West Pakistan military front, heavy fighting continues in Kashmir, but the principal Pakistani drive appears to have been blunted. According to a [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] report, one Indian reserve division was airlifted from the Calcutta area to an undetermined location on the western front.

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] a Chinese delivery of additional MIG-19's to West Pakistan may be underway. An undetermined number of MIG's were noted flying in the direction of an airfield that has been used in the past as a base for onward flight to Pakistan. In a separate development, [1 line of source text not declassified] the Pakistani UN representative has said that China would make "an important military move" on December 15. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] no evidence of Chinese troop deployments in preparation for military moves.

Since late November, there have been numerous reports that other Moslum countries had sent or were planning to send military equipment to Pakistan. The countries involved include Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt. Most of the reports concern shipments of jet fighters and spare parts for these and Pakistani aircraft. There is no firm evidence [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] to corroborate any of the reports that this equipment has actually been transferred.

Our carrier task force is transiting the Straits of Malacca and should arrive at a point near the center of the base of the Bay of Bengal this (15 Dec) evening. Rumors about this move are already widespread in the area where they are being combined with stories that the US is considering military assistance to Pakistan. In this connection, Ambassador Keating reports that these stories are spuring increasingly anti-US rallies and press attacks. The Ambassador says that he would be "deeply concerned and anxious" about the lives and welfare of Americans in India if the US were directly or indirectly to support Pakistan with US arms or equipment and would want to recommend at least partial evacuation if this is under serious consideration./3/

/3/ In expressing his concern, Keating also asked for an assurance that the United States did not intend to support Pakistan with U.S. arms or equipment. (Telegram 19203 from New Delhi, December 14; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 573, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/14/71-12/16/71)

The British are also moving some naval vessels into the area-a commando carrier and a frigate off the southern coast of Ceylon. Soviet task force, consisting of a guided missile cruiser, an oiler and a diesel powered submarine continues to steam through the South China Sea toward the Indian Ocean where if it continues on that course it should arrive in about three days. The Soviets have 12 other naval ships in the Indian Ocean, but none of these is in or known to be heading for areas near the Indo-Pakistani conflict.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]

311. Telegram From the Embassy in India to the Department of State/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-14 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Flash; Exdis. Repeated to USUN, Islamabad, Calcutta, and Dacca.

New Delhi, December 15, 1971, 1358Z.

19280. Subj: Indian Response to Niazi Ceasefire Proposal.

1. Haksar, Secretary to Prime Minister, called in DCM at 1800 hours local and handed him text of response from General Manekshaw to General Niazi.

2. Haksar said GOI was conveying response to Niazi through U.S. since we had been good enough to pass on original Niazi proposal. He described reply as a "carefully considered and sincere response" and called particular attention to cessation air attacks which took place at 1700 hours December 15.

3. Text of message which GOI requests be transmitted urgently to Niazi is as follows:
"For Lt. Gen. Niazi From Sam Manekshaw, Chief of the Army Staff India
Firstly-I have received your communication/2/ re a cease fire in Bangla Desh at 1430 hours today through the American Embassy at New Delhi.

/2/ See Document 300.

Secondly-I had previously informed General Farman Ali in two messages that I would guarantee (a) the safety of all your military and paramilitary forces who surrender to me in Bangla Desh. (b) Complete protection to foreign nations, ethnic minorities and personnel of West Pakistan no matter who they may be. Since you have indicated your desire to stop fighting I expect you to issue orders to all forces under your command in Bangla Desh to cease fire immediately and surrender to my advancing forces wherever they are located.

Thirdly-I give you my solemn assurance that personnel who surrender shall be treated with the dignity and respect that soldiers are entitled to and I shall abide by the provisions of the Geneva Convention. Further as you have many wounded I shall ensure that they are well cared for and your dead given proper burial. No one need have any fear for their safety no matter where they come from. Nor shall there be any reprisals by forces operating under my command.

Fourthly-Immediately I receive a positive response from you I shall direct General Aurorea the commander of Indian and Bangla Desh forces in the Eastern theatre to refrain from all air and ground action against your forces. As a token of my good faith I have ordered that no air action shall take place over Dacca from 1700 hours today.
Fifthly-I assure you I have no desire to inflict unnecessary casualties on your troops as I abhor loss of human lives. Should however you do not comply with what I have stated you will leave me with no other alternative but to resume my offensive with the utmost vigour at 0900 hours Indian Standard Time on 16 December.

Sixthly-In order to be able to discuss and finalise all matters quickly I have arranged for a radio link on listenint watch from 1700 hours Indian Standard Time today 15 December. The frequency will be 6605 (6605) KHZ by day and 3216 (3216) KHZ by night. Callsigns will be CAL (Calcutta) and DAC (Dacca). I would suggest you instruct your signallers to restore microwave communications immediately."

4. DCM assured Haksar message would be transmitted immediately.

5. Assume Department will authorize Dacca delivery./3/

/3/ The Department instructed the Consulate General in Dacca to pass Manekshaw's message to Niazi immediately. The Consulate General did so, and the Embassy in Islamabad passed a copy of the message to Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan. (Telegrams 225341 to Dacca, 5659 from Dacca, and 12593 from Islamabad, all December 15; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-14 INDIA-PAK)


312. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 8. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Map Room at the White House.

Washington, December 15, 1971, 11:30 a.m.

Dr. Henry A. Kissinger
Soviet Chargˇ Yuly Vorontsov

I met with Vorontsov at my request to hand him a draft letter to Kosygin (attached) on the need to put an end to hostilities.

Vorontsov said that I had to believe him that a major effort was being made to induce the Indians; however, they were not being very reasonable. I said that there was no longer any excuse; the President had made any number of personal appeals, all of which had been rejected, and it was time to move. Vorontsov asked me whether it could be dealt with in the United Nations. I told him yes, we were prepared to support the British Resolution/2/ if the Soviet Union would. Vorontsov said that the British Resolution was not very agreeable; the Soviets were trying to promote the Polish Resolution./3/ I said I wanted him to know that we would not agree to any resolution that recognized a turnover of authority. There was a question of principle involved. It was bad enough that the United Nations was impotent in the case of military attack; it could not be asked to legitimize it. However, as I pointed out, we were prepared to work in a parallel direction.

/2/ UN doc. S/10455.

/3/ UN doc. S/10453.

Vorontsov said that the letter presented some difficulties. The Soviet Union was prepared unconditionally to guarantee the United States that there would be no Indian attack on the Western front or on Kashmir, and that when they referred to West Pakistan they meant the existing dividing line. However, to do this publicly would mean that they were in effect speaking for a friendly country. After all, India was not a client state. I said that the course of events was obvious: Either there would be a ceasefire soon in the West anyway through the UN or through direct dealings with us, or else we would have to draw appropriate conclusions.

Vorontsov said, "In a little while we will go back to where we were." I said, "I have told you for two weeks now that this is not the case." On this note, we left./4/
/4/ Vorontsov called Kissinger at 1:20 p.m. to say that when he returned to his embassy he found a cable from Moscow reacting to their conversation of the previous day. Vorontsov was instructed to: "Advise President and Dr. Kissinger that we are in consultations with Indian leadership including in the Security Council." The Soviet leadership promised to "inform President of substance of the matter." (Transcript of a telephone conversation, December 15; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)


Draft Letter From President Nixon to Soviet Chairman Kosygin

Dear Mr. Chairman:
Now that the military conflict in East Pakistan appears to be moving to a conclusion, the most challenging task to both our countries, as great and responsible powers, is to see to it that the bloodshed should promptly end and that fighting does not continue in the West.
Although the United Nations has been seized with this difficult problem, efforts in that body have so far not resulted in progress, partly because of the difficulties of resolving political issues. It is not therefore urgently desirable that our two countries should take prompt and responsible steps to ensure that the military conflict does not spread and that assurances be given against territorial acquisition by either side? I know that you will agree with me that when this has been successfully accomplished the dark cloud that now hangs over the international situation as a whole will have been substantially lightened. I hope therefore that we can cooperate to achieve an end to all the fighting, to remove the concern that the war will become one of conquest, and to eliminate the threat to peace that has arisen. This would, of course, not prejudice anybody's position with respect to an ultimate political solution.

I believe that efforts in the above direction must continue to be vigorously pursued.


313. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan. Top Secret; Exclusive; Eyes Only. A handwritten note on the message, in an unknown hand, reads: "briefed Haig." Copies were sent to Haig and Saunders.
Islamabad, December 15, 1971, 1436Z.

1096. Foreign Secretary called me to Foreign Office 1800 local 15 December. Said reports received from Bhutto indicate he highly pessimistic that any affirmative action will be forthcoming from Security Council. In addition, GOP intelligence indicates GOI upping offensive activity against West Pakistan and instigating subversive activity (presumably in Pushtun border areas) out of Afghanistan. He said that for West Pakistan to survive as nation it is necessary it be provided additional fighter aircraft. Present trickle MIG-19s and F-104s (he did not indicate origin) cannot stem the tide if India attacks-an attack which Pakistan now expects.

314. Letter From the Indian Ambassador (Jha) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 755, Presidential Correspondence File, India (1971). No classification marking.

Washington, December 15, 1971.

I have the honour to convey to Your Excellency the following message from Her Excellency the Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi:
"Dear Mr. President,

I am writing at a moment of deep anguish at the unhappy turn which the relations between our two countries have taken.

I am setting aside all pride, prejudice and passion and trying, as calmly as I can, to analyse once again the origins of the tragedy which is being enacted.

There are moments in history when brooding tragedy and its dark shadows can be lightened by recalling great moments of the past. One such great moment which has inspired millions of people to die for liberty was the Declaration of Independence by the United States of America. That Declaration stated that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of man's inalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, it was the right of the people to alter or abolish it.

All unprejudiced persons objectively surveying the grim events in Bangla Desh since March 25 have recognised the revolt of 75 million people, a people who were forced to the conclusion that neither their life, nor their liberty, to say nothing of the possibility of the pursuit of happiness, was available to them. The world press, radio and television have faithfully recorded the story. The most perceptive of American scholars who are knowledgeable about the affairs of this sub-Continent revealed the anatomy of East Bengal's frustrations.

The tragic war, which is continuing, could have been averted if during the nine months prior to Pakistan's attack on us on December 3, the great leaders of the world had paid some attention to the fact of revolt, tried to see the reality of the situation and searched for a genuine basis for reconciliation. I wrote letters along these lines. I undertook a tour in quest of peace at a time when it was extremely difficult to leave, in the hope of presenting to some of the leaders of the world the situation as I saw it. It was heartbreaking to find that while there was sympathy for the poor refugees, the disease itself was ignored.

War could also have been avoided if the power, influence and authority of all the States and above all the United States, had got Sheikh Mujibur Rahman released. Instead, we were told that a civilian administration was being installed. Everyone knows that this civilian administration was a farce; today the farce has turned into a tragedy.

Lip service was paid to the need for a political solution, but not a single worthwhile step was taken to bring this about. Instead, the rulers of West Pakistan went ahead holding farcical elections to seats which had been arbitrarily declared vacant.

There was not even a whisper that anyone from the outside world, had tried to have contact with Mujibur Rahman. Our earnest plea that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman should be released, or that, even if he were to be kept under detention, contact with him might be established, was not considered practical on the ground that the US could not urge policies which might lead to the overthrow of President Yahya Khan. While the United States recognised that Mujib was a core factor in the situation and that unquestionably in the long run Pakistan must acquiesce in the direction of greater autonomy for East Pakistan, arguments were advanced to demonstrate the fragility of the situation and of Yahya Khan's difficulty.

Mr. President, may I ask you in all sincerity: Was the release or even secret negotiations with a single human being, namely, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, more disastrous than the waging of a war?

The fact of the matter is that the rulers of West Pakistan got away with the impression that they could do what they liked because no one, not even the United States, would choose to take a public position that while Pakistan's integrity was certainly sacrosanct, human rights, liberty were no less so and that there was a necessary inter-connection between the inviolability of States and the contentment of their people.

Mr. President, despite the continued defiance by the rulers of Pakistan of the most elementary facts of life, we would still have tried our hardest to restrain the mounting pressure as we had for nine long months, and war could have been prevented had the rulers of Pakistan not launched a massive attack on us by bombing our airfields in Amritsar, Pathankot, Srinagar, Avantipur, Utterlai, Jodhpur, Ambala and Agra in the broad day light on December 3, 1971 at a time when I was away in Calcutta my colleague, the Defence Minister, was in Patna and was due to leave further for Bangalore in the South and another senior colleague of mine, the Foreign Minister, was in Bombay. The fact that this initiative was taken at this particular time of our absence from the Capital showed perfidious intentions. In the face of this, could we simply sit back trusting that the rulers of Pakistan or those who were advising them, had peaceful, constructive and reasonable intent?

We are asked what we want. We seek nothing for ourselves. We do not want any territory of what was East Pakistan and now constitutes Bangla Desh. We do not want any territory of West Pakistan. We do want lasting peace with Pakistan. But will Pakistan give up its ceaseless and yet pointless agitation of the past 24 years over Kashmir? Are they willing to give up their hate campaign posture of perpetual hostility towards India? How many times in the last 24 years have my father and I offered a pact of non-aggression to Pakistan? It is a matter of recorded history that each time such offer was made, Pakistan rejected it out of hand.

We are deeply hurt by the innuendos and insinuations that it was we who have precipitated the crisis and have in any way thwarted the emergence of solutions. I do not really know who is responsible for this calumny. During my visit to the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria and Belgium the point I emphasized, publicly as well as privately, was the immediate need for a political settlement. We waited nine months for it. When Dr. Kissinger came in August 1971,/2/ I had emphasized to him the importance of seeking an early political settlement. But we have not received, even to this day, the barest framework of a settlement which would take into account the facts as they are and not as we imagine them to be.

/2/ Kissinger visited India in July rather than August; see Documents 90-94.
Be that as it may, it is my earnest and sincere hope that with all the knowledge and deep understanding of human affairs you, as President of the United States and reflecting the will, the aspirations and idealism of the great American people, will at least let me know where precisely we have gone wrong before your representatives or spokesmen deal with us with such harshness of language.

With regards and best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Indira Gandhi."
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest esteem.
L.K. Jha

315. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President traveled to Key Biscayne, Florida, on the afternoon of December 15 and remained there through December 16; Kissinger was in Washington.

December 15, 1971, 5:55 p.m.

K: Mr. President.

P: Henry, I was in the state of play. I just got out of the water.

K: Isn't that great. You certainly need it. I never had a chance to give you a report from Vorontsov. I gave him a draft letter/2/ to Kosygin asking for joint action to stop the fighting. I told him we put it forward to not get any additional confrontations. I also said they could [should?] support the British Resolution which is really at the very edge, well beyond the edge of what is tolerable.

/2/ See the attachment to Document 312.

P: Oh, I see.

K: Now the Indians are unbelievable. The Indians are demanding the UN agree for the turnover of authority to the Bangla Desh. Now that would make the UN an active participant in aggression. I don't think we can agree to this.

P: No.

K: Now the Soviets have just told the British they would veto the British Resolution. If this plays out that way we may really have to ask ourselves what the Soviets are up to.

P: That could be. Although they just may have a very, very hot potato on their hands with the Indians.

K: That could be but the political outcome would be the same either way. They have already humiliated the Chinese beyond expression and they will humiliate us but we don't have to face that yet.

P: Yes.

K: We did get a message from the Germans urgently asking to examine the West situation and that fighting must be brought to a stop.

P: And now we have a veto of the British Resolution.

K: It hasn't been done yet.

P: Well, that lines up the British on our side.

K: Cromer showed me a message he sent to Mrs. Gandhi and it was really tough.

P: Good. We shouldn't be too discouraged in some sense.

K: John Chancellor/3/ told me that he would feature the Pakistani side tonight. I think Bhutto made a very moving speech in the Security Council.

/3/ Chancellor was a correspondent for the National Broadcasting Company.

P: Yes, I heard about that.

K: Cromer is delighted by what we did in the Azores. He said it is one of the greatest steps forward we did. A great act of statesmanship.

P: He did. Good. Incidentally the meeting with the leaders went very well and they are all happy. They were totally acquiescent so Connally has a complete running room to negotiate over the weekend.

K: Well, you did a great job, Mr. President.

P: So the letter/4/ to the Soviets really didn't settle the thing then as far as you are concerned?

/4/ Reference is to the draft letter cited in footnote 2 above.

K: No and that is what is so revolting; that is what we have to ask ourselves. Now I agree they may have a bear by the tail and that is what we have to be concerned about. All they promised is no attack on West Pakistan, but that does not include Kashmir. I talked to Maury Williams today who is South Asia for AID and who is on the Indian side, but he said if Pakistan loses its part of Kashmir and [sic] it is really the end.

P: Well, the Indians have got to consider very seriously now; they may take this but if they do they will have . . .

K: We cannot turn around.

P: Well, let's just wait now. We have no choice but to just wait. It is in the Soviets hands. We can do nothing with the details.

K: [2 lines of source text not declassified]

P: [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]

K: Yes, but that might be overtaken by events.

P: Well, we shall have to see but the thing is we have to assume it is never as bad or as good as it seems. But at this time you just wonder. When should there be an answer?

K: Tomorrow.

P: OK, Henry.

316. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger was in Washington.
December 16, 1971, 9:30 a.m.

K: Mr. President.
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

P: On the India-Pakistan thing, Dacca has surrendered and now the issue is . . .

K: Now, if in the next 24 hours the Indians don't agree to a ceasefire in the West we are in for it. Up until now it could be explained that Soviets wanted to wait until Dacca had surrendered.

P: Has the proposal been put up in . . .

K: No, it has been tabled and there will probably be a vote today. And that will be the test.

P: Well, they [the Soviets] will veto it.

K: Well, I don't know. They aren't saying anything any more.

P: Then under the circumstances, would they just continue the war?

K: There are three possibilities: First, the British proposal carries; second, India-Pakistan ceasefire and third, the Indians continue the war until they smash the Pakistanis in Kashmir. Now we have had another appeal from the Pakistanis last night./2/ Action is picking up in the West and they are asking for American planes, but we cannot even consider this. If this isn't settled by tomorrow night we will know the Russians have put it to us.

/2/ See Document 313.

P: The one thing I am disappointed about, really teed off at is that you were unable to get out that Indian cabinet meeting thing. We have got to get it out.

K: We will do it.

P: I know there are a lot of pro-Indian people in State and who are trying to delay this. But I want it. We ought to be pressing the Indians every day. Now that Dacca has fallen we have got to get that Ambassador/3/ in here and tell him the President is outraged about what he has done using our television and radio facilities to do it. Second, someone has got to say something about the Indian aid. The figure they have been using is not correct. I want a report. I want everything in it: PL-480, unilateral and multilateral assistance because some pressures have got to go. The Russians will only go as far as the Indians want to go. The Indians have got to make a decision whether they want to be totally a Russian satellite or not. Also there have been these Indian cabinet meetings, we have to get reports on those.

/3/ Ambassador Jha.

K: Yes, Mr. President.

P: Actually with regard to the Indian aid thing, couldn't Javits/4/ or one of the liberals on the Hill see if they couldn't stop this now . . .

/4/ Senator Jacob Javits (D-New York).

K: The next thing we could do is there is $123 million in goods that is moving to India. We could seize those but that would get us into endless litigation.

P: Goods of what type?

K: They have been part of the economic program. It has been paid for already. We can do it. It has been done before.

P: If the Indians continue the course they are on we have even got to break diplomatic relations with them. Don't you agree, Henry?

K: I agree. There is already a strong victory statement and an unbelievable setback for the Chinese which is none of our business but they have certainly humiliated them.

P: And also let it be known they have done nothing.

K: That is right.

P: In the event they [omission in the source text] West Pakistan, is there anything more that can be done? Are they going . . .

K: They gave us flat assurances there wouldn't be. If that happens we will have to reassess our position with the Russians. We will have until Saturday morning to see that.

P: What are they doing?

K: I said to Vorontsov if you don't do it at the UN, do it as a bilateral exchange of letters.

P: And they have not responded?

K: No, it is a little early. They could have if they wanted to.

P: The question is . . .

K: Well, the question is-let's look at objectively. So they put it to us and they saw because you acted in such a [omission in the source text] way here, we are going to drop the summit . . .

P: Well, dropping the summit is not the first thing I would do.

K: Well, you have to look to see how much we are willing to pay in terms of where we are going.

P: To keep ourselves in perspective we have to realize the Russians have put it to us previously in other parts of the world so we have to just grin and bear it, right?

K: But not you, Mr. President.

P: No, but my point is we try everything that we can, but we have to realize the Russians-we have to let them know our options.

K: Our options are limited.

P: They are limited, but even with them we can't deal with those Soviets and continue to talk about sales and various other problems.

K: Our options are not all that good.

P: They are not good but they will get results. If after all these appeals and . . .

K: They are going to continue to butter you up.

P: My view is this: I won't let them do this. Did the Jordanians send planes.

K: 17.

P: Well, my point is so we have done a check of these little things. Now in the event we are going to end up by saying to the Russians you proved to be so untrustworthy we can't deal with you on any issues. Let's use that card now.

K: We have pretty well told them that.

P: Well, we told them that privately, they may not believe that.

K: Well, if they don't believe the President of the United States in a private meeting . . .

P: You don't understand. We threatened it. Let's do it.

K: No, for that it is premature, Mr. President. That we cannot do because they still may get us a ceasefire. If they don't get a ceasefire, what do we do then?

P: Cut off the Middle East talks, pour arms into Israel, discontinue our talks on SALT and the Economic Security Council can go [to] the public and tell them what the danger is. It is a risk group but the right one. It is pretty clear. I would go further. We have to stop our talks on trade, don't let Smith have any further things on the Middle East and stop seeing Dobrynin under any circumstances.

K: That is right. Break the White House channel.

P: And be very cold in our public statements toward them. What I am getting at is if we are prepared to go and have the card to play where we would not talk at all. Another thing I would beef up the Defense Budget plans then.

K: The Defense Budget is being worked on.

P: You will have that done by Friday/6/ night?

/6/ December 17.

K: Yes.

P: Now, Henry, I am not yet satisfied and I am really mad that this assistance report is not down here. LDX it down here in two hours-Indian aid for next year and last, how much PL-480, how much economic assistance, unilateral assistance-I want to see it.

K: We have got it, but we will get it down.

P: I know the bigger game is the Russian game, but the Indians also have played us for squares here. They have done this once and when this is over they will come to us ask us to forgive and forget. This we must not do. If they want to be dependent on the Russians, let them be, but when the chips are down India has shown that it is a Russian satellite. What I am really saying here is and what I am proposing to do-if India pursues this course, then we will reevaluate their program of aid and cut it off. Has anybody told them that?

K: We would, but remember you have got to realize everything is being done out of this office. We have a bureaucratic system to deal with. I think it would be better if State told them.

P: Call Sisco. He is to call in the Indian Ambassador and tell him that the U.S., under the circumstances, if there is not a ceasefire we will have no choice and all Indian assistance of all types will be taken out of the budget and call me in an hour./7/

/7/ Kissinger called Nixon again at 10:40 a.m. to tell him that India had declared a unilateral cease-fire in the west. He said: "We have made it." He credited the Soviet Union with exerting sufficient pressure on India to produce the desired result. Nixon said: "If Soviets have cooperated on this I think we have got to play on an arms-length deal." He reiterated that there was to be no economic assistance for India in the budget that was being prepared. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File) The transcript is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 191.

K: Yes, Mr. President.

317. Memorandum for the Record/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, NEA Files: Lot 73 D 69, Miscellaneous-SOA 1971. Secret; Nodis.

Washington, December 16, 1971.

Shortly after 10:00 a.m. this morning General Haig called on the secure line to say the following:

The President wishes Mr. Sisco to call in Indian Ambassador Jha immediately. Sisco should make the following three points forcefully.

1. With respect to India's earlier refusal to give assurances that it had no territorial ambitions without similar assurances from Pakistan, we are now giving him Pak assurances of no territorial ambitions. We wish to know immediately that India has no territorial ambitions on its side.

2. Now that East Pakistan has fallen, there can be no justification for continued fighting. If fighting continues, it will "have the most drastic consequences on U.S.-Indian relations." (Haig commented that we should be no more specific than that.)

3. We consider it intolerable for the Indian Ambassador to use our media as a platform to make attacks on the U.S. Government./2/

/2/ Sisco called in Ambassador Jha on December 16 as instructed and made the points outlined by Haig. The telegram reporting the conversation to New Delhi indicates, however, that Sisco took note of a press report received that India had proposed a cease-fire on the western front. Rather than convey the warning that continued fighting would impact upon U.S.-Indian relations, Sisco asked for conformation of the proposed cease-fire. (Telegram 226062 to New Delhi, December 16; ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 578, Indo-Pak War, India Chronology, Dr Kissinger)

Deputy Executive Secretary

318. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco) to Secretary of State Rogers/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, NEA Files: Lot 73 D 69, Memoranda to the Secretary, Nov-Dec 1971. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Van Hollen. No other record of this meeting of the Washington Special Actions Group has been found.

Washington, December 16, 1971.

The short WSAG meeting today discussed "Where do we go from here."
Security Council: At the outset of the meeting it was agreed that we would support the British-French draft resolution, which, in turn, had been endorsed by Bhutto. However, when it was learned during the meeting that the UK-French resolution had been dropped it was agreed that we would stay loose in New York and be prepared to support a simple ceasefire resolution, assuming it also had Pakistani support.

Reply to Mrs. Gandhi: State was asked to prepare a reply to Mrs. Gandhi's December 15 letter/2/ to the President, setting forth our case strongly and explicitly.

/2/ See Document 314.
Contingency Papers: The following five papers/3/ were requested for next Monday:

/3/ Following the WSAG meeting on December 16 Kissinger sent a memorandum to the Departments of State and Defense, JCS, CIA, and AID in which he assigned responsibility for the preparation of the papers listed as follows: the first 2 papers were assigned to State and AID jointly, papers 3 and 4 were assigned to State, and the final paper was assigned to State and Defense jointly. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-083, WSAG Meeting, 12/16/71)

1. U.S. policy regarding humanitarian assistance for South Asia.

2. U.S. policy regarding economic assistance for South Asia. (In this connection, Maury Williams was asked on an urgent basis to do a paper on economic assistance for Pakistan.)

3. U.S. policy toward the Bangla Desh regime-assuming that we would not be prepared promptly to recognize Bangla Desh.

4. Arrangements for restoring the territorial status quo in the West, including the Kashmir region, as of December 3.

5. U.S. military supply policy for South Asia.

319. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. Printed from an uninitialed copy.

Washington, December 16, 1971.

Information Items

India-Pakistan Situation: The Pak military commander in the East has transmitted through UN channels his acceptance of India's "surrender terms" and according to Indian press reports an agreement has been signed. Indian troops reportedly have already entered the city. Fairly heavy firing, however, has started in the streets of Dacca, perhaps marking an uprising by the guerrillas who have been laying low in the capital city. The Pak forces are also destroying their POL and essential military supplies. In the West, land and air action was reported at several places, but there apparently are no important new gains by either side.

Diplomatic activity at the UN was intense yesterday although very little, if anything, was accomplished. In the early hours, the British and French plodded along with consultations over their draft compromise resolution, but it became apparent by mid-day that a viable draft was still out of reach and that the Indians and Soviets were continuing to stall. Bhutto, nevertheless, insisted on a Security Council meeting after lunch, then, in a 40-minute emotional outburst, proceeded to castigate the Council's inability to act and to attack the Indians, Soviets, British and French before tearing up his papers and walking out. The immediate impact was to spur effects [efforts] by the Belgians and Italians to seek agreement on a simple cease-fire which seemed to reflect the mood of the Council as it adjourned. The Council convened again in the early evening but the debate was unconclusive and repetitive and only a strongly pro-India resolution was tabled by Poland. A final session was held late last night at which the latest UK/French effort was tabled along with new Soviet and Syrian resolutions.

In short, as Ambassador Bush reports, the situation at the UN remains fluid and no consensus is in sight. With the table groaning under the weight of five separate draft resolutions, it is likely that if the deadlock continues some of the Security Council members will give serious consideration to returning to the General Assembly. The Paks support this approach and have begun in fact to work in this direction.
Mrs. Gandhi has sent you a long letter,/2/ which the Indians plan to make public this morning, explaining her position on the war with Pakistan. Writing "at a moment of deep anguish at the unhappy turn which the relations between our two countries have taken," Mrs. Gandhi makes the following major points:

/2/ See Document 314.

-The war could have been averted if the "great leaders of the world" had paid some attention to the "reality of the situation and searched for a genuine basis for reconciliation."

-War could also have been avoided "if the power, influence and authority of all the states, and above all the United States, had got Sheikh Mujibur Rahman released." Instead, Mrs. Gandhi contends, India was told that a civilian administration was being installed which everyone knew was a "farce."

-"Lip service" was paid to the need for a practical political solution in East Pakistan, but "not a single worthwhile step was taken to bring this about."

-While the U.S. recognized that Mujib was a core factor and the trend was toward greater autonomy for East Pakistan, arguments were advanced to demonstrate the fragility of the situation of Yahya Khan's difficulty. Was, she asks, the release or even secret negotiations with Mujib more disastrous than waging war.

-The rulers of Pakistan got the impression they could do what they liked because no one, not even the U.S., would choose to take a public position that "while Pakistan's integrity was certainly sacrosanct, human rights and liberty were no less so."

-War could have still been prevented if Pakistan had not launched a "massive attack" on India. But India does "not want any territory of what was East Pakistan and now constitutes Bangla Desh." India also does "not want any territory of West Pakistan." India does want "lasting peace with Pakistan" but questions whether Pakistan will give up its "perpetual hostility" toward India.

Mrs. Gandhi closed by noting that India has been "deeply hurt by the innuendos and insinuations" that it had precipitated the crisis and had "thwarted the emergence of solutions." But, be that as it may, it is her "earnest and sincere" hope that you will "at least" let her know "where precisely they have gone wrong before your representatives or spokesmen deal with them with such harshness of language."
We have the following recent indications of Soviet intentions and attitudes:

-Three separate [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] sources report that the Soviets are pressing for decisive Indian action to end the fighting in East Pakistan. One source alleges that the Soviets are disappointed by the pace of the Indian offensive in the East, but the other two suggest that in general Moscow is satisfied with the way the Indian armed forces are acquitting themselves. Deputy Foreign Minister Kuznetsov is also reported to have advised the Indians to "liberate Bangla Desh in the shortest possible time."

-As of last Monday, the Soviets apparently were neither encouraging or seriously discouraging possible Indian territorial objectives in the West. In a talk [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] Soviet Ambassador Pegov reportedly said that there is no need for India to launch an offensive in the West because of [the] Pak military machine has already been crushed. Pegov reportedly added, however, that if India decided to ignore Soviet advice and take Pakheld Kashmir, it should be done in shortest possible time and the USSR "would not interfere."

-Both Pegov and another Soviet diplomat on Monday also discounted the possibility of U.S. or Chinese intervention. Pegov asserted the Soviet fleet was also in the Indian Ocean and would not allow the Seventh fleet to intervene. If the Chinese moved in Ladakh, Pegov said, "the Soviets would open a diversionary action in Sinkiang."

-Deputy Foreign Minister Kuznetsov is reported to have [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] that the Soviets will not recognize "Bangla Desh" at least until Dacca has fallen and the country is "liberated" from Pak forces because they want to retain whatever small influence they still have in Islamabad. Kuznetsov also put off India's request that the USSR sign a treaty with "Bangla Desh" by claiming that he needed special instructions from Brezhnev.

According to a late Peking NCNA broadcast, the Chinese have sent a note to India lodging a "strong protest" against the crossing of the China-Sikkim boundary and intrusion by Indian armed personnel into Chinese territory for reconnaissance. This is called a "grave encroachment" and a "demand" is made that it "immediately stop." This could be the prelude to limited Chinese military actions along the border with India to divert Indian attention from the West Pakistan front. This at least has been the pattern in the past.

Our carrier task force is now east of Ceylon at the base of the Bay of Bengal. Our missions in India report that this move is generating considerable anti-American sentiment. The situation is particularly bad in Calcutta where the general mood is described as "angry". Our Consul General in Calcutta reports that unless suspicions of U.S. intervention are laid to rest there will be increasing hostility, and perhaps violence, directed at U.S. officials, installations and private citizens. There have been demonstrations at our embassy in New Delhi and the consulate in Bombay. In Pakistan, the media has begun to focus attention increasingly on speculation of possible U.S. assistance or intervention via the Seventh Fleet.

[Omitted here are summary reports of foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]

320. Editorial Note

On December 16, 1971, at 2:30 p.m. local time in New Delhi, Prime Minister Gandhi announced to the Lok Sabha that the Pakistani forces commanded by General Niazi had surrendered unconditionally an hour earlier in Dacca. She hailed Dacca as "the free capital of a free country." At the same time, the Indian Government announced a cease-fire on the front between India and West Pakistan to take effect the following day. In making the announcement a government spokesman stated that India had no territorial ambitions in the conflict. The announcement concluded that India expected there would be a "corresponding immediate response" from Pakistan. (Telegrams 19337 and 19340 from New Delhi, December 16; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-14 INDIA-PAK)

321. Backchannel Message From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan. Top Secret;

Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.

Washington, December 16, 1971, 2244Z.

WH 11189. I have just learned from British that Indians intend to keep their ceasefire offer open for only 24 hours. I have also learned that Soviets may move a formal resolution in the UN Security Council tonight which could be the source of extended controversy. For this reason I believe it is essential that Yahya move as quickly as possible to publicly accept Indian ceasefire proposal on a purely bilateral basis which would deprive Indians of any pretext for claiming Pakistani delays have justified continuation of fighting in the West. A unilateral announcement by Pakistan would then allow sufficient time to hammer out an acceptable UN resolution which would formalize the bilateral agreement between the two governments. In his unilateral acceptance Yahya could also recommend a formalization of the procedure within the UN forum.

322. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger was in Washington.
December 16, 1971, 5:15 p.m.

P: . . ./2/ update on everything okay.

/2/ The transcription begins at this point in the conversation.

K: Everything is now falling into place. The Soviets are tabling a resolution;/3/ it's better than the old one but we still can't accept it. We can't let it get settled on a Soviet resolution and secondly it is still very one-sided. Now the British are withdrawing theirs.

/3/ Vorontsov called Kissinger 35 minutes earlier and read the text of the Soviet draft resolution. (Transcript of a telephone conversation; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 395, Telephone Conversations, Dobrynin File, Sept 1971- Apr 1972)

P: Are they going to support the Soviets?

K: That is unthinkable to me; that they wouldn't do. We have a good resolution with the non-permanent members and I have given Bush urgent instructions to get it tabled and told Vorontsov we wouldn't accept theirs but hoped it was negotiable and he said it probably was. He said let the people in New York talk about it.

P: What about the exchange of letters?

K: That's obviously off. It's just as well as far as the Chinese are concerned. We cannot support a Soviet resolution.

P: There is a unilateral cease-fire [omission in the source text].

K: Yes, but we have a problem getting Yahya to accept it. The Indians told the British our [their] offer is good for only 24 hours. She may figure Yahya can't move that fast. I have sent a cable/4/ urging Yahya to accept it at least until the UN acts. This is all tactical maneuvering in the last 24 hours. It is aggravating for the people concerned, but nothing you need to follow step by step.

/4/ Document 321.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

P: But you feel good about India-Pakistan?

K: Barring total treachery . . .

P: On the part of the Indians.

K: And the Russians. The real problem now is cosmetics.

[Omitted here is discussion largely related to dealing with the press.]

323. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Flash; Nodis. Drafted by Sisco, cleared by Haig, and in substance by Rogers, and approved by Sisco. Repeated to New Delhi, Dacca, USUN, London, and Moscow.

Washington, December 17, 1971, 0008Z.

226610. 1. Indians have agreed to a ceasefire both in East and West. Its announcement/2/ today included following phrase: "It is our earnest hope that there will be a corresponding immediate response from the GOP."

/2/ See Document 320.

2. This statement has been repeated in the Security Council by the Indian Foreign Minister. In New York, we are seeking to get a resolution adopted to which Government of Pakistan can respond affirmatively. This resolution has just been tabled by Ambassador Bush/3/ and it calls for a ceasefire on both fronts to remain in effect "until operations of disengagement take place, leading to prompt withdrawal of armed forces from all the occupied territories." Paks want such resolution since apparently they find it less difficult to respond to such a UN resolution than to the statement in the Indian announcement today. This is consistent with Yahya's speech today, in which he reiterated GOP's willingness "honor any decision of the United Nations to bring about an honorable solution of the crisis, consistent with our national interests."

/3/ The draft resolution introduced by Bush on December 16 was cosponsored by Japan and circulated as UN doc. S/10459. The text was transmitted to the Department of State on December 17 in telegram 5108 from USUN. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

3. However, kind of Security Council resolution we are trying to get adopted has run into continuing delay tactics from both the Indians and the Soviets. Danger is that longer Yahya delays responding directly to the Indian ceasefire announcement today, the greater the risk that this could be used by the Indians as a pretext to continue the war against Yahya in the West.

4. Farland should discuss the current situation immediately with Yahya with a view to bringing up the risks and hopefully getting him to take a decision on his own to respond affirmatively and on a bilateral basis to the Indian ceasefire announcement of today. If he needs UN fig leaf in his response, he can always justify it on ground he accepted the ceasefire contained in GA resolution adopted other day./4/ We recognize that it would be preferable from his standpoint to be in a position to respond affirmatively to a Security Council resolution, but we believe that the likelihood of this kind of a resolution being adopted promptly is rapidly diminishing because of Soviet-Indian delay tactics./5/

/4/ See footnote 11, Document 248.

/5/ When Farland saw President Yahya on the morning of December 17 and urged him to accept the Indian cease-fire offer, Yahya took the position that he had previously indicated his willingness to accept a cease-fire in accepting the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on December 7. He did not see the necessity to reiterate that position and respond to what he referred to as Mrs. Gandhi's dictates. Upon further urging from Farland, he agreed to consider responding to the Indian offer. (Telegram 12681 from Islamabad, December 17; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK) In taking leave of Yahya, Farland said that if Yahya decided not to accept the Indian cease-fire offer, he felt it would be imperative to arrange for the evacuation of all U.S. citizens in Pakistan who were not essential to the minimal operation of the Embassy. (Telegram 12682 from Islamabad, December 17; ibid.) At 3 p.m. local time on December 17, Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan brought Farland the news that Yahya was prepared to accept the Indian offer publicly. (Telegram 12700 from Islamabad, December 17; ibid.)


324. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.
Washington, December 17, 1971, 10 a.m.

K: Mr. President.

P: Hello, Henry, what's the topic today?

K: It looks like we are in business. The Paks have accepted it [the Indian cease-fire offer].

P: Does that mean she (Mrs. Gandhi) won't break it?

K: Well, she has no pretext to break it. Oh, they are bringing me in a flash cable./2/ The Celanese want us to put some of our ships in the Indian Ocean into Colombo.

/2/ Reference is to telegram 3516 from Colombo, December 17. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 6-3 US)

P: Why do they want them?

K: They would like to show our presence.

P: I see.

K: But at any rate, Yahya has accepted it now. The Security Council in essence killed the Soviet resolution last night. What we did after you and I talked-the British were horsing around with this nonpermanent residents resolution and the Soviets were running around with one. We just took the resolution of the others as ours./3/ We had to because the Soviets were going to. . . . As it was the Soviet one was killed-never got to a vote. They adjourned and this was better for us. It means both sides have accepted the ceasefire.

/3/ In a conversation with Kissinger the evening of December 16, Bush described the U.S. draft resolution as "the Italian draft with just a slight change." He said it was the text that Pakistan wanted and that China was prepared to accept. (Transcript of a telephone conversation; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)

P: As far as the Security Council is concerned, what will they do?

K: Well, my view is that if the fighting flares up again the attacker will be violating a UN order-this is the only advantage. The disadvantage is that it legitimizes aggression. Our position is if anyone wants to vote for our resolution we will be delighted to let it pass.

P: Yes, I think that is a good point. Now at the present time the Paks are satisfied, the Chinese are satisfied and the Russians. That is fine.

K: We have come out of this amazingly well and we scared the pants off the Russians. One shouldn't give somebody who drops a match into a fire credit for calling the fire department.

P: Are you going to do a background thing?

K: I talked to Scali. I will have a backgrounder with two or three groups of two each and in a general way explain our strategy. I think it is too early to put out the details.

P: Yes, I think that is very important. What will we get out of it?

K: Well, Henry Hubbard called me yesterday and he said the President did it again. We were all screaming at him and he was vindicated by events. And Kleiman was in from the New York Times this morning, but I didn't do too much with him.

P: He must be pretty pleased with the Azores trip.

K: The Azores he was delighted with but the Post had a grudging position.

P: I see. [1 line of source text not declassified]

K: [1 line of source text not declassified] What we can get out is that they were planning to attack but not say how.

P: Well, now if the question is raised about aid to India, I would be just completely . . . I wouldn't tell them anything. The thing to do is to do it but don't tell them anything. But on the other hand, it is what we do not what we say.

K: Mrs. Gandhi has written a letter/4/ which has been leaked to the press.
/4/ See Document 314.

P: That is outrageous.

K: We are drafting a reply and I think we ought to release it.

P: Release it before she gets it.

K: Right, because that gives us another chance to make our case.

P: Now, what points . . . Does Scali think it is important for you to do the background thing?

K: Yes, he thinks it is essential.

P: What points are you going to get across basically?

K: The point that I want to get across . . .

P: What I mean is to bring on the details.

K: We have to let them know this was not a war just between India and Pakistan, but whatever are the initial reasons.

P: I think you ought to make the point very strongly that if we hadn't used our influence as strongly as possible, it never would have come out the way it did. The word would have been carried on from one UN member to another. I think that is the point.

K: Well, that is a good point and also that it would have had a very serious impact if the Soviet Union had . . .

P: And in other parts of the world it would have been resisted.

K: Your whole strategy from the beginning was to bring about what in fact we did. There are many who heard me talk about this last week.

P: That is right so they are prepared for it.

K: Even Henry Hubbard said for a few days we thought we had to change our evaluation a little bit, but you have come out right again. But what I will not do is put out all the exchanges. That is premature.

P: Yes, and I suppose we should stay away from any interagency bickering and all of that. I should think everyone is happy.

K: No, now they (State) want to take credit for it.
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

325. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 38, President's Daily Briefs. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. Printed from an uninitialed copy.

Washington, December 17, 1971.

Information Items

India-Pakistan Situation: President Yahya has agreed to a ceasefire in the west by saying that Pakistan's earlier acceptance of the UNGA resolution indicates its willingness provided "other provisions" are also observed. He has ordered his forces to stop firing at 9:30 a.m. EST, the time India proposed.

Ambassador Bush at the end of last evening's consultations reported that agreement on a Security Council resolution seemed closer than at any time previously. The focal point of discussion was the U.S./Japanese draft which:

-demands that a durable cease-fire be observed until disengagement takes place leading to "prompt withdrawal of the armed forces from all the occupied territories";
-calls on all members to refrain from aggravating the situation;
-calls for protection of civilians and soldiers;
-calls for international assistance in the relief, return and rehabilitation of the refugees and strengthening the UN staff to assist.

Negotiations on wording will continue this morning. The Security Council is scheduled to convene at 10:30 a.m. In the course of consultations in response to a specific question by Ambassador Bush on Kashmir, Foreign Minister Singh stated categorically that India "has no intent to alter the cease-fire line,"/2/ except for minor rectifications for geographic reasons to which each side agreed.

/2/ The exchange between Bush and Singh, which included this assurance, was reported to the Department in telegram 5110 from USUN, December 17. (Ibid, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

Singh also said that in the east India planned to install a civilian government of officials elected in 1970. He asked whether the U.S. could get Mujib released to head it, but he did not press the point. The Indian army will stay in the barracks. India is not interested in occupation but cannot withdraw under present conditions and leave chaos behind. India will withdraw as soon as practicable and wished the UN resolution to reflect the need for flexibility in timing.

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] the Indian army in the East has been instructed to isolate radicals within the Mukti Bahini. New Delhi is reportedly insisting that Bangla Desh have a government that includes political elements other than the Awami League. The multi-party consultative committee set up earlier in the fall, including some Communists, will apparently form the nucleus of the new government.
There is talk in West Pakistan that Yahya will be replaced, but so far these reports remain speculative.

Prior to the scheduled cease-fire this morning, heavy fighting apparently continued on the western front with India claiming gains inside Pakistan in the area south of Kashmir. Major Indian progress there would have put an end to Pakistani hope of sustaining a major campaign in Kashmir.

An analysis [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] indicates the continuation of Chinese air transport activity of the type previously associated with Chinese aircraft and supply deliveries to West Pakistan.
[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]

326. Letter From President Nixon to Indian Prime Minister Gandhi/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 755, Presidential Correspondence File, India (1971). No classification marking. Sent to Eliot on December 18 under a covering memorandum from Haig in which he indicated that President Nixon wanted the letter delivered to the Indian Ambassador prior to the President's meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Bhutto that day. Haig also noted that the President had directed that his letter should be released to the press. (Ibid.)

Washington, December 18, 1971.

Dear Madame Prime Minister:
I have received your letter of December 15, 1971,/2/ in which you seek to place the responsibility for the war in the subcontinent on others and in particular the United States. In the light of the many exchanges over the past year it cannot surprise you that I reject this view.

/2/ See Document 314.

I will write you soon at greater length in confidential channels where this discussion belongs. But I cannot let your statement that "not a single worthwhile step" was taken to bring about a political solution remain without response on the public record. It is a matter of judgment what is "worthwhile." The U.S. made efforts extending for nine months to take steps to assist the refugees and to provide the worthwhile basis for political negotiation.

When we met in Washington you were assured of our intention to continue to carry the main financial burden for care of the refugees. You were informed of the Government of Pakistan's willingness to take the first step of military disengagement if it could be assured that India would reciprocate subsequently. You were also informed of various ways which could be used to get talks started between the Government of Pakistan and Bangla Desh representatives. We asked your Ambassador to work out with us a specific timetable for political evolution. You said that India wanted a peaceful solution. We accepted this statement at face value.

We never made any claims that our proposals met India's position fully. They were proposals which would have started the process of negotiations. I had thought that this was one of those times when statesmanship could turn the course of history away from war.

If there is a strain in our relations, and there is, it is because your government spurned these proposals and without any warning whatever chose war instead. The subsequent disregard by your government of repeated calls of the United Nations for ceasefire and withdrawal-adopted by overwhelming majorities-confirms this judgment.
The stand taken by the United States in recent days has not been taken against India. It has been taken against the practice of turning to military action before all political resources are exhausted.

We recognize that India is a major Asian power and that we share the common values of genuinely democratic government. No act has been taken with a desire to damage the relationship between our two great countries. We would hope that the day may come when we can work together for the stability of Asia, and we deeply regret that the developments of the past few months in South Asia have thrust the day of stability farther into the future.

Richard Nixon

327. Memorandum for the President's Files/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Box 1, Memoranda for the President, Beginning December 12, 1971. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for information. Drafted by Haig. The meeting was held in the Oval Office. The time of the meeting is from the President's Daily Diary. (Ibid., White House Central Files) The conversation was tape recorded; parts of the tape are difficult to understand, particularly when Bhutto is speaking. From what can be gleaned from the tape, Haig's memorandum appears to be an accurate summary of the conversation. (Ibid., White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between President Nixon and Deputy Prime Minister Bhutto, December 18, 1971, 1:36-2:06 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 639-11)

Washington, December 18, 1971, 1:36-2:06 p.m.

President's Meeting with Pakistani Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister designate Z.A. Bhutto, Saturday, December 18, 1971 at 1:30 p.m.

The President
Prime Minister Bhutto
Pakistani Ambassador Raza
Brigadier General A.M. Haig

The President opened the meeting by informing Deputy Prime Minister Bhutto that he was very pleased to have an opportunity to speak to the Prime Minister prior to his return to Pakistan. He noted that this meeting was set up hastily and would have to be brief and less formal than the President would have desired due to the press of monetary business and a Group of Ten meeting occurring in Washington at that very moment. Mr. Bhutto responded that he understood completely and was most grateful that the President had agreed to see him on such short notice. /2/He stated that Pakistan was completely in the debt of the United States for its support during the recent trying days. In the past he had been referred to as a "Yankee Hater" but his recent experiences with the United States in the Indo-Pak conflict assured him that relationships between United States and Pakistan must be built on mutual confidence and an improving dialogue.

/2/ Bhutto also met with Secretary Rogers shortly prior to his call upon the President. During that conversation, Bhutto made at greater length many of the same points that he made with the President, and he received similar assurances. (Telegram 227784 to Islamabad, December 18; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 PAK) Telegram 227784 is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 193.

President Nixon observed that he had admired the fine showing the Deputy Prime Minister had made in the United Nations. He noted especially the Deputy Prime Minister's reference in his speech before the Security Council to the letter from his son. In that speech the Deputy Prime Minister had stated that his son had told him not to return to Pakistan with a surrender.

The Deputy Prime Minister then commented that it was an alarming situation which was widely misread by many people. He noted that President Nixon, however, had always had his feet on the ground and grasped the realities of the situation in their precise terms. He recalled that he knew President Nixon earlier when he was a student at Berkeley and when at that time he represented an opposing point of view. President Nixon recalled that he had met the Deputy Prime Minister's wife while in Pakistan some years earlier but that on that occasion the Deputy Prime Minister was not there.

Mr. Bhutto stated that the strategic significance of events in South Asia was of importance to the entire world. In effect what was occurring was that one nation was trying to turn to the internal difficulties of a neighbor and rectify the situation through the use of armed force. More importantly, however, Mr. Bhutto stated, the real significance of recent events was the fact that the Soviet Union was able to neutralize Chinese flexibility and to vastly improve its influence in the area at the expense of Communist China. This would mean that Indian appetites for further aggression could be whetted. President Nixon replied that this was precisely his view as Mr. Bhutto knew.

The President then asked Mr. Bhutto what he thought the future would hold for Pakistan. Mr. Bhutto answered that in the long run he hoped to re-establish good relationships with the Indian people; however, this would depend largely on Indian actions in the weeks ahead. If they were intent on crushing Pakistan, there would be a permanent animosity which would prevail for decades. On the other hand, from his point of view, he felt it was essential that he return to Pakistan immediately and take about 30 days to assess the will of the people. In doing so he and his party, which was the majority party in Pakistan, could move immediately to establish the kinds of reforms that were essential for the future growth and stability of Pakistan. The Deputy Prime Minister was critical of past policies in Pakistan which he claimed were the result of the will of a clique of military leaders who were no longer in touch with the people of Pakistan. All of this contributed in large measure to the calamity which befell his nation. On the other hand, he noted that in East Pakistan the situation would be very fluid and that in the long run it might be that India had bitten off more than it would be able to successfully digest. For this reason, he hoped that the United States would avoid immediately recognizing the Bangla Desh as this would cause big difficulties for the Government of Pakistan.

President Nixon stated he did not feel that this was the time to address the question of recognition of the Bangla Desh. He added that the United States would do all within its power to help the rebuilding of Pakistan after this tragic setback. He noted that for obvious domestic reasons, reflected most sharply in Congressional attitude, the United States would be able to do more in the economic and humanitarian area. Military assistance was of course a more difficult problem. Nevertheless, the United States would do all that it could within existing restraints to help Pakistan.

Mr. Bhutto again thanked President Nixon for his personal leadership and support for the Government of Pakistan at that critical time and added that he looked forward to improving relations with the United States despite his reputation for being less than friendly in the past. Those problems he noted were the results of U.S. policies at the time. Now the situation had changed and it was essential that the United States, China and Pakistan all work together to insure stability in the area. This he stated was a problem of worldwide interest and importance and not purely a local continental problem.

As the meeting concluded Mr. Bhutto informed the President that he looked forward to seeing him again and jokingly added that he might be willing to return to manage the President's 1972 campaign. President Nixon asked the Deputy Prime Minister to extend his best wishes to President Yahya and to reassure him that the United States would continue to do all that was possible within existing constraints.
The meeting concluded at 2:00 p.m.

328. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 PAK. Secret; Flash; Exdis.

Islamabad, December 20, 1971, 1420Z.

12821. Subject: Meeting With Bhutto, Dec. 20. Ref Islamabad 12804./2/

/2/ Telegram 12804 from Islamabad, December 20, reported that Bhutto had assumed the leadership of Pakistan on December 20 as President and Martial Law Administrator. (Ibid.) President Yahya resigned in Bhutto's favor on December 19 following a day of nationwide demonstrations critical of his handling of the crisis. (Telegram 12798 from Islamabad, December 20; ibid.)

1. Summary: Met with Pres. Bhutto at his request. He expressed deep and sincere appreciation courtesies received New York and Washington and said he was fully satisfied with US assistance during eventful period. Asked for USG continuing aid. Explained transfer of power was effected soonest by Yahya's resignation both as President and as Chief Martial Law Administrator in his (Bhutto's) favor. Indicated a possible trip to China since China had not fulfilled obligations promised. Still hopes to keep the two wings together in some loose federation. Agreed to bear down hard on law and order and fully protect AmCits. Concluded by asking that closest liaison be maintained. End summary.

2. At the request of President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, I met with him in his residence at the Pucgab House (annex) in Rawalpindi at 1630 hours local, Dec. 20. The meeting lasted for 30 minutes.

3. The conversation began, after a minimum of social amenities, with Bhutto's statement to me to the effect that I was the first Ambassador who had been called to see him. He said that this choice was predicated upon the fact that he wished to indicate to me his personal high regard, and his deep appreciation for the extensive courtesies he has received while in New York and Washington. He said that, in his meetings with the Secretary and with the President, he had found cordiality and understanding beyond that which he could have reasonably expected; this, he wanted me to know and, through my messages to Washington, to reiterate his deep and sincere appreciation.

4. After an extended contemplative pause, Bhutto then said succinctly, "We are in one hell of a mess." Agreeing with that assertion, I replied that his job was not an enviable one and that labor which he was now undertaking on behalf of his nation would try the strength of any man. In a most solemn and measured tone, he went on to say that Pakistan had a real reason for coming into being; that this very reason justified its survival; and that he sincerely trusted "with all my heart" that the United States would do that within its capacity to assist in the monumental effort which lay ahead. In answer I told him that he had more recently than I talked to the President and the Secretary and I was certain that, from their conversations with him, he could find reason to sustain him in this crucial period.

5. I then asked him how the chance of power had come about. Bhutto said that, following his arrival in Rawalpindi, he had called upon Yahya soonest. In a short but dramatic exchange, Yahya had (a) resigned as President in favor of him (Bhutto), and (b) also resigned in the [his] favor as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Therefore, Bhutto continued, he was operating under martial law authority, but he had no intention of maintaining the MLA concept for any length of time, this being completely contrary to his character. In answer to my question concerning what interdicted the promulgation of the constitution which was promised for Dec. 20, Bhutto said that it had been superseded by events and that a new constitution had to be written; this would be done soonest.

6. Referring again to the need for aid and assistance to Pakistan, Bhutto said that it was quite possible he soon would go to Peking and, he declared, there was need for such visit inasmuch as "China had not fulfilled its obligations to Pakistan as promised." Contrariwise, Bhutto was effusive in his expression of appreciation for the assistance to Pakistan which was rendered by the United States, with specific references to that period of time from December 3 to date.

7. In conjunction with the subject of U.S. assistance and the obvious need for rehabilitation of his country, Bhutto not unsurprisingly addressed himself to the theme of unity between the wings. (See State 227784,/3/ para 10-Secretary's conversation with Bhutto.) Rhetorically Bhutto asked aloud, "Can the two wings even yet be held together?" I pointed out to him that my conversation with Bengalis indicated that religiously and historically the bond was strong but that the events which had caused strains from 1947 onward and the untoward happenings of March 25 and subsequent thereto were matters which he as a Pakistani and a Muslim could best judge. Bhutto acknowledged the historic errors and disasters of the more recent past, but said that, if at all possible, his would be an effort to reconcile and reunite, holding the wings in some loose federation. I wished him well in what I termed "an awesome task."

/3/ Paragraph 10 of telegram 227784 to Islamabad, cited in footnote 2, Document 327, reported that Bhutto asked that the United States not act in haste in recognizing the "so-called Bangla Desh." He was convinced, he said, that sentiment in both wings was still overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the union.

8. I took the occasion which the meeting offered to stress my concern for American citizens in Pakistan and the need to maintain and strengthen the forces of law and order. Bhutto assured me that this subject was of primary importance to him since he could not rebuild Pakistan into a nation or establish its viability if lawlessness were allowed to generate. He added that he was going to speak by radio and TV tonight at 2200 hours local, giving a detailed report to the nation, appealing to all Pakistanis in all walks of life, and trying to instill in them both hope and courage for the days ahead. He added that he would hit hard on the subject of law and order in a way which he felt would meet with my entire satisfaction. He added that, during his talk, he would legalize once again the outlawed National Awami Party (WALI) and would release any people who were presently detained for political reasons/4/ (He was unable to specify names or numbers.)

/4/ Farland used this opening to ask whether Bhutto also intended to release Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bhutto said that he wanted to do so, but key supporters had warned him that the release of Mujib at that time would be tantamount to Bhutto decreeing his own imprisonment. Bhutto intended to condition the people of Pakistan to the need to release Mujib. He anticipated that Mujib might be exchanged for the thousands of Pakistani prisoners India held following the surrender in East Pakistan. (Telegram 12822 from Islamabad, December 20; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 29 PAK)

9. In concluding our conversation, Bhutto said that it was essential that we maintain the closest possible liaison and that he would be available to see me at any time and at any hour. I assured him that I fully reciprocated his offer and that the need of the moment and for the foreseeable future was for the closest cooperation. As I was leaving, I suggested to him that, in addition to our personal relationship, I felt it would be advisable to set up a secondary contact and that my Deputy Chief of Mission was ready to effect such an arrangement with whomever he would designate. This met with Bhutto's accord.

329. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 38, President's Daily Briefs. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword.

Washington, December 21, 1971.

Information Items
[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]
India-Pakistan Situation: Several hours after taking over as President and Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan, Bhutto went on the air yesterday for a "heart-to-heart talk to my people." In an apparent bid to rally the country around his leadership, Bhutto announced that:

-Yahya and several other senior officers had "retired" and Lt. General Gul Hassan had been named the new Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
-"East Pakistan is an inseparable and indissolvable part of Pakistan." He was, however, prepared for talks with East Pakistani leaders within a Pakistan that could be a "loose arrangement", but that first "Indian troops must vacate my motherland . . . and East Pakistan."
-A new constitution will be promulgated and democracy will be restored.
Prior to the broadcast, Bhutto called in Ambassador Farland./2/ He succinctly characterized the situation by saying: "We are in one hell of a mess." Bhutto went on to say he sincerely trusted that the United States would do all within its capacity to assist him with the monumental effort which lay ahead. If at all possible, he would attempt to reconcile and reunite both wings of Pakistan within some loose federation. Bhutto also revealed that he might soon travel to Peking, since "China had not fulfilled its obligations to Pakistan as promised."

/2/ See Document 328.

Meanwhile, there is still considerable public resentment about the way the war ended. In Karachi, for example, bands of demonstrators have been roving in and out of the major business and residential areas setting fires and causing disruptions. Many educated Pakistanis are still openly attacking Yahya and saying that the people will never allow the return of a military government under any circumstances. At the same time, even those who oppose and distrust Bhutto seem inclined to give him a chance.

The situation is still fluid in the East. The Indian Army seems to be gradually restoring a minimum of law and order in Dacca and reorganizing the administrative apparatus. The "Bangla Desh" cabinet, however, has still not arrived from Calcutta, although there are reports that it may proceed to Dacca by mid-week. The Bangla Desh "Prime Minister" is quoted by Dacca Radio as saying that there is a great need for foreign aid but that they will "not touch" any part of U.S. aid because of the "hateful and shameful" policy that the U.S. has followed toward the Bangla Desh "freedom struggle."

There are also reports that the Indians have removed the two top Pak military officials in the East to Calcutta and are making preparations to move all Pak POWs and civil servants to detention camps in India. What could be shaping up is protracted bargaining between the Paks, Indians and Bangla Desh representatives involving repatriation of the POWs, the release of Mujib (Bhutto said nothing about him)/3/ and the transfer of the Bengali population in West Pakistan and minority groups in the East.

/3/ See footnote 4, Document 328.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]

330. Letter From Pakistani President Bhutto to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 760, Presidential Correspondence File, President Bhutto. No classification marking. The letter was delivered to the Department of State on December 21 under a letter of transmittal from Ambassador Raza to Secretary Rogers. (Ibid.) The text of the letter was transmitted to Islamabad in telegram 233015, December 30. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 573, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/17/71-12/31/71)

Islamabad, undated.


It is with a very heavy heart that I address this, my first message, to you for your assistance to alleviate human suffering. The news from Dacca is grim. Reports from independent sources, which must have reached you by now, speak of inhuman atrocities and mass murders of innocent people in a part of Pakistan which is now under India's military occupation. To say that these killings and atrocities are being perpetrated by the so-called "Mukti Bahini" does not, and cannot, absolve India of its responsibility to ensure the safety of life and property of the people. The Commanding General of India has publicly stated that the "Mukti Bahini" and all other forces now in East Pakistan are under his effective command.

What is happening in Dacca is by no means an isolated affair. Reports of similar incidents are being received from other cities in East Pakistan also. News of this indiscriminate carnage has been received with the gravest concern in Pakistan, and cannot but be viewed with horror throughout the world.

I am, therefore, addressing this earnest appeal to you on behalf of the people of Pakistan and on my own behalf to use your influence with India most urgently to prevent further carnage. Otherwise that Province might soon be engulfed in a widespread blood-bath.
My Government has already approached the International Red Cross, who have sent some personnel and supplies to Dacca. The need of the hour, however, is for Red Cross presence in greater strength, for assistance by way of medicines and field hospitals in a more massive form. Apart from requesting the International Red Cross to do the needful, and in particular, to ensure compliance of the Geneva Convention, my Government has also enlisted the support of other friendly governments to lend their weight in moving the Red Cross and also to take action themselves through humanitarian organizations.
An urgent appeal to India by all permanent members of the Security Council and action by them individually in pursuance of these humanitarian objectives would go a long way in bringing peace to that strife torn land.

I would, in particular, impress on you immediately to approach the Government of India to take effective measures, with all the means at their command, to ensure that this carnage stops without loss of time.
I avail of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto/2/

/2/ Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

331. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Nodis. Drafted on January 13, 1972, by Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Martin J. Hillenbrand. The meeting was held at Government House. The conversation, part I of VIII, was one of a number of exchanges December 20-21 among Prime Minister Edward Heath, Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home, various advisers and members of the British Cabinet, and a U.S. team headed by President Nixon that included Rogers, Connally, Kissinger, and Haldeman.
Bermuda, December 21, 1971, 2:35 p.m.


British Side:
Prime Minister Heath
Sir Alec Douglas-Home, State Secretary
Mr. Anthony Barber, Chancellor of the
Lord Cromer, Ambassador to U.S.
Sir Denis Greenhill, Permanent Under
Secretary in the Foreign Office
Sir Burke Trend, Secretary of the Cabinet
Mr. Donald Maitland, Private Secretary to
the Prime Minister
Mr. John Graham, Private Secretary to
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Mr. Peter James Moon, Private Secretary
to the Prime Minister
Mr. Clive Rose, Assistant Under Secty. for
Science and Technology, Foreign Office
Mr. Hugh Overton, Head of the North
American Department, Foreign Office

American Side:
The President
Secretary Rogers
Ambassador-at-Large Kennedy
Ambassador Annenberg
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Exec.
Office of President
Asst. Secty. Hillenbrand
Mr. Ronald L. Ziegler, Exec. Off.
of President
Treasury Under Secretary for
Monetary Affairs Volcker
Mr. Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Senior
Member, NSC Staff

The President and Prime Minister called upon the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State to summarize the results of their conversations of December 20 and the morning of December 21. Sir Alec began by saying that on India-Pakistan there was no fundamental difference in assessment between the United States and the United Kingdom, although there had been a difference as to UN tactics. In the British view, the trouble really began historically when the Pakistan Government moved to align itself with the People's Republic of China, opting out of SEATO and loosening its ties with CENTO. India considered this a real threat to the security of the sub-continent. Eventually this led to what was essentially a treaty of convenience between India and the USSR. The British were doubtful that India wanted to go over completely to the Soviets, for example, to the extent of granting formal base rights. It was now essential that the United Kingdom and the United States come together in dealing with the new problems of the future. This would require adequate response to three aspects of the situation: (1) keeping West Pakistan afloat; (2) meeting the humanitarian requirements in the face of inevitable famine in Bangla Desh; and (3) finding a way of coming to terms with India as the most powerful country in the sub-continent.

In the UN, Sir Alec continued, the United States felt it had to register its disapprobation of Indian action. The British wanted to keep a looser position and therefore abstained on the various UN votes. It was unrealistic to think any further in terms of a united Pakistan. We must now deal with the fact of three countries in the sub-continent. He and Secretary Rogers had agreed to keep in close touch in connection with future developments, beginning with the question of some sort of a signing-off resolution in the UN.
The Secretary said he thought the prospects for such a resolution were not too good. The UN might close up tomorrow and India and Pakistan had not yet agreed on any formulation. He had pointed out to Sir Alec the difficulties the United States will have with the Congress in getting any assistance for India, although this might not apply so much to purely humanitarian aid. There might be some difference on timing between the British and the United States as to establishing relations with Bangla Desh. It was difficult to tell what Bhutto was going to do except that one could be fairly certain that he would exploit the situation for his own political benefit. He would probably release Mujib in due time and try to blame the Pakistan military for not having turned over control to civilians sooner. Home observed that there would soon be a meeting of the consortium which would be faced with the problem of keeping West Pakistan afloat. Here there was scope for British-American cooperation.

The President asked for British views on the Soviet interest in the current situation. Would Russia pick up the tab for India or would they want the Western countries to participate? Sir Alec said he thought the Indian nonalignment tradition would prevail, at least for quite a time. The Indians were obviously worried about possible growing Chinese influence in Bangla Desh and would want moderate Bangla Desh leaders to be in control.

The President asked for the British judgment as to whether, if this Chinese danger arose, the Indians would try to get help from us or the Soviets, or both. He noted the sentiment in Congress and elsewhere that our considerable aid to India in the past 25 years-a total of some ten billion dollars-had led only to our being kicked in the teeth. The question was being asked whether such aid was in the United States interest if we remained totally without any influence. The argument was made that such money could be used better at home. Sir Alec said we had to assume that there would be no gratitude on the part of Indian politicians. India, however, would not want to be totally dependent on the USSR. It was worth keeping those contacts with India which we enjoyed, and he thought the Indians would want this. It was for this reason that the British had found the apparent US attitude during the past month worrying. He thought enough good will remained in India to enable the United States to recover its position. The Secretary commented that Mrs. Gandhi resents our even mentioning aid as a factor in our relations. The Congress simply would not approve any program under these circumstances. Sir Alec asked whether anyone ever thanked the United States for its aid. The Secretary said not all countries had acted as had the Indians. We hoped, of course, that the United States could recapture some of its influence with India.

The President said the United States was not simply interested in receiving a "thank you very much" from the Indians. We do what we do in our own interest and must be able to justify our action in those terms. If it were simply a matter of the United States' getting back in the good graces of India, we would do something to achieve this, but he doubted whether this was the right way of looking at the problem. He was inclined to think we should be patient. India has to make an important decision "whether to become like Sadat or not". He wondered whether it was desirable simply to accept the Indian position that they are automatically in the right on every issue and we are in the wrong.
Sir Alec reiterated how important it was to realize what Pakistan did when it lined up with China. Mrs. Gandhi has gambled that Chinese influence would not get out of bounds in Bangla Desh. It was in the Western interest that the new Bangla Desh should be basically India-oriented rather than China-oriented.

The President observed that there was no question as to our goal of insuring that India did not fall into the Soviet bag. There were some five hundred million Indians trying to make it with a non-totalitarian society. How could our influence best be used? British advice would be welcome. We frankly had to admit that our dealings with India were a historic failure, registered, for example, in the fact that India had voted contrary to our position on 93% of all UN issues that mattered. Pragmatically we may have to accept the Indian way, and it was necessary to explore the possibility of moving in a more measured pattern in our relations with India. The Secretary commented that not only has India voted against us in the UN, but it has missed no opportunity to be vocal in its opposition to us.
Sir Alec said you must start with the assumption that you will get nothing from the Indians in the way of support, but you must also look at the basic Western interest in India. He agreed that the West should move pragmatically in the new circumstances.
The President said that it was far more important to keep India from Soviet than from Chinese domination under current circumstances, although in the long run it might be different. We can agree that we want to keep India independent. Our long-term goal was the same as that of the British, although we might differ on tactics. The Secretary noted that if India does grant facilities to the Soviets this would reinforce negative US opinion. The President concluded that the closest cooperation on this question should take place between the United States and the United Kingdom. We must give Bhutto time to achieve a settlement before we move definitively on Bangla Desh.

332. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Box 38, President's Daily Briefs. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. Printed from an uninitialed copy.

Washington, December 22, 1971.

Information Items

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]
India-Pakistan Situation: In West Pakistan, Bhutto is moving to consolidate his position. The list of generals "retired" along with Yahya includes virtually all of his close inner circle and the only top officers remaining-Acting Commander of the Army Gul Hassan and Commander of the Air Force Rahim Khan-both had lines out to Bhutto before the war and have not been seriously tainted by the outcome. Bhutto, however, is keeping the Defense portfolio for himself. Bhutto is also retaining the External Affairs portfolio and has appointed a man he trusts over Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan.

On the political front, Bhutto has said that Mujib will be released from prison soon and put under some form of house arrest. This is, of course, only a gesture but it could be important for setting the tone for the dialogue that must soon ensue with the Indians and Bangla Desh leaders involving Mujib's release and the fate of the POWs and other West Paks in Indian custody.

There is a great deal of speculation in New Delhi about the shape of the emerging India-Bangla Desh relationship. Our Embassy has been able to confirm that a treaty has been signed providing for economic assistance, especially aimed at helping the refugees return, and that planning is going forward in the trade field. There may also be provisions for security arrangements along the lines of the Indo-Soviet friendship treaty.

At the UN, the Security Council was finally able to agree on a resolution last night by a vote of thirteen to nothing with the Soviet Union and Poland abstaining./2/ The operative paragraph in effect formalizes the cease-fire and demands that it "remain in effect until withdrawals take place, as soon as practicable, of all armed forces to their respective territories and to the cease-fire line supervised by UNMOGIP." This latter clause on the UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan is intended to imply full withdrawal in Kashmir and we have made it clear in our explanation of the vote that this is our understanding. This is not everything that we initially wanted, but it is the lowest common denominator that both the Indians and the Paks will agree on and as such the only alternative to a continuing Security Council deadlock. It provides a firm basis for strong multilateral dˇmarches for full Indian withdrawal.

/2/ The resolution adopted by the Security Council on December 21 was sponsored by Argentina, Burundi, Japan, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Somalia. (UN doc. S/RES/307 (1971))

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]

333. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 PAK. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated priority to Dacca, Karachi, Lahore, Moscow, and New Delhi.

Islamabad, December 23, 1971, 1025Z.

12934 Subj: Conversation with Pres. Bhutto Wednesday Evening, Dec 22.

1. Summary: Breaking protocol, Pres. Bhutto called upon me at my residence Wednesday evening, December 22. Said his action was strongly to signal new period of relations between GOP and USG. Expressed need for influx of capital, and avowed private capital would be well treated. Indicated desire to establish political government soonest. Further hoped to have Pakistan's primary problems settled within six months. Criticized Security Council's ineptitude and indicated he would test Russia's intentions re its position in Security Council since he (Bhutto) now agreeable to dealing with elected representatives East Pak people. Indicated he was not anxious for Yahya to be placed on trial, and hopeful demand therefore might lessen. Convinced that it was not only India's desire to break two-wing concept but also India's definite intention (till time of ceasefire) to liquidate West Pakistan. Gave personal assurance USG and American personnel would not be subject to untoward instances of public outcry or physical harm. Hoped for early return American personnel convinced that ceasefire would hold. End summary.

2. Surprisingly and quite unexpectedly, I received a phone call late afternoon of Wednesday, Dec 22, from the President's office asking if I could receive the President at my residence in the evening. Pres Bhutto arrived at 2130 hours local and conversed with me for 35 minutes. He was accompanied by Mustafa Khar, recently announced Governor and Martial Law Administrator of Punjab (Islamabad 12875)./2/ Khar took virtually no part in the conversation which ensued.

/2/ Telegram 12875 from Islamabad, December 22, reported on the changes in government effected by President Bhutto on December 21. (Ibid.)

3. After exchange of social amenities, and after noting that his call upon me was most unusual from the standpoint of protocol, Bhutto said that he was so acting to signal strongly his reaffirmation of a whole new period of close and effective relations with the United States. He said whatever criticism the United States may have had regarding his past posture, he now hoped that it would be forgotten as our two countries "with mutual interests" came closer together in common cause. He said that he again wished to express his appreciation for the assistance which the United States had extended to Pakistan during its greatest crisis, and added that it would not be forgotten.

4. With this as a point of departure, Bhutto declared that, if Pakistan is to rise from its present destitute economic straits, it was necessary that there be a substantial influx of capital into the country, and by capital he meant both private and on a government-to-government basis. He went on to say that he wished to assure the USG that private US capital would be well received in Pakistan and that he intended to do everything necessary to make investment in Pakistan both "convenient and worthwhile to the investor." In reply, I told him I felt that I had been attempting [garble] of the need for private capital ever since my arrival in Pakistan, and I would, at a convenient time, talk to him about certain ideas for economic development which I felt might be productive and in furtherance of his stated objective.

5. Referring to his role as Chief Martial Law Administrator, Bhutto said he wanted to re-establish a thoroughly political government as soon as possible, and made numerous references to the need for the people to become a part of the political climate of Pakistan "otherwise there would be no peace here, ever." He avowed it was his hope that he would have the pressing problems of Pakistan "cleaned up or on the way to settlement" within six months. This included, he said, agreement on East Pakistan as well as West Pakistan "local problems." I told him that the program of action which he had taken upon himself would require Herculean effort and that I and my government wished him well.

6. Making mention of the Security Council's ineptitude and lack of viability on solutions, he said he was going to try to ascertain whether Russia was sincere in the proposal which it had sponsored in the Security Council. He said he would do this by testing, on the basis of his position of dealing with the "elected representatives of the people" in East Pakistan. He declared that, most certainly, the problem involved was one in which other countries should not interfere. This problem-a problem of staggering magnitude-had to be worked out by the people of the two wings. He added that, since Pakistan had come into being as a Muslim state and since the people involved were Muslims this was the thread upon which negotiations would hang.

7. As the conversation moved into other fields, I noted that the local press was giving considerable play to the demand that General Yahya be placed on trial, and wondered aloud whether this was a salutary move at a time when the climate called for reconciliation and a play-down of emotions./3/ Bhutto agreed, saying that he most certainly did not want "Yahya's head" nor was he vindictive. This, he said, was proven by the fact that he had not "gone after Ayub." He added that there was a great deal of public clamor which he was finding it difficult to stifle. He observed, however, that with the passage of time this clamor might be expected to lessen./4/

/3/ On December 22 Kissinger sent a backchannel message to Farland in which he took note of reports that Yahya might be brought to trial. He instructed Farland to inform Bhutto that it would be difficult for the United States to understand a decision to do so. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan)

/4/ Farland also referred to Bhutto's decision to release Mujibur Rahman from prison and put him under house arrest. The move enhanced the possibility of negotiations with Mujib and Farland applauded the timing of the move as "most propitious." (Telegram 12938 from Islamabad, December 23; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 PAK)

8. On the subject of India's intentions toward Pakistan since March 25, Bhutto said India's posture had been blatantly patent; it desired not only to break up the two wings, but he was convinced that India had, at least up to the ceasefire offer, nurtured the definite intention of liquidating West Pakistan. India, he said, had never truly recognized the 1947 partition nor, in fact, had been reconciled to it. He said that, consequently, the future of Pakistan was closely tied to two great powers: China and the United States. Nevertheless, he said he hoped that his negotiations with India would provide a harmony which would allow Pakistan to exist in peace.

9. As the conversation was drawing to a close, I noted my concern regarding outbreaks of lawlessness which had occurred in various cities of West Pakistan and the rumors of planned processions against the USG for alleged failure to meet GOP's needs during the crisis. Bhutto assured me that there would be no untoward incidents adversely affecting the US or American personnel, specifically stating that he had given orders that none such would occur, and offered me his personal guarantee to this effect. He said that his confidence in this regard was such that he could ask me, without hesitancy, to plan for an early return of American personnel; this, he said, he would greatly appreciate because it would add to the atmosphere of normalcy which he was trying to generate.

10. In concluding the conversation and as he was taking his departure, I asked Bhutto whether or not he felt the ceasefire would hold. His answer was a categorical "yes." But he noted that there had been a number of minor violations along the line, including an unfortunate one which had occurred the night before at Burki.


334. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 38, President's Daily Briefs. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword.

Washington, December 27, 1971.

Information Items

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]
India-Pakistan Situation: Ambassador Farland has sent in his assessment of the first few days of Bhutto's regime. He concludes that Bhutto has moved with extraordinary speed to solidify his control of West Pakistan and to set the stage for launching his political and economic reform program. He has been aided in this effort by the widespread demoralization both within the military leadership and the populace as a whole, who seem prepared, at least for the moment, to give him a free hand. The early signs suggest that Bhutto's domestic program will feature social reform and populist assaults on the establishment, while he builds a highly personal, somewhat authoritarian regime. On the international front, Bhutto has taken the first steps toward a new relationship with India with hints of some flexibility on the Bangla Desh issue and Mujib. On relations with the great powers, he seems to be keeping his options open. In sum, Farland says that Bhutto has taken over West Pakistan "lock, stock, and barrel," probably saving it from internal collapse in the process. On the other hand, it is not clear whether Bhutto will be able to rise above his reputation for unscrupulousness, vanity, and intense personal ambition to become a real statesman.

From New Delhi, Ambassador Keating reports that Mrs. Gandhi's domestic political stock has soared while the opposition's has declined in the wake of India's military victory. Personal adulation of Mrs. Gandhi has gone to the extremes with even the opposition leaders hailing her as India's Joan of Arc and the incarnation of various Hindu deities. At the same time, Mrs. Gandhi appears to have retained her cool, calculating manner and is moving to capitalize on her popularity by scheduling new elections in several states.

In other developments over the weekend, U Thant has named Vittorio Winspeare-Guicciardi, Under Secretary General and head of the UN's Geneva office, as his special representative in India and Pakistan to go to the subcontinent to help deal with humanitarian problems as called for in the Security Council resolution./2/

/2/ See footnote 2, Document 332.
Bhutto is reported to have announced plans for a judicial inquiry into the causes for Pakistan's defeat. It is not to submit its findings for three months and may be Bhutto's effort to satisfy public opinion with a minimum move./3/

/3/ Nixon underlined Bhutto and added a handwritten note that reads: "K-he must be strongly informed-RN will be very opposed to trial of Yahya." Kissinger noted in the margin that he had done so.
[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]

335. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 PAK. Confidential. Drafted on December 27 by Laingen; cleared by Schneider and Davies, in substance by Orson Trueworthy (S/R), in IO by Deputy Assistant Secretary George A. Von Peterfly and Director of the Office of United Nations Political Affairs John A. Armitage, in AID by Williams and MacDonald, and at the White House by Saunders; paragraph 5 was cleared with Agriculture and OMB; and approved by Acting Secretary Johnson. Repeated to New Delhi, Tehran, London, Calcutta, Dacca, and USUN.

Washington, December 30, 1971, 1927Z.

233072. Subject: President Bhutto's Letter to President. Ref: State 233015./2/ For

Ambassador Farland.

/2/ See Document 330 and footnote 1 thereto.

1. Septel contains text letter to President from President Bhutto delivered Dept by Ambassador Raza December 21.

2. You should make oral response to letter, indicating that President has received it and is deeply appreciative of concerns raised in letter. You should put your response in context our own concerns which we have expressed publicly and privately on several occasions in recent past, in UN and elsewhere, regarding general humanitarian problems growing out of hostilities East Pakistan. You will want to point out what we have already done in support of Pak approach to ICRC and Swiss Government concerning West Pak and civilian officials East Pakistan. We have also made clear to Indian Government our view that Indian Army has heavy and continuing responsibility help insure security of minorities and others East Pakistan in current unsettled security situation there.

3. You should then go on to say that we stand ready to assist ICRC and other international organizations in whatever ways that might be practicable in alleviating present human suffering East Pakistan. In doing so you will want to recall a) Bhutto's indication to Secretary December 18/3/ that he understood why US would wish to provide humanitarian assistance in East (subject to understanding that this not be done in way there be any implication of recognition Bangla Desh); and b) call in Security Council Resolution adopted December 21/4/ for international assistance in relief of suffering and rehabilitation of refugees and authorization for Secretary General to assist in this regard.

/3/ See footnote 2, Document 327.

/4/ See footnote 2, Document 332.

4. You should say to Bhutto that in view of these considerations we are indicating to UNSYG that USG stands ready to assist in such humanitarian relief operations as may be requested of UN in the East Pakistan area and which it feels it has the capacity to undertake./5/ We want Bhutto to understand, however, that our doing so will depend on a broad range of international support, pursuant to the SC resolution, and that we will look to the UN for leadership in such an effort. FYI: What we have in mind for our part is the considerable amount of foodgrains previously in pipeline for East Pakistan in tranches appropriate to situation as it develops. We intend hold up any commitments on administrative costs at this time. End FYI.

/5/ In telegram 232870 to USUN, the mission was instructed to inform the United Nations that the United States was prepared to participate in humanitarian relief operations in East Pakistan subject to the conditions outlined in this paragraph. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, SOC 10 BANGLA DESH) Telegram 232870 is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 197.

5. You may also inform President Bhutto that President has authorized that negotiations begin with GOP for a new PL-480 Title I Agreement of 300,000 tons wheat and 25,000 tons edible oil (these authorizations having values of approximately $25 million and $10 million respectively). These actions reflect not only awareness of pressing food requirements West Pakistan but also are evidence of desire this Government to assist GOP in difficult tasks overall it now faces in beginning lengthy process of recovery from
tragic events of recent weeks./6/

30/6/ Deputy Chief of Mission Sober conveyed the U.S. response to Bhutto's letter to Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan on January 3, 1972. (Telegram 61 from Islamabad, January 4; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 PAK)
6. PL-480 negotiating instructions will follow septel.

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