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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976
Volume E–7, Documents on South Asia, 1969–1972, Document 164


164. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Pakistani Ambassador (Raza), Washington, December 8, 1971, 2:47 p.m.11. 

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

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

TELCON Amb. Raza/Kissinger 2:47 p.m. 12/8/71

R: I thought you were angry with me.

K: Due to the incompetence of my staff you were not notified. I was expecting you at 2:45.

R: No one told me.

K: It was because it was someone I wanted to see.

R: I am going to the State Dept. I rang Gen. Haig 3 times.

K: They didn't notify me.

R: The President has sent another message direct by Farland. About the whole situation. One or two suggestions — my trouble is that they keep saying see you.

K: Two things. One, tell your people to stop all cable traffic with respect to help on ammunition and so forth. We are doing what we can and we will send a coded message. It's getting too dangerous for you to send it. I will keep you informed.

R: I am going to State now to keep the record straight.

K: Tell them you would like to invoke mutual security treaty. A formal request —

R: An aide memoire. Unsigned.

K: The secret clauses also?

R: "The bilateral U.S. /Pakistan agreement ? ? ? ? ? and independence of Pakistan ? ? ? ? ? ? ? gravest to Pakistan ? ? ? ? extend material help to us. ”

K: Say they should use clarifications used in subsequent years.

R: Are you very busy today?

K: I will see you first thing tomorrow. We wax are here to support you.

R: You don't have to say that. Things are getting late.

K: I can give you news that we are getting something out of the Shah for ammunition. You can send a cypher through me.

R: I have not sent a cable. Only through you. Are your cables different from the State Dept.?

Raza/Kissinger 2:47 p.m. 12/8/71

K: Yes.

R: So you will give me a -time tomorrow.

K: You can count on it.

1 

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

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