Historical Documents

Volumes

Browse by Administration

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976
Volume E–7, Documents on South Asia, 1969–1972, Document 183


183. Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Information Cable TDCS–314/13308–71, Washington, December 13, 197111. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation. Secret; Priority; No Foreign Distribution. Sent to the White House and distributed within the Departments of State, Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the JCS, and NSA.

Intelligence Information Cable

13 December 1971

COUNTRY: INDIA, PAKISTAN, USSR, CHINA

DOI: 12 DECEMBER 1971

  • SUBJECT:
  • INDIAN PRIME MINISTER INDIRA GANDHI'S BRIEFING [text not declassified] ON THE INDO-PAKISTAN WAR

ACQ: [text not declassified]

SOURCE: [text not declassified] HE IS A RELIABLE SOURCE. [text not declassified]

1. ON 10 DECEMBER 1971 INDIAN PRIME MINISTER INDIRA GANDHI TOLD [text not declassified] THAT ACCEPTANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS CEASEFIRE RESOLUTION AFTER THE LIBERATION OF BANGLADESH MIGHT MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO AVOID FURTHER COMPLICATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES AND MIGHT ALSO RULE OUT THE CURRENT POSSIBILITY OF CHIENSE INTERVENTION IN LADAKH. DEFENCE MINISTER JAGJIVAN RAM AND CERTAIN MILITARY LEADERS, HOWEVER, ARE OPPOSED TO ACCEPTING THE RESOLUTION BEFORE CERTAIN UNSPECIFIED AREAS IN SOUTHERN AZAD KASHMIR ARE LIBERATED AND BEFORE THE WAR MECHANISM OF PAKISTAN IS DESTROYED. MRS. GANDHI ADDED THAT FOR THE MOMENT INDIA WOULD NOT CATEGORICALLY REJECT THE UN CEASEFIRE PROPOSAL; IT WILL ACCEPT THE PROPOSAL AFTER THE AWAMI LEAGUE REGIME IS INSTALLED IN DACCA. [text not declassified]

2. THE SOVIET UNION IS OF THE VIEW THAT INDIAN SHOULD ACCEPT THE CEASEFIRE AS SOON AS BANGLADESH IS LIBERATED. ACCORDING TO THE PRIME MINISTER THE SOVIETS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF CHINESE INTERVENTION. IF THE CHINESE WERE TO BECOME DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE CONFLICT, MRS. GANDHI SAID, THE CHINESE KNOW THAT THE SOVIET UNION WOULD ACT IN THE SINKIANG REGION. SOVIET AIR SUPPORT MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE TO INDIA AT THAT TIME. MRS. GANDHI NOTED THAT DESPITE PAKISTANI EFFORTS TO EMBROIL THE CHINESE IN THE SUB-CONTINENT, PEKING HAS REFRAINED FROM TAKING PART IN THE CONFLICT TO DATE. P.N. DHAR, CHAIRMAN OFTHE POLICY PLANNING COMMISSION, IS CURRENTLY IN MOSCOW TO DISCUSS FUTURE STRATEGY WITH SOVIET LEADERS AND TO ASSURE THE SOVIET UNION THAT INDIA HAS NO PLANS TO ANNEX ANY WEST PAKISTANI TERRITORY.

3. AFTER THE LIBERATION OF BANGLADESH, THE PRIME MINISTER SAID, PAKISTAN MIGHT NOT ACCEPT THE CEASEFIRE RESOLUTION BUT MIGHT DECIDE TO CONTINUE THE WAR IN THE WEST TO AVENGE THE LOSS OF BANGLADESH. PAKISTANI STRATEGY MIGHT BE TO BREAK THROUGH THE CHHAMB AREA, WITH CHINESE SUPPORT IN THE LADAKH REGION, IN A BID TO CUT OFF THE KASHMIR VALLEY.

4. MRS. GANDHI SAID THAT IN THAT CASE THE SOVIET UNION WOULD ATTEMPT TO CONVINCE THE UNITED STATES TO ACCEPT BANGLADESH AS A "FAIT ACCOMPLI" IN THE HOPE THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL PREVAIL UPON PAKISTAN TO ACCEPT A CEASEFIRE WITH AN INDEPENDENT BANGLADESH. THE PRIME MINISTER ADDED THAT IT IS EVEN POSSIBLE THAT, IN SPITE OF ITS ANTI-INDIA STANCE, CHINA MAY ADVISE PAKISTAN TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY OF BANGLADESH.

5. THE PRIME MINISTER CONCLUDED HER BRIEFING BY SAYING THAT INDIA WILL EMERGE FROMT HE WAR AS TEH DOMINANT POWER IN SOUTH ASIA AND THE INDIAN OCEAN. CHINA WILL RESPECT INDIA AND MAY EVEN DECIDE TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH INDIA. ON THE OTHER HAND, PAKISTAN WILL LOSE ITS ECONOMIC POWER WITHOUT WHICH IT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SUPPORT A LARGE MILITARY COMPLEX. THE CURRENT PAKISTANI MILITARY LEADERSHIP WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SURVIVE THE MILITARY DEFEAT. MRS. GANDHI SAID SHE EXPECTS CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES TO LOSE INTEREST IN PAKISTAN. SHE ALSO NOTED THAT SHE FORSEES GREATER PRESSURE FOR AUTONOMY IN PAKISTAN'S NORTHWEST FRONTIER, BALUCHISTAN AND SIND. SHE EXPRESSED THE HOPE THAT A NEW DEMOCRATIC PAKISTAN, BASED ON AUTONOMOUS REPUBLICS, WILL EMERGE AND THAT IT WILL DESIRE TO HAVE FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH INDIA.

6. [text not declassified]

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