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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976
Volume E–7, Documents on South Asia, 1969–1972, Document 184


184. Telegram 5627 From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State, December 14, 1971, 0408Z11. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27–14 INDIA–PAK. Secret; Flash; Exdis. Repeated flash to Islamabad and New Delhi.

December 14, 1971, 0408Z

DEC 71

FMAMCONSUL DACCA

TO SECSTAT WASHDC FLASH 4853 INFO AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD FLASH AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

  • SUBJECT:
  • POSSIBLE CEASE-FIRE IN EAST

I. THIS MORNING, AT GOVERNOR MALIK'S REQUEST, I MET WITH HIM AND MAJOR GENERAL RAO FARMAN ALI, TO DISCUSS POSSIBILITY OF CEASE-FIRE IN EAST AND SOME FORM OF ARRANGEMENT WITH INDIAN ARMY AND MUKTI BAHINI TO AVOID "BLOODBATH'',

2. FARMAN ALI STATED THAT PAK ARMY IN EAST OUTNUMBERED AND CUT OFF, AND WHILE IT MIGHT HOLD OUT FOR THREE OR FOUR DAYS HAD NO HOPE BEYOND THAT. HE SAID THAT HE SAW NO REAL POSSIBILITY FOR HELP FROM ANY OUTSIDE SOURCE AND HE HAD COME TO CONCLUSION THAT MOST IMPORTANT THING IN PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES WAS TO AVOID INDISCRIMINATE KILLING. HE AGREED WITH MY SUGGESTION THAT IF SUCH AN ATTEMPT WERE TO BE MADE, IT WAS BETTER TO MAKE IT BEFORE STREET-BY-STREET FIGHTING BEGAN IN DACCA.

3. FARMAN ASKED WHETHER I WAS IN A POSITION TO COMMUNICATE SPEEDILY WITH WASHINGTON, ISLAMABAD AND CALCUTTA. I ASSURED HIM I WAS. HE AND GOVERNOR THEREUPON SAID THAT THEY WOULD PRESENT TO ME WITHIN NEXT FEW HOURS SPECIFIC PROPOSALS FOR CEASE-FIRE WHICH THEY WISHED ME TO PUT FORWARD THROUGH USG TO INDIANS. I TOLD THEM THAT I WAS AVAILABLE AT ANY TIME.

4. COMMENT: FROM NATURE OF GENERAL CONVERSATION IT APPEARS TO ME THAT THEY ARE LEANING TOWARD IDEA IN FIRST INSTANCE, OF REGROUPING OF ALL PAK FORCES AT PLACES IN EP SPECIFIED BY INDIANS UNDER AGREEMENT THAT THOSE FORCES WOULD ENGAGE IN NO MILITARY OPERATIONS DURING DISCUSSION OF MORE PERMANENT CEASE FIRE ARRANGEMENTS. FARMAN ALI IS STILL RELUCTANT-TO FACE UP TO WORD "SURENDER”, AND HE HOPES THAT PAK FORCES WILL BE ABLE RETAIN THEIR ARMS, EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY HAVE TO TURN OVER ALL AMMUNITION TO INDIANS,

5. I SPECIFIED TO THE GENERAL AND THE GOVERNOR THAT ANY MESSAGE THEY ASKED ME TO SEND MUST BE AUTHORITATIVELY SIGNED. THEY ASSURED ME THERE WOULD BE NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT: MESSAGE WOULD BEAR THEIR TWO SIGNATURES AS WELL AS THAT OF GENERAL NIAZI AND WOULD BF APPROVED BY PRESIDENT YAHYA BEFORE IT REACHED ME, GP-1. SPIVACK

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