745.45F/12–2947: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman) to the Secretary of state


6647. 1. Patrick1 CRO described December 22 GOI note to GOP (Delhi’s 1151, December 24 to Department, repeated Karachi 99) as “ultimatum” seriousness which can hardly be exaggerated. There is [Page 186] ample reason in his view to fear GOI attack on Pakistan simultaneously with filing GOI complaint with SC. Attlee and ministers are now formulating HMG policy re various eventualities.

2. Patrick said CRO is without full account two meetings re Kashmir but he understands first talk failed because GOP while denying GOI charges, claimed it could not stop transit raiders. December 22 talk failed because in GOI note GOP was faced with ultimatum. Patrick understands GOP was willing to make joint approach to UN re broader problem long-term settlements Kashmir and Junagadh. GOP could not accept approach to UN on narrow question Pakistan complicity raiders. When GOI announced its intention to approach UN, GOP announced that it would file rejoinder with UN. This may be done December 30 because ultimatum expires today.

3. Patrick sees problem GOIGOP relations as falling into two phases: First is finding UN means to stop conflict which may begin within next few days by GOI attack towards Lahore; second is finding way to decide long-term fate Kashmir by plebiscite or some other means (Department’s 5368, December 262). Latter may take time because plebiscite could not begin until May and if carried out on basis adult suffrage, would require about eight months to complete. Preparatory to plebiscite, peaceful conditions would have to be established in Kashmir under UN auspices. This might mean, since British troops would not be available, and since SC has no force at its disposal, decision whereby both GOI and GOP troops would be supplied for pacification Kashmir under commander appointed by SC. If and when conditions favorable for plebiscite are established, Patrick thought some arrangement comparable to that suggested Paragraph 6, Department’s reference telegram might be worked out. As minor point, he doubted that GOI which considers itself in possession Kashmir would unilaterally propose plebiscite to SC.

4. Some concession by GOP to GOI might relieve tension but Liaquat has made it plain that tribesmen regard Kashmir operations as Jihad3 and are largely beyond GOP control. GOI on other hand is driven to its rash course by Nehru’s “Brahmin logic” which argues that now Kashmir has adhered to GOI it is part India and consequently GOP is interfering with steps by GOI to put down rebels in GOI territory. As further factor Sikhs might get out of control and force GOIGOP struggle.

5. If fight starts, Nehru will demand immediately and obtain withdrawal British officers from Pakistan Army thus crippling it. Patrick said “we will withdraw British officers as quickly as possible from both sides.”

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6. Although Pakistan Army is much smaller than Indian Army, latter is so extended Kashmir that initially Pakistan would not be overwhelmed. In event conflict Patrick believes Afghanistan would make deal with GOP and become GOP ally. “Because more trouble would be created that way” Patrick thinks USSR would probably take Pakistan side.

7. Patrick said he could not advise Embassy re course HMG plans to take in present crisis because thinking Prime Minister and Cabinet is unknown. However, this is clearly situation in which it is highly desirable USG and HMG should keep in close touch everywhere, i.e. New York, Washington, New Delhi, Karachi, London. Re reaction world public opinion to GOIGOP conflict Patrick considers it likely that GOI will be considered aggressor. Asked whether warning to this effect by members SC might deter Nehru, Patrick said he did not know but it was an idea. Embassy will see Patrick tomorrow.

Sent Department 6647; repeat New Delhi 149; repeat Karachi 53; Moscow by pouch.

  1. Sir Paul J. Patrick, British Commonwealth Relations Office.
  2. Telegram 814 to New Delhi, supra.
  3. Holy war.