501.BC Kashmir/5–749: Telegram

The Ambassador in India (Henderson) to the Secretary of State


us urgent

521. 1. I saw Bajpai noon today. He told me answer re Kashmir truce proposals would almost certainly be no. He meeting Nehru this afternoon to submit his recommendations which are in accord those of Ayyangar.

2. Rejection on two counts: (a) India cannot agree to schedule of withdrawals without more definite assurances re disarming and disbanding bulk Azad forces; (b) India cannot accept what appears be UNCIP position that northern areas continue remain under control local authorities established by and loyal to Pakistan unless UNCIP or administrator find Indian forces necessary ward off threat from without. It was GOI’s understanding that UNCIP last year had taken position northern areas quite different from Azad territory but in practice difference seemed slight since proposal is apparently that both territories are to be governed by Pakistan puppets.

3. Bajpai expressed deep regret at inability recommend acceptance proposals particularly since UNCIP seemed feel it had nothing left offer in case rejection. He supposed matter would go back SC and there would be again acrimonious discussions which would serve no useful purpose.

4. I expressed regret pointing out disadvantages to all parties in case deadlock. I was unable discuss merits and convinced UNCIP had looked at matter from all angles and it had made what it considered be fairest proposals possible in complex situation.

5. Bajpai said India would undoubtedly be charged again desire sabotage plebiscite. Such charges ridiculous since India would not have agreed in first place to plebiscite if it had not been willing have one. Plebiscite must however be under conditions which, would give GOP Kashmir1 full opportunity express their will.

6. Answer will probably be given within 24 hours.

Sent Department 521, repeated London, pouched Karachi.

  1. This is presumably a reference to the Pakistan-controlled sectors of Kashmir state. These sectors were generally spoken of as “Azad Kashmir.”