Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State


Subject: The Kashmir Controversy

Participants: The Secretary
Sir Mohammad Zafrullah Khan, Pakistan Minister of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations
Mr. Mohammed Ali, Secretary General, Government of Pakistan
Mr. T. Eliot Weil, SOA

Sir Zafrullah, accompanied by Mr. Mohammed Ali, called on me at 2:30 p. m.

Sir Zafrullah said the Kashmir question had again become “stuck” at the UN;1 that General McNaughton had made an effort to settle the matter, and that while Pakistan had in effect accepted his proposals, the Indians had offered amendments which were to all intents and purposes a rejection of these proposals. Sir Zafrullah said he questioned whether General McNaughton would be willing to continue efforts at mediation unless the new Security Council gave him a specific directive.

Sir Zafrullah said he had come, “almost desperately”, to seek advice and guidance. He said the people of Pakistan were becoming increasingly impatient over failure to settle the Kashmir controversy and he did not know how much longer they would control this impatience.

I asked Sir Zafrullah for his views as to how a solution might be found. Sir Zafrullah replied that the framework already existed; that [Page 1365] the resolutions of August 13, 1948, and January 5, 1949,2 had been accepted by both Governments, and that it was now merely a question of implementing these; but that the Indian Government was unwilling to accept conditions which would allow the Plebiscite Administrator3 to take over. He said continued delay in settling the controversy was in some ways embarrassing to both countries, but that on the whole it was probably advantageous to India. He said it would be impossible to reach an equitable settlement merely by giving in to Indian demands, and that a solution should be sought within the framework of the UN proposals.

I indicated to Sir Zafrullah that it was our hope that the negotiations would continue under General McNaughton and said it occurred to me that General McNaughton might either endeavor to effect a settlement of all outstanding issues or devise machinery for bringing about agreement. I also suggested that if General McNaughton failed in a new effort, he might make a full report to the Security Council in which he would point out areas of agreement and obstacles raised by one party or the other. Sir Zafrullah agreed that either of these two methods would be worth trying and said he felt that it was particularly important that in case of failure of the negotiations General McNaughton report details to the Security Council. Sir Zafrullah said he felt the prospect of such publicity might induce more nearly reasonable attitudes than attempts at mediation which were not reported to the Security Council.

I remarked it was my understanding that the thorniest problem was the question of demilitarization. Mr. Mohammed Ali and Sir Zafrullah both agreed. Sir Zafrullah pointed out that the Indians had not only maneuvered in such a way as to prevent withdrawal of their troops from Kashmir, but had also demanded that their troops be stationed in the northern areas.

I told Sir Zafrullah I felt we should consider the possibility of instructing our UN Delegation to request the Security Council to authorize General McNaughton to continue talks in New York and instructed Mr. Weil to follow up this matter in order that something might be worked out before the Council meets on January 10.

As Sir Zafrullah and Mohammed Ali were about to leave, I remarked that the Kashmir case was indeed puzzling and that our Government fully appreciated its serious implications. I told Sir Zafrullah it was most helpful to have his views.

  1. Zafrulla Khan had been leading the Pakistan Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in recent months.
  2. For texts of these resolutions and related documentation, see United Nations, Official Records of the Security Council, Third Year, Supplement for November 1948, pp. 32–49, 94–107, and 129–138; Fourth Year, Supplement for January 1949, pp. 23–26; and Fourth Year, Special Supplement No. 7. For related documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. v, Part 1, pp. 265 ff. and ibid., 1949, vol. vi, pp. 1686 ff.
  3. Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, U.S.N.