690D.91/3–2750: Telegram

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

top secret

417. Am delaying until March 28 giving letter Bajpai since UK High Commissioner plans on that date make formal representations Nehru and prefers, I understand, to talk with Nehru before I talk with Bajpai. Since this is more Commonwealth than US problem, I do not wish do anything which in his opinion might reduce effect his representations. I believe UK High Commissioner is not particularly happy our decision to take action. Although we may be rebuffed, nevertheless I still do not see how we can remain entirely deaf to Pakistan’s request. Full text my proposed letter to Bajpai follows:

“My government is in receipt from GOP of urgent communication, copy of which is attached hereto, describing certain troop movements alleged to be taking place in India, stating Pakistan stands for peace and has no aggressive designs on India and expressing hope that US Government endeavor to persuade GOI to move back to its forward formations.

My government has indicated to me its deep concern at situation which seems to be developing—situation in which Pakistan and India might find themselves making moves and counter-moves of military forces in manner which might indicate each considers there is possibility of war with other.

My government’s concern arises partly from fact so frequently in past war psychology and even wars have developed as result of series of military movements which began primarily for defensive purposes. My government nevertheless has felt some hesitation in bringing to [Page 1400] attention of GOI fact that Pakistan has addressed to it note on this subject since it realizes recent movement of troops in India is merely single development in whole series of events arising from present strained relations between India and Pakistan and it does not desire to make any move which might be misinterpreted as interference or which might exacerbate already extremely delicate situation. It has therefore left it to my discretion whether or not Pakistan note should be brought to attention of GOI. After giving matter careful thought, I have decided it might be useful for GOI to understand manner in which Pakistan is viewing these recent troop movements and I am therefore taking responsibility of writing this letter to you.

Since you were good enough during our talk on March 24 to explain in considerable detail reasons and background for present reallocation of Indian forces, there is no reason for me to ask for comments. Nevertheless if you care to make any further comments, I should be glad to pass them on to my government.”

Sent Department 417, repeated Karachi 40.