689.90D/11–1350: Telegram

The Ambassador in Afghanistan (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State


167. Embtel 159, November 6.1 Foreign Minister summoned me today and after reiterating appreciation our kind offer informed me:

Our proposals considered by Cabinet and found acceptable as they conform with fundamental Afghan Government policy of maintaining peace and they contribute to desirable solution Pushtoonistan question.
He desired make following two suggestions:
Point IV, although agreeable eliminate publication progress of discussions, Afghan Government considers preliminary statement re negotiations would be necessary. He favors if agreeable to Department and GOP that he make public announcement negotiations have begun through friendly channels and urge there be no propaganda, that calm approach should prevail and public avoid jumping at conclusions. He alleges sudden silence would create impression in Afghanistan that Afghan Government had abandoned its Pushtoonistan policy and acceded to Pakistan viewpoint thereby selling Afghan Government policy supporters “down the river”. Amongst supporters he mentioned the young element and others (presumably tribal elements) who are keenly following Pushtoonistan issue.
Text of Point 2 be broadened by dropping from first sentence words “among the tribes” thereby covering fact tribes sometimes influenced from outside and not only from within. He alleged present language would not have covered Chaman incident.2

If four points with suggested alterations agreeable to Department and GOP, Foreign Minister envisions prompt appointment Ambassadors and that either Pakistan should send representatives to Kabul for informal talks with him or Prime Minister of Afghan representative would proceed Karachi for informal talks there.

Embassy comments:

Foreign Minister noticeably cordial giving impression he and Cabinet sincerely desired open negotiations and that this had always been Afghanistan Government desire.
Not clear whether real intent in suggesting broadening Point 2 extends beyond incidents of Chaman character.
If Foreign Minister alteration Point 4 accepted Embassy considers advisable obtain mutual agreement exact wording preliminary announcements by both governments.

Sent Department 167, repeated info Karachi 13, Delhi unnumbered.

  1. In telegram 159, not printed, Dreyfus reported that on November 6 when he delivered the proposals of telegram 117 to the Foreign Minister, the latter expressed the informal and unofficial opinion that there would be no undue difficulty with points 1, 3, and 4, but that point 2 would raise practical difficulties (689.90D/11–650).
  2. One of a series of minor incidents on the Afghan-Pakistan border, this one occurring on June 17 and reported, like the others, in correspondence from Kabul and Karachi in Department of State file 689.90D.