Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Officer in Charge of Pakistan-Afghanistan Affairs (Gatewood)


Subject: Afghan-Pakistan Dispute; Pakistan Position Re Communist China; Pakistan Proposal for SC Action Re Kashmir

Participants: Mr. Mohamad Ali, Secretary-General, Government of Pakistan
Mr. M. A. H. Ispahani, Ambassador of Pakistan
NEA—Mr. McGhee1
SOA—Mr. Gatewood

[Here follow introductory remarks and discussion of two subjects: the Afghan-Pakistan border dispute and the attitude of Pakistan toward Communist China. The portion relating to the Afghan-Pakistan dispute is printed on page 1934.]


Mr. Mohamad Ali then briefly reviewed developments arising from the London Conference of Prime Ministers, emphasizing that Nehru’s desire to keep troops in Kashmir had prevented any progress in London; that his Government hoped the US would support speedy action in the SC along the lines suggested by the Pakistan Prime Minister (as indicated in the earlier conversation with Mr. Mathews)2; that the Kashmir question was a matter of world importance, as Pakistan would be unable to contribute anything to the defense of the Middle East or Asia until this issue were settled and that there was a strong feeling in Pakistan that the Government’s support of the Commonwealth and the UN had failed to produce any favorable results. In passing, Mr. Mohamad Ali remarked that his Government could probably work out arrangements with Iran to reinforce Middle Eastern defenses, provided Pakistan could be relieved of the military pressures generated by the Kashmir case. He also pointed out that the Pakistan public wondered why powerful nations like the US and the UK should not find it possible to make their power effective in a just cause and should continue to pay court to India, which had not honored its international obligations.

In answer to questions by Mr. McGhee, Mr. Mohamad Ali said that Nehru had offered no suggestions of his own in London, and that, although the stability of the present Pakistan Government would not immediately be affected by lack of progress in the Kashmir case, it [Page 1714]was important that the Muslim League obtain a good majority in the elections for the provincial Punjab legislature (scheduled for March) as failure to do so might mean the decline of this government party in other provinces and, eventually, in the Central Legislature.

Mr. McGhee said he well understood Pakistan’s interest in Middle Eastern questions (which was one reason for Ambassador Warren’s attending the forthcoming Regional Conference at Istanbul)3; that neither the US nor the UN could solve problems without cooperation on the part of other nations; that Pakistan’s cooperation had been evident and that Liaquat appeared to have scored several points over Nehru in London; that the US press has been favorable to Pakistan, especially in recent weeks; and that the Department would give earnest consideration to Pakistan’s views in moving towards early action in the SC.

  1. George C. McGhee, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs.
  2. Supra.
  3. The Second Regional Conference of the Chiefs of Mission in the Near East, held in Istanbul from February 14 through 21, of which Mr. McGhee served as Chairman.