Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State


Subject: Pakistan Objections to Part of Proposed UN Resolution Re Kashmir; Unavailability of Admiral Nimitz for UN Duties in Kashmir; Pakistan Attitude Toward US Approach of November 6 Re Proposed Afghan-Pakistan Conversations

Participants: Sir Mohammed Zafrulla Khan, Foreign Minister of Pakistan
The Secretary
Mr. M. A. H. Ispahani, Ambassador of Pakistan
Mr. Mohamad Ali, Secretary-General, Government of Pakistan
SOA—Mr. Mathews
Mr. Gatewood

Sir Zafrulla called, at his urgent request, and stayed for 35 minutes.

The Foreign Minister said he had learned (through Mr. Fowler of the UK Delegation to the UN) that the proposed UN Resolution concerning Kashmir contained a paragraph1 referring to the possibility that certain regions might be ceded to the party having a minority of the total votes in any State-wide plebiscite, provided the majority of voters in such regions were in favor of association with the losing party in the overall plebiscite. He wished to express his concern over this provision of the Resolution, as any public reference to the possibility of the partition of Kashmir would have most unfavorable repercussions in Pakistan at this time and would put India in the position of being assured of obtaining at least a part of the State, before any agreement had been reached with India as to the terms of demilitarization or the conditions for a plebiscite. He pointed out that, under these circumstances, India would be extremely unlikely to agree to any arrangements that would assure an impartial voting procedures, especially as such arrangements would have to be much more strictly supervised in the case of regional voting than if a State-wide plebiscite were contemplated (i.e., a difference of 10,000 votes in an overall plebiscite would have little effect, whereas a difference [Page 1725]of 2,000 votes in a given region would result in the acquisition of that region by India). Sir Zafrulla said that the past record of the Kashmir case had shown that Pakistan had always been ready to agree to reasonable suggestions by impartial conciliators, whereas India had constantly refused such agreement and was very likely to continue these tactics in view of their past success. He also stated that, if the course of the forthcoming debate in the SC should indicate that India were greatly concerned with the refugee problem that would arise if all of Kashmir went to Pakistan, his Government would probably have no objection to leaving this matter open for further discussions at a later stage, when India had agreed on measures both for demilitarization and a plebiscite.

I said I wished to be quite sure of understanding Sir Zafrulla’s remarks, which seemed to me to contain two main ideas: that the possibility of partition should not be specifically mentioned in public at this time and that, if it were, India would gain by it without making any concessions on other points. I asked whether the possibility of partition of Kashmir were not already publicly known, as it had been mentioned in reports of Sir Owen Dixon.

Mr. Mohamad Ali pointed out that, though the Dixon report had alluded to partition, such a reference had little force as compared with a formal reference to this subject by the SC itself, which would support the view that the future of Kashmir would eventually be decided by partition—a view hitherto strongly opposed by Pakistan, which had agreed with India (under the terms of the UNCIP Resolution of January 5, 1949) that the claims to Kashmir should be decided by a State-wide plebiscite. He reiterated that Pakistan’s interests would suffer if the UN Resolution now proposed should refer to partition before India had been brought to agree to demilitarization and to the conditions for any type of plebiscite. Sir Zafrulla endorsed this view and said that, in such an event, Pakistan’s acceptance of the proposed Resolution would give India “a quid without any quo”. I indicated that I now perceived the nature of the difficulties they anticipated.

Sir Zafrulla expressed regret over the unavailability of Admiral Nimitz in the Kashmir case, but said he would not trouble me with this problem, which he intended to take up tomorrow, in his interview with the President, on the basis of a personal appeal from the Pakistan Prime Minister. He said that, as Admiral Nimitz had taken the oath of office yesterday as Chairman of the new Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights, he could see that it would require an “uphill effort” to obtain Admiral Nimitz’s services.

[Here follows a brief discussion of the border dispute between Pakistan and Afghanistan which is printed on page 1943.]

  1. This was paragraph B–4–iii of a U.K. draft resolution on Kashmir, an abbreviated text of which appears in telegram 4127 from London, January 25, not printed (357.AB/1–2551).