689.90D/1–551: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Pakistan 1

confidential

375. Pls inform FonMin Dept was of opinion conversations Nov 16 and 27 (Embtel 597 Jan 5) were inconclusive, and wonders if Ali’s remarks indicate final position GOP.

If it appears GOP means to refuse our approach you might ur discretion pt out that Dept will no doubt have to answer press inquiries re such refusal and hopes this will not result in unfavorable propaganda position GOP (Deptel to Karachi No 317 Dec 12).2 [Page 1931]Also, Dept still believes improved Afghan-Pak relations might well result from informal talks.

Urtel No 597 Jan 5 rptd Lon for Info FonOff.

FYI only Dept believes statement similar to that reported Kabul desp 211, Dec 263 (with implication US proposed Pushtoon issue be discussed) may shortly be issued by Afghan Embs here and in Lon despite informal advice given Afghan Chargé Jan 3 (Deptel 362 Jan 4).4

Acheson
  1. Repeated to London as telegram 3326 and to Kabul by air.
  2. Telegram 317 to Karachi, December 12, 1950, not printed, was sent also to Kabul as telegram 149, to London as 3001, and to Paris by air. It requested in part that the Embassy inform the Pakistani government that the Department was attempting to prevent an adverse reaction by Afghanistan to press reports that the Pakistani Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, did not regard the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier as a subject for discussion. (689.90D/12–1250)
  3. Despatch No. 211 from Kabul, December 26, 1950, not printed, transmitted an Afghan press report concerning U.S. efforts to bring about Afghan-Pakistan discussions which implied that the real object of the approach was a discussion of the Pushtunistan question. The Embassy feared that the Pakistan government might use the article as a further argument against holding discussions of any kind. (689.90D/12–2650)
  4. Telegram 362 to Karachi, January 4, not printed, summarized a conversation of January 3 with the Afghan Chargé in Washington, Abdul Hamid Aziz, who had sought the Department’s advice as to whether he should publicly refute the impression that Afghanistan was not favorable to the U.S. approach of November 6. He was told that the Department saw no objection to his issuing a restrained statement to the press that Afghanistan had replied to the U.S. proposal shortly after it was made with a statement of Afghan willingness to consider discussions with Pakistan. It Was suggested that he avoid any direct mention of the Pushtun question. (689.90D/1–451)