689.90D/1–2451: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Secretary of State

secret

4093. Olver,1 SEA Department, today told us that Younger2 (in Bevin’s absence because of illness) yesterday made effort persuade Zafrullah, who is here en route Lake Success, to accept US proposals for Afghan-Pakistani conversations. Zafrullah took same line as Liaquat (Embtel 4009, January 19), indicating main stumbling block is lack US assurance re Durand line. According Olver, Zafrullah made it clear that all he desired was private and confident assurance on this point.

In commenting on Pakistan motivation for insisting on this point, Olver said he had clear impression Pakistanis do not desire statement for any propaganda purposes now and would not use it as such. He [Page 1941]thought, however, they desired to have confidential statement (probably in writing) up their sleeve in event talks broke down on Durand line issue and would like then be in position to cite “neutral” opinion re validity of line to buttress “interested” UK statements on subject. We pointed out we had already informed Pakistanis that if talks broke down on this issue, we would give consideration at that time to making US position clear to Afghans. (Deptel 2804, November 24 [28]).3 Olver thought Pakistanis probably wanted matter more tightly sewed up.

Repeated information Karachi 65, Kabul 15.

Gifford
  1. S. J. L. Olver, Officer for India, Pakistan, French and Portuguese India, and Ceylon in the South-East Asia Department of the British Foreign Office.
  2. Kenneth Younger, British Minister of State.
  3. Same as telegram 280, to Karachi, November 28, 1950, printed in Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. v, p. 1457.