The Ambassador in Pakistan (Warren) to the Secretary of State
685. For McGhee. Ikramullah1 showed me this morning Bevin’s top secret letter of December 4, 1950 to the Pakistan High Commissioner in London2 defining the UK position on the Durand line. While I cannot quote from memory, the substance of the communication is that His Majesty’s Government in the UK considers that Pakistan at the time of the formation of its government became the inheritor of the Durand Line as the boundary with Afghanistan. In the view of the UK Government, Afghanistan’s expressed willingness to enter into direct negotiations with Pakistan on the problems of mutual concern without including Pushtoonistan specifically in the conversations shows a more conciliatory attitude. It is the hope of the UK Government that Pakistan for the reason cited above may find it possible to accept the good offices of the US Government and enter into direct conversations with Afghanistan.
I urgently recommend you present to the Secretary from the point of view of timing and effect the desirability that he give assurances similar to Bevin’s to the Pakistan Ambassador in Washington. The Pakistanis are prepared to go ahead immediately and have already drafted, and Ikramullah tells me, have cabled approval for the notes inviting the Afghans to enter into conversations.