Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (McGhee) to the Secretary of State

top secret

Subject: Pakistan Request for Explicit US Statement as to Validity of Durand Line.


The Government of Pakistan has approached Ambassador Warren once more in an effort to obtain a US assurance that we accept the Durand Line as a valid international frontier. As you informed the Pakistan Foreign Minister on November 17, we do not believe that we should make explicit our position as to the Durand Line at this time, while Pakistan has not yet accepted our proposals of November 6 to engage in general and informal discussions with Afghanistan regarding their differences. Even if such a statement were made privately to Pakistan, it would constitute a change in the US position governing our proposals.

Ambassador Warren would like to convey your present views on this question to the Pakistan Foreign Office (Tab A)1 and we believe that, once the Pakistanis learn that your opinion has not changed, they may be amenable to initiating the talks on the basis we have suggested.


That you authorize transmittal of the attached telegram to Karachi (Tab B).2

  1. Telegram 685 from Karachi, January 30, supra.
  2. Secretary Acheson signed the telegram, which was sent as 462, to Karachi, February 2, infra.