357.AB/2–1451

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President

secret

Subject: Pakistan–Afghanistan

Participants: M. A. H. Ispahani, Ambassador E. and P. (Pakistan) Sir Zafrulla Khan, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Mohammed Ali, Secretary General of the Pakistan Cabinet
Mr. Elbert G. Mathews, Director of South Asian: Affairs Division of Department of State
Mr. W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President

[Here follows a discussion of the Kashmir dispute; for text, see page 1727.]

The Foreign Minister turned finally to the question of the United States’ attitude to the Durand Line in connection with the Afghanistan–Pakistan dispute over the tribal areas. He said that his Government had hoped very much that the U.S. could see its way clear to inform both the Afghanistan and Pakistan governments that it recognized the Durand Line as a valid international frontier. I said that it was my impression that we did not question the Durand Line, and Mr. Mathews confirmed that this was the State Department position. Mr. Mathews went on to say that the real difficulty was that the United States did not feel, after having made certain proposals to [Page 1945]Afghanistan and Pakistan looking toward a resolution of their differences, that it should make any change in its declared position on the Durand Line. Mr. Mathews commented also that another point of difference between the U.S. and Pakistan in this connection was that the U.S. had much greater hope that discussions between Afghanistan and Pakistan would lead to a good result.

[Here follows a discussion of other matters.]

W. A. Harriman