689.90D/3–551: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Pakistan 1


553. For McGhee. Embtel 795 Mar 2.2 In forthcoming talks with Ikramullah or Liaquat you may wish state:

US disappointed failure GOP respond efforts alleviate Afghan-Pak tensions. GOA early acceptance suggests willingness consider US proposals constructive and of mutual benefit both GOA and GOP but concern over GOP delay tends reduce GOA confidence usefulness proposed negots. At present impossible for US fundamentally alter orig concept Afghan-Pak talks by yielding to GOP efforts obtain further definition our position Durand Line. (FYI latest effort this direction by Pak addressed UK auths, who indicated to GOP understanding and concurrence US firmness this pt.) US hopes GOP will not overlook positive benefits foreseen from Nov 6 approach which [Page 1947] provides for immed improvement Afghan-Pak relations through agreement to (a) stop propaganda, (b) prevent or at least minimize disruptive possibilities border incidents and (c) exchange ambs.
Despite previous GOP objections Dept convinced US approach contains effective means rendering major infection more amenable to remedial treatment by removing many present sources irritation and suspicion. Dept concerned as to outcome GOP foresees if tensions allowed ferment indefinitely.
Dept’s interest in settlement Afghan-Pak differences reflects gen US policy contribute maintenance peaceful world. It wld be shocked to think that GOP does not believe either party has major self-interest and responsibility for relieving tensions affecting whole SOA area. US therefore assumes GOP is considering its own responsibility, shld it reject US approach, to put forward some alternative.
If GOP believes itself unable reply our approach by end Mar, Dept sees no alternative but to withdraw our proposals.

If you concur last point you may wish to inform GOP and point out such withdrawal will inevitably involve some statement to press both in Wash and Karachi.

  1. Repeated for information to Kabul as telegram 217, and by air to London.
  2. Telegram 795, from Karachi. March 2, not printed, reported that Ikramullah had stated that the U.S. approach of November 6 was not discussed at the Pakistani cabinet meeting of February 28. Ikramullah had recommended to the Prime Minister that a decision be deferred until he (Ikramullah) could discuss the subject with McGhee when the latter arrived in Karachi. (689.90D/3–251)