689.90D/3–1051: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Afghanistan


229. For McGhee. Afghans undoubtedly attach great significance present visit, perhaps overestimating importance Dept gives Pushtoonistan issue and overoptimistic re US sympathy for Afghan position. While believed undesirable strengthen such impressions you may wish bring out fol pts in ur Kabul talks:

Afghan acceptance Nov 6 proposal welcome evidence willingness discuss differences and Afghan awareness heavy responsibility Asian nations keep own houses in order in face world situation.
To forestall Afghan efforts learn future US line you might indicate our concern limited to gen interest in peace this area as elsewhere and to hope we can assist two govts friendly to US in communicating to each other constructive views that wld facilitate discharge their own responsibilities as neighbors solve local problem.
Although we wld be concerned failure either party recognize and assume responsibility bilateral settlement we will not be drawn in as mediator and believe we shld not take any position on those legal questions that might be considered suitable for ref internatl bodies. (Afghans will probably assert applicability Kashmir plebiscite principles in-Pushtoonistan but we believe best not argue this pt.)
Re inevitable questions Pak delay responding Nov 6 proposal best explanations appear be preoccupation Kashmir problem and Punjab elections pointing out we still have hopes favorable reply.
If queried re Dept position, in event Pak rejection (or breakdown talks if held) we wld have to review situation in light of circumstances then prevailing.
Consistent with US view that numerous problems other than Pushtoonistan may profitably be discussed between parties it may be useful press Afghans for statement other chief issues preventing resumption good relations Pak and for views priority they attach solution these issues.

You may also wish review Amb Jessup’s “Notes on conversations in Kabul, Mar 5 1950”1 especially concluding paras conversation with PriMin.

FYI FonMin gave Amb Dreyfus2 personally and confidentially Fr legal brief which Dept now studying in conjunction opinion requested some weeks ago from Legal Adviser re legal aspects Pushtoonistan issue. Adviser’s opinion expected early Apr.

  1. Reference is to a memorandum by the Ambassador at Large, Philip C. Jessup, not printed (611.89/3–550).
  2. Louis G. Dreyfus, Jr., Ambassador to Afghanistan, 1949–1950.