689.90D/4–451: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Pakistan 1


632. From McGhee. Pls make fol pts to Liaquat in reaching clear understanding re timing and nature of talks proposed by US approach and position prospective Afghan Amb relation to such talks:

In terms our Nov 6 approach talks wld follow exchange Ambs. Liaquat’s suggested procedure (allowing Amb to raise Pushtoon question and giving negative reply) wld be compatible with terms of our approach and wld constitute Pak acceptance only if new Afghan Amb wld be only Afghan Rep with which substance talks is to be discussed. Dept wld be glad consult Kabul on this pt if necessary, however, since it seems Certain Afghans wld wish to have several high-level reps for these talks it is hoped original suggestion can be accepted.
Under other circumstances (such as conversations between Afghan Amb and Liaquat concerning agenda for subsequent talks in which Afghan Amb might be one of several Afghan Reps) it seems clear that Liaquat’s procedure wld in fact establish a “pre-condition” for talks. Therefore we can only regretfully conclude that his suggestion deviates from our approach and does not constitute Pak acceptance. We might be prepared transmit Liaquat suggestion as counter proposal although we frankly doubt Afghans wld accept it. [Page 1955]
The essential pt is that Afghans must feel free to raise Pushtoon question in course of the “informal exploratory talks” we have proposed. If Liaquat agrees to this US obligations as “go-between” can soon be discharged and substance talks left to be developed by both parties. In this case Dept wld have no further concern in its capacity as “go-between” with substance Pak reply on any matter to be discussed with Afghans. In its capacity as friend of both parties, however, Dept wld naturally be concerned re best possible outcome for talks and may later make suggestions in this regard.
Pls urge Liaquat accept US approach in generous fashion consistent with faith in US good will pointing out that (a) Dept always assumed talks wld not prejudice previous existing positions either Govt on disputed matters; (b) our approach specifically limited publicity re talks except by mutual consent both parties; (c) Dept will use best efforts insure Afghans take no future tactical advantage re talks (although ample safeguards appear provided by (a) and (b) above; (d) McGhee personally convinced that Afghans are now hopeful some good will come of proposed talks even though agreement cannot be reached re Pushtoon issue; (e) USSR only beneficiary continued Afghan-Pak friction (Karachi’s 915 Apr 4).

Zafrullah and Mohd Ali remaining New York until informed nomination new UN representative re Kashmir and McGhee intends speak Mohd Ali along above lines. [McGhee.]

  1. Repeated for information to Kabul as telegram 250, and to London and New Delhi by air.