McGhee Files: Lot 53D468

The Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (McGhee) to the Ambassador in Pakistan (Warren)

confidential
official informal

Dear Avra: Many events have taken place since I had the pleasure of seeing you in Karachi. Perhaps some brief comment on the main problems might be worth while. The most important of these continue to be Kashmir, which overshadows all Pakistan-Indian relations, and the Pushtoonistan issue which continues to plague Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan.

We can hope that the time is approaching when it will be possible to offer Pakistan economic assistance. Our program of economic aid under the Mutual Security Program is, at the moment, receiving a better hearing in Congress than was expected and is getting support from leading US newspapers. Your statement for our presentation of the South Asian part of the Mutual Security Program was most timely and of great help when I testified before the Senate and House Committees. As I have implied in a letter1 to Ghulam Mohammed, of which I enclose a copy, I am hopeful that the Pakistanis will see no objection to our standard administrative provisions for United States aid. I also hope they will feel that their part of the limited total [Page 2217]aid, if it becomes available, compares favorably with that of other countries in South Asia and that the absolute amount will really be useful to them. Incidentally, I am sure you will agree that our information people should be most careful to continue to treat the program as an Administration proposal, and nothing more, until Congress finally acts.

The recent troop movements in the subcontinent have, of course, been receiving our most urgent attention for the past two weeks. I think Liaquat’s reply to our approach was reasonable enough, though it is by no means clear yet that a simultaneous withdrawal of troops can be brought about, as he suggested. We agree that Pakistan will not deliberately reopen hostilities in Kashmir, and that India will probably not deliberately attack Pakistan, but we recognize fully the danger of a communal outbreak or a border incident which might lead to general hostilities.

We are in process of working out a line of action on Kashmir in the Security Council to be followed after Dr. Graham returns. We are pleased that Indonesia has taken an interest in the dispute, and that Australia and Burma have stepped forward, even though unsuccessfully, with their attempts to ease the present tense situation. Of course, we would like to see the troops withdrawn from Indo-Pakistan borders as soon as possible and, in this matter, you may have noticed that we expressed our concern more sharply to the Indians than to the GOP. Still it seems that both India and Pakistan must be made to realize that they cannot hope to carry on a perpetual feud in pre-partition vein. We may well have to use much plainer language to both governments in the future.

We have also noted the declining prestige of the UK in the region, as well as throughout the Middle East. We are by no means ready to abandon our efforts to cooperate with the British, but we may find it more and more expedient to approach the Pakistan Government independently, as we did recently with regard to the troop movements. Please let me have your opinion on this problem.

The spot reporting from Karachi is always helpful and shows what close working relations you have developed with the key officials of the government and with other foreign missions in Karachi. I appreciate your work along these lines. We are doing all we can to improve your personnel and housing situation, with particular reference to the expanding USIE program.

Washington has been unusually hot this year, in more ways than one; I hope you are not being afflicted by the heat in Karachi. With best personal regards, and best wishes to members of your staff, I am,

Sincerely yours,

George C. McGhee
  1. Infra.