780.5/10–1953: Telegram

No. 156
The Charge in India (Mills) to the Department of State1

secret

654. 1. New Delhi Embassy appreciates possible need Pakistan participation in proposed MEDO and possible requirement United States military aid to accomplish this objective. This Embassy’s present comment is directed towards weighty considerations bearing on method of furnishing such aid so as to avoid grave hazard to other important American objectives in South Asia.

2. In our opinion, an assurance by Pakistan such as that outlined in Department telegram 404, October 13,2 would not be accepted at face value by Government of India in present context Indo–Pakistan relations regarding Kashmir. Even though accompanied by United States assurance of opposition to aggressive move by Pakistan, we believe Government of India would remain unconvinced.

3. We earnestly recommend re-examination method of supplying aid.

Consensus of senior officers of Embassy that Indian response to direct military aid to Pakistan will be bitter and vigorous and will color and perhaps change course of United States–India relationship for long time to come.

We therefore, strongly urge Washington adopt method of indirect aid to accomplish objectives in Pakistan. Department, of course, realizes United Kingdom accomplishing desired objectives Pakistan through unobtrusive means by quietly extending line of credit, enabling [Page 424]Pakistan make essential military purchases without risk of damaging inflammatory publicity.

4. In case United States military aid granted, Embassy hopes Indian Government will be informed by United Kingdom its approval.

Mills
  1. Repeated to London and Karachi.
  2. Not printed; it informed the Embassy the United States would require explicit assurance by Pakistan that the arms would not be used aggressively. The final paragraph reads: “We would tell India of Pakistan’s assurances when we informed India re any agreement reached and would assure India of strong US opposition to any aggressive move which Pakistan might make. We would of course tell Pakistan of our assurances to India.” (780.5/10–1253)