033.1100 NI/12–853: Telegram

The Ambassador in Pakistan (Hildreth) to the Department of State1

top secret

421. Eyes only for Secretary and Byroade. Below summary statements Governor General in presence Nixon and Hildreth and of Prime Minister in presence Cabinet Secretary, Nixon and Hildreth, followed by Embassy comments. Nixon has seen this cable and concurs factual report, but reserves opinion on Embassy comments and, from Iran, after reflection, will send his own opinions with copy to Karachi.2 Summary cable Nixon visit will follow 12 pouch.3

Governor General talked mostly of military aid which so prominent in everyone’s mind as to be almost exclusive subject of intimate discussions in all quarters. Averred ridiculous for Nehru think of Pakistan attacking India and doubted if any expression such fear on Nehru’s part genuine. If aid granted, Governor General would personally fly Delhi to visit Nehru as old friend and give any assurances requested alleviate concern India. Casually expressed thought Nehru’s sister in recent talk in New York with Governor General agreed with latter her brother very stupid on subject Communism. Governor General said on recent stop-over Turkey, Turkey assured him it anxious enter alliance GOP but Governor General replied he had little to talk about until aid granted by United States and direct aid to GOP should be preliminary to any GOP–Turkey agreement. Indicated once military aid granted, he thought he in particularly valuable position to help bring Iran into agreement and also he had great influence with new King of Saudi Arabia which he indicated he was not promising to use, but which could be an asset in future. Admitted Nehru angry if aid granted, but anger would blow over in three or four months and he doubted if even Nehru would come any closer to Russia or China out of pique. Urged that delay in giving GOP military aid would make Nehru more difficult on Kashmir issue and would also leave GOP in eyes of world, after so much international publicity, like jilted girl. Said amount of aid unimportant; best way was to send military mission to determine extent help necessary and how it could be most effectively given. But mission should come only after firm commitment.

In conclusion, in reply to Nixon’s direct question what would effect [Page 1834] be on Pakistan of failure to give military aid, Governor General replied “disastrous”.

Governor General indicated rulers had to use a certain amount of firmness when necessary. Query: How far this thought reflected intimations he received when in Washington.

Prime Minister spoke frankly and ably. Commented Nixon’s reference to Soviet colonialism should have been to imperialism and GOP convinced time will come when Russia would strive for access to Persian Gulf through Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This was of vital urgency which free world should appreciate. Regardless United States aid GOP must and will do all it can to prevent such action both on ground of preventing physical destruction GOP and on ground all true Muslims will always have to fight putting all powerful state ahead importance and well-being of individual. Prime Minister emphasized silly India talk about GOP fighting India; even if military equipment made start possible GOP could never maintain an offensive without continuing support industrial powers, so merely giving equipment would not make possible war against India. On other hand, political party in India openly urging Indian domination sub-continent so GOP must always maintain high defenses. If military aid given, would help GOP tackle with money and talent economic problems which now have to take second place to defense, though Defense Secretary Mirza in subsequent conversation said GOP would not sponge on United States aid by decreasing its present military appropriations. Prime Minister admitted India would resent military aid but Nehru’s ambitions would not lead him become “tail of dog” of Russia and China even if piqued. Convinced Nehru maintaining neutralism purely for bargaining purpose of playing East against West and wondered how long he could successfully play it. Prime Minister said military aid not forthcoming now would be like taking girl down primrose path and deserting her in the limelight of world publicity. Felt would not only be diplomatic defeat for GOP, but in eyes of world, diplomatic victory for Russia and India and blow to United States. Parenthetically, Defense Minister and others expressed concern that failure to deliver would be blow to Prime Minister who as much by circumstances as his own conviction is supposed to be the warmest friend of United States not only in Pakistan, but in this area. If one so close to United States cannot get help when willing to stand up and be counted, what hope is there for others who are willing stand up and be counted. Prime Minister would be tagged as not having anywhere near his supposed influence with United States. Prime Minister again emphasized wanted United States to be sure it was convinced military aid was a sound thing, but if so convinced, stick by decision and do not be deterred by pressures. When queried, he replied he had no objection to Pakistan first [Page 1835] publicly asking for aid provided it was entirely understood the request would be acted upon favorably.

Embassy comment: From point of view of GOP–United States relations, Embassy subscribes wholeheartedly to frank statements of key officials except so far as effect on Nehru is concerned. Embassy believes Allen best judge and we merely pass on GOP officials opinion of military aid question reaction by Nehru. Last sentence Allen’s excellent concluding paragraph Delhi telegram 872 to Department (repeated Karachi 99)4 would seem to Embassy to leave out the negative aspect of the danger that will be done in this area of the world if after all the publicity nothing is forthcoming. In other words, the question of military aid to Pakistan now involves not only affirmative considerations, but negative considerations which reach beyond India and Pakistan.

Embassy believes basic question is simple: Are advantages of Pakistan contribution to Middle East defense as active participating free world partner outweighed by adverse reaction in India. We venture to express opinion that former is objective worth risks.

Secondary consideration, apart from merits of question, is adverse effect on GOP and United States interests in Pakistan and area of now rejecting Pakistan’s request for military aid. We believe this is serious consideration.

  1. This telegram was repeated for information to New Delhi as telegram 88.
  2. Telegram 1281 from Tehran, Dec. 9, not printed. The Vice President said he had reached certain conclusions that he would like to pass on to the Secretaries of State and Defense before a final decision was reached on military aid. (033.1100 NI/12–953)
  3. Despatch 364 from Karachi, Dec. 14, not printed. It gave a summary account of Nixon’s visit and transmitted copies of his arrival and departure speeches to the press, as well as a copy of a speech he made over Radio Pakistan on Dec. 8. (033.1100 NI/12–1453)
  4. Dated Dec. 4, not printed.