790D.5 MSP/8–654

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Director, Office of South Asian Affairs (Smith)



  • U.S. Military Assistance to Pakistan


  • Pakistan Ambassador Amjad Ali
  • NEA—Mr. Jernegan
  • SOA—Mr. Smith

The meeting was arranged at the Ambassador’s request following an invitation to him to come to the Department for a briefing by Assistant [Page 1860] Secretary Merchant on our present thinking with regard to an SEA collective defense arrangement.

The Ambassador said that he had just received a telegram from Karachi which left him feeling depressed. General Ayub had just had his first conversation with General Sexton, the Chief of our MAAG in Karachi, and General Ayub was “dejected” and “broken hearted”. Ayub had communicated with the Prime Minister to the effect that if Pakistan was to get no more from us than General Sexton had indicated in the nature of military assistance, it would be better for Pakistan not to be involved in a defense arrangement with the United States. Mr. Jernegan asked the Ambassador to explain Ayub’s specific problems. The Ambassador said that he did not know, that he had received no further information than what he had just stated. He said that he wanted to see both the Secretary and the Under Secretary to register Pakistan’s disappointment. Mr. Jernegan stated that purely as regarded procedure, only that morning the Secretary had expressed his strong objections to any Ambassador seeing both himself and the Under Secretary on the same subject. Mr. Jernegan continued that General Ayub’s disappointment probably had its basis in a misunderstanding of the fiscal arrangements for providing military assistance to Pakistan. Expenditures in the present fiscal year were being made on the basis of funds appropriated in the previous fiscal year. No funds had been appropriated for fiscal year 1955 because the funds from the previous year were still unexpended. We think of the military assistance program as a continuing one and not one limited to just one year, and we anticipate that the Congress will provide funds for fiscal 1956 when the time comes to make such provision. Mr. Jernegan felt that the Ambassador was unduly disturbed and suggested to him that it would be better to get fuller details from General Ayub before the Ambassador proceeded to see either the Secretary or the Under Secretary.