357.AB/2–1252: Telegram

The Ambassador in India ( Bowles ) to the Department of State


2851. Deeply concerned for fol reasons over approach to Graham mission and implied US position in event failure as expressed in Gross conversation with Sheik Abdullah.1 Assume you may see Graham in Washington before his return to subcontinent.

I am sending this directly to you. Many talks in Washington and in brief conversation in London I outlined GOI belief partition Kashmir with pleb confined to valley represented best practical solution to problem.
This position in our opinion has considerable validity. It will be faced continuing bitter opposition Jammu with transfers population [Page 1189] on mass scale if Pak shld win all-Kashmir pleb. He would be faced similar difficult situation Azad Kashmir if Ind shld win all-Kashmir plebs.
If settlement on basis overall pleb becomes clearly impossible best practical approaches to recognize this situation to work towards solution that would award Azad Kashmir to Pak, Jammu to India and pleb confined to valley.
This approach may also make demilitarization agreement somewhat easier belief here.
In previous Graham visit understand this possibility not discussed because in his conscientious opinion it lay outside his authority as granted by SC. I urged this situation be clarified when in Washington before his return since our objective is a lasting settlement, it should be peaceful and agreeable both sides and not simply one that fits previously adopted formula by United Nations.
That opening up question of Graham instructions at this time might be unwise; Kennedy, Hickerson and others made reasonable point but agreed that Graham should be informally advised of this possibility and urged to take whatever steps he thought best get settlement if overall pleb became clearly impossible.

Gross conversation with Abdullah is likewise misinterpreted as unexpectedly slamming door this approach and will give ammunition to fellow traveler group in Kashmir which GOI has been seeking to control.

Abdullah definitely cannot be trusted in this view.

Further disagree with point view expressed Abdullah conversation in reference SC action if Graham talks fail. Talk of prescribing terms of settlement in our opinion which invariably involves moral judgments and appearing take sides premature and dangerous. If Pak becomes convinced we will support such statement there is strong likelihood negotiations will become more difficult in event Graham failure.
We believe such a statement would be mistaken, reckless and empty for fol reasons even if Graham should fail.
[Garble] recd and adverse judgment would bitterly reject verdict, develop deep resentment against US and UK and possibility war between Pak and GOI would be increased.
Nation in question would not knuckle under and likely would be driven wrong direction if unemployed econ sanctions back up its decision.
It would be meaningless gesture if UN failed take action and UN prestige would sink.
Nothing would make USSR happier than be position be in India as great and good friend in SC on this issue, Soviet Union would take full advantage embittered situation.
For settlement our belief best chance exists is for Graham be unofficially encouraged make broadcast possible approach this task.
It is our opinion US position in SC should probably be as fols if despite every effort, incl an effort to induce parties agree on partition, if Graham fails.
Above all [not] to be drawn down deadend alley of empty judgment, take no sides and refuse above. We cannot take responsibility solving all problems everywhere, we are neither Ind or Pakis enemy.
Express hope that two govts endeavor achieve settlement by direct effort and also avoid recrimination.
If Graham should fail without making effort toward partition solution, SC should accept his failure as clear evidence futility seeking solution thru demilitarization and all-Kashmir pleb, and should propose solution thru partition and pleb in valley. Graham’s report might make such recommendation or suggestion. But we earnestly hope that this “final effort” is one that tries everything.
  1. As reported in telegram Delga 1309 from Paris, Feb. 6, p. 1185.