690D.91/11–2452: Telegram

The Ambassador in India (Bowles) to the Department of State1


2172. Appreciate expression Dept views Kashmir Deptel 1510, Nov 20. There is no doubt we agree re objective of assisting parties to agreement altho we disagree at vitally important points re means of achieving this objective.

In order to be helpful we shall review situation as it touches India briefly as possible.

[Page 1307]
One of our two or three most important objectives US policy in South Asia must be to ease Pak-Ind tensions. These tensions involve not only Kashmir but also water, property, refugees, etc. If Pak and Ind can be induced patch up their quarrels, econ progress subcontinent will be greatly speeded up; traditional invasion route to Ind and Pak from USSR, Iran and Afghan can be more effectively blocked; Pak support for Middle East more certain, and Ind army can face north and east towards Tibet, Burma and Commie China with greater likelihood increasing community interest with Western nations.
It will be extremely unfortunate if in spite our best efforts Ind-Pak relations continue strained and Kashmir remains trouble spot. But will be far more unfortunate if our efforts to ease present situation results not only in failure but in embittering Ind or Pak relations and creating distrust of our motives and resentment against us.
Hence it seems essential for us to help settle Pak-Ind differences if we can, but if that not now possible, to maintain in strict neutrality regardless our views and to hold ourself in readiness for renewed effort achieve understanding when opportunity presents itself.

If Dept agrees with this analysis then our disagreement on wisdom proposed resolution must stem from either disagreement on facts, difference opinion on what resolution will accomplish, or widely different estimate Ind reaction.

On these key questions our judgment is as fols:

Resolution is not likely to lead to solution Kashmir.
[b.] SC shld coordinate and arrange eloquent appeal to two Pri Mins to join together in bringing peace, understanding and prosperity to sub continent. Res shld point out how much the two nations have in common, that continued tensions dangerous to peace of world and call on them to meet together and develop formula fair to each nation, on which they can agree. Resolution shld be neutral, objective and on high plane. Dr. Graham’s services shld be made available.
b. [c.]
Immediately thereafter World Bank shld quietly approach PriMins urging them include in their discussions question water rights, refugee property and econ cooperation. Approach wld have to be carefully worded to avoid implication of “advance payment for settlement” and might take line that there were many econ and financial steps which shld be taken but that in absence of a solution it was difficult if not impossible to proceed. It cld be added that after agreement was reached bank wld be prepared to explore investment of substantial amounts capital for international development Indus valley waters and for other activities and offer its services as econ mediator.

There some chance this approach might succeed within reasonable period. Even if result is nil our relations with two nations will not be jeopardized. Indeed fairness our approach and our neutrality and objectivity wld place us in favorable position to continue our efforts achieve agreement.

If new approach is not considered feasible by Dept, we wld strongly recommend that US withdraw, so far as possible, from position of [Page 1308] initiative in SC on Kashmir and only emphasize need for moderation in proceedings.

  1. This telegram was repeated for information to Karachi.