689.90D/11–2853: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Afghanistan 1

confidential

139. Urtel 185.2 As you note US has urged bilateral negotiations between Afghanistan and Pakistan with hope they would lead to mutually acceptable settlement of Pushtoonistan issue.

Accession of new Afghan Prime Minister and new cabinet together with circumstance that Afghanistan may anticipate hardened Indian attitude toward Pakistan arising from rumors of US military assistance to Pakistan might lead to intensified pro-Pushtoonistan activities by Afghanistan.

[Page 1406]

Therefore suggest Vice President may wish state in reply to official Afghan appeals that we consider most desirable course that of bilateral negotiation prefaced by assignment of an Afghan Ambassador to Karachi; and that we keenly regret continued agitation this issue which weakens political and economic stability of two countries both friendly to us and each important in own right. If Afghans bring up old chestnut of looking to USSR if US unwilling to support Afghanistan, Vice President may wish observe difficult believe Afghanistan, with its familiarity with USSR and its reputation as freedom-loving nation, would commit political suicide over a dispute with a friendly Moslem neighbor. If question of our bringing pressure to bear on Pakistan in favor of Afghan position is raised, Vice President may wish to indicate it as his personal view this would be difficult to do and that he doubts very much it possible.

In unlikely event Vice President is questioned by press on question in Kabul or Karachi he may wish to say it is problem between two friendly countries and he thinks they should settle it between themselves.

Dulles
  1. Drafted by Metcalf and Smith; approved for transmission by Murphy; repeated to Karachi as telegram 423, New Delhi as telegram 618, and London by pouch.
  2. See footnote 5, supra .