19. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State1
2113. View proposals Delhi’s 22042 and London’s 44863 to Department, Embassy considers desirable make certain further observations re Department’s second suggestion Deptel 2147,4 which was only briefly considered in Embtel 1947.5
As Embassy reads Delhi reftel it has unstated premise that India’s intentions to Pakistan are fundamentally pacific and that problem of easing present tensions between two countries is somehow convince Indians that regardless of Pakistani intentions, Pakistani capabilities are and will continue to be too limited to constitute any real threat India. Regardless merits of this assumption, Embassy points out that it is not widely held in Pakistan and present GOP would react very negatively to any proposal more or less obviously based on it. Pakistanis are in fact, deeply suspicious of Indian bona fides many of them feeling that India not reconciled to existence of independent Pakistan and has from time of partition endeavored isolate Pakistan preparatory absorbing it. Moreover, in view recent militant Indian activity on frontier, coupled with Nehru’s repudiation of Kashmir plebiscite commitment, it would be difficult convince Pakistanis that India needs assurance Pakistanis do not threaten Indian security. In point of fact, Pakistan Prime Minister has recently spoken to Ambassador of his serious concern at reports of Indian arms deal with UK, which indicate that Indians will receive important offensive weapons on accelerated schedule.
We believe these considerations lend further support view stated Embtel 1947 that it would be unrealistic for US make plans on assumption that GOP will agree disclosure of important military information to India non-reciprocal basis. Embassy convinced there is no prospect whatever Pakistanis agreeing voluntarily such proposal and sees no possible means by which US could persuade them short of threat to cancel program.
Embassy continues believe most we could hope get Pakistanis agree to in furtherance Department’s objectives would be proposal for mutual exchange of military information in form suggested [Page 72] Embtel 1947—id est as additional element in present Pakistan proposal to combine no-war declaration with agreement on methods of settlement all outstanding disputes. (Objection raised Delhi reftel that Nehru lacks confidence Pakistani word could be met either by inspection system or possibly by arrangement whereby US and UK, as principal suppliers two countries, corroborated information provided by principals.) If this held inadequate to requirements Indian situation then only course open is proceed give Indians information without Pakistani consent.
Embassy considers such course would be very dangerous if not fatal to good US-Pakistani relations. Pakistan intelligence on India extremely effective and Pakistanis undoubtedly receive reports of action of this sort in short order. Even if Indians were disposed respect confidence and keep matter quiet, they would nevertheless have to give report fairly wide official circulation if it is to have desired effect in India. Assuming, on other hand, they wished utilize episode for creating difficulties in US-Pakistani relations and for Baghdad Pact and SEATO, potentialities for mischief are enormous.
Above considerations seem to Embassy effectively rule out any approach Indians on this subject, including that proposed by British (London reftel), without prior Pakistani knowledge and consent. However, if on balance Department considers that dangers India resulting from failure to act greater than risk Embassy foresees here as results such action, Embassy believes US might gain some small protection by letting British bear on us, as they seem prepared to do. However, even though US managed, with such dexterity as to be able to deny official complicity when Pakistanis learn of leak, such denial will do little to repair serious damage. Embassy recalls repeated urgent Pakistani requests not provide British information re equipment under MDAP because their conviction British would promptly relay Indians. Even though denials should be accepted at face value, which Embassy doubts, effect would be undermine Pakistani confidence in UK and thus in possibility co-operation SEATO and Baghdad Pact. A deep and serious breach would be opened between Pakistan and West.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/4–1256. Secret. Repeated to New Delhi and London.↩
- Dated April 6, not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/4–656)↩
- Document 17.↩
- See footnote 3, ibid.↩