198. Despatch From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State1

No. 150


  • Embassy Despatch No. 152 of Aug 26, 1955;2 Joint State-Defense tel 1133


  • Gap Between Policy and Performance in MDA Program to Pakistan

Attachment 1 of this Despatch reproduces a memorandum addressed to me by the Chief of MAAG, Pakistan.4 Despite the assurances contained in Joint State-Defense telegram 113 this memorandum reports that MAAG has recently received additional information concerning fund availabilities and delivery schedules which indicates we will come nowhere near meeting the United States commitment of last October to complete the MDA Program in three and one-half years or less. Chief MAAG estimates that at the currently indicated pace the program will be extended to six or even eight years.

[Page 436]

The accompanying Embassy Despatch No. 1525 emphasizes the view of the Country Team that the effective implementation of the MDA Program here is essential to the success of United States politico-military objectives throughout the Middle East. These considerations are important and I believe should be taken fully into account. In my personal capacity as Ambassador to Pakistan I am even more concerned, however, with the impact of the Program’s implementation on the effectuation of our policy objectives within Pakistan.

I believe in this connection that the carefully considered opinions of the Country Team in late June, forwarded in Embtel 2082,6 merit review at this time. (For convenience in distribution, I include this message as Attachment 2 of this Despatch.) The assessment contained in this message of the effects of elections to the Constituent Assembly on the position of the pro-United States group which aligned Pakistan with the free world have been borne out by events to date. This group remains in a central position, but their effective power has been reduced. And they are vulnerable to attack in the event the MDA Program should fall appreciably short of expectations.

These views are reinforced by consideration of the position in the new Government of those most directly involved in the Washington conversations of last October which defined the scope and timing of the MDA Program. Chaudhri Mohamad Ali has become Prime Minister. Mohammed Ali will shortly become Ambassador to Washington. Amjad Ali will probably be appointed Finance Minister. General Ayub, though relinquishing his Cabinet post, continues as Commander in Chief of the Army, and final arbiter of the destiny of Cabinets.

These men have been among the most powerful friends of the United States in Pakistan. I believe that their continuance in positions of power, and their continued friendliness toward the United States are important to our policy objectives here. I am deeply concerned with the effect on their position and on their feeling toward the United States of the indicated retardation and protraction of the MDA Program of which I have been advised by the MAAG Chief.

I do not know the basis on which the funding arrangements and delivery schedules reported by the MAAG Chief have been decided, nor the level on which they have been reviewed and confirmed. I cannot believe, however, that these several items which added together seem to amount to a repudiation of a written commitment [Page 437] entered into at the Governmental level reflect a considered course of action. Because of the serious impairment to our position in Pakistan and to our policy objectives from the Middle East through Southeast Asia, which would inevitably result from this apparent breach of faith should it become known, I have on my responsibility requested the MAAG Chief to withhold information concerning these developments from Pakistan Defense officials pending the arrival of authoritative guidance from Washington. I now urge in the strongest possible terms that the whole problem be reviewed in Washington at a responsible level, with the object of bringing implementing measures clearly into line with commitments and basic policy statements.

Horace A. Hildreth
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/8–2655. Secret.
  2. Dated August 26, not printed. (Ibid.)
  3. See footnote 8, Document 195.
  4. Dated August 25, not printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Document 195.