207. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State1

1105. … In formal statement to press carried December 12 papers, Prime Minister, commenting on Srinagar statements of Soviet [Page 453] leaders,2 said in part: “No power on earth shall deflect us from helping people of Kashmir to secure right to self-determination. Khrushchev is reported to have mentioned Pakistan’s membership in Baghdad Pact and Khrushchev charged that pact was not created in interests of peace but in view of building American bases in Pakistan close to Soviet territory. These charges are wholly baseless. It (Baghdad Pact) is not directed against any country whatsoever nor has Pakistan any intention of allowing any country to establish bases in country or to use its territory for any aggressive purposes”.

In conversations re Kashmir (Embtel 1102)3 when Governor General got down to first name conversation with me I commented I was puzzled about one thing, namely that everybody seemed to be telling me that they wanted a strong statement on Kashmir and in support of Baghdad Pact and what a difficult situation Pakistan was getting into without any public strong support from West and yet in this morning’s paper Prime Minister said that “He would never give any bases”. … In Mirza’s conversation with me I detected his impatience with Prime Minister’s over-caution; Mirza, however, considers it untimely for US to seek bases here until we have shown more support for Pakistanis on Kashmir and backed Baghdad Pact again publicly. Embassy detects possible loophole in Prime Minister’s statement quoted above in his language which would not prevent use bases by powers associated Baghdad Pact. Embassy speculates Prime Minister in public comments on air bases might be opening door to trading for US adherence to Baghdad Pact as precondition use Pakistan bases, but little more inclined believe Prime Minister speaking his mind with no mental reservations.

. . . . . . .

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.56390D/12–1355. Top Secret; Priority. Passed to Defense.
  2. During an official visit to India, Khrushchev had declared Soviet support for India’s position in the Kashmir dispute.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 11.