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

1592. For Under Secretary Hoover or Assistant Secretary Allen. On eve of my first appointment with Prime Minister in perhaps month, held first of this week, on my return from trip to East Pakistan with Governor General there was temptation to talk to Prime Minister along following lines:

“Embassy convinced there is deliberate effort at least encouraged by GOP to stage campaign prior visit of Secretary to squeeze US for additional aid and probably a substantial element of Pakistan officials and public opinion earnestly believe the best way to get most from US is to emulate example of Afghanistan, India and Egypt and try to play both sides. Embassy convinced emphasis and extent publicity such things as visit of Madame Sun Yat-sen,2 Czech, Polish and Russian trade talks, reflections on Baghdad pact, upcoming visits of both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to Peking, to mention only a few, would not occur except with government approval. Embassy staff which has had faith in Pakistan and labored diligently in good faith to get maximum assistance possible for Pakistan has done so largely because of courage and honesty of GOP in pro-west stand and statements. Today only Mohammed Ali in Washington speaks along past lines and is clearly out of tune with government silence and newspaper and legislators comment in Pakistan. If GOP is only playing game to squeeze US we think it very risky as of course Embassy appraisals and press comments repeatedly flow from Embassy to Department and indirectly to Congress and US public. If change in course is not merely squeeze game but sincere, as we believe it to be on part of some influential Pakistan officials and non-officials then as friends of Pakistan we say how can you compete with India at its own game? The basis of strong support for Pakistan has been because it followed a different course from India and Egypt. If now you wish to follow the same course as GOI then Pakistan, considering its size and resources, necessarily must become the tail of the dog and our interest in Pakistan will tend to diminish and our interest in India increase.”

In discussion top Embassy staff unanimously agreed unwise to talk to Prime Minister as above at upcoming meeting, particularly as he, Embassy is sure, is indirectly one of chief moulders of public opinion. Consequently in talking with Prime Minister Monday evening February 13, I listened without arguing to innocuous statements [Page 457] of Prime Minister, mostly dealing with economic constitution and pleas for more help. Memo of conversation pouched today.3

Wednesday night February 15 in hour and half intimate, personal and frank talk with Governor General I expressed above quoted views. Summary only of points he made is:

He does not go along with policy of neutralism and has never forgiven present Prime Minister for being man who stopped the then Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan from sending a Pakistan division to Korea. His fight on this, which he lost and which nearly cost him his job was fundamentally due to the inherent neutralism of the present Prime Minister when he was advising Liaquat that he could not spare a division for Korea because of mistrust of India, whereas Mirza argued that the greatest assurance of support from west was a bold shouldering of its share of responsibility.
Not only is he not a neutralist but he believes best way to get most from west is not try bargain but wholeheartedly do all possible and have faith that this attitude will be appreciated by good faith partners and bring tangible results. (Mirza has sung this song ever since I have known him.)
He was very irritated at Prime Minister and Foreign Office when he was on East Pakistan trip for the constant pressure they put on him to entertain Madame Sun Yat-sen. He said he personally wanted no part of Sun Yat-sen or those tactics (though he thinks US would be wise to admit Red China to UN before it happens anyway). Said the Foreign Office had phoned him in East Pakistan that Chinese in Peking had advised Pakistanis that if Governor General did not entertain Madame Sun Yat-sen they would consider it an insult. (With both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister4 anxious go China it is easy understand pressure on Governor General to accord Sun Yat-sen hospitable treatment.)

He was glad I had not talked to Prime Minister the way I talked to him as he felt Dulles was man to talk to Prime Minister on his visit here.

Fundamentally Prime Minister is timid, weak and perhaps cowardly and he thinks I should advise Secretary in effect to say very bluntly to Prime Minister “whats going on here? We don’t understand your apparent reversal of thinking. We have started help you in good faith and intend continue do so but we do not understand your flirtation with Communists.” Particularly thinks Prime Minister should be scolded for allowing an official of Foreign Office on his own initiative, though unattributed (presumably Foreign Minister), [Page 458] for publicly saying reception given Madame Sun Yat-sen was greater than that given Vice President Nixon.5 He said Foreign Minister so anxious visit China that without any approval of Prime Minister or Governor General he had asked for invitation to be extended to him and on his own initiative published announcement of it when it came. Governor General stated he would not say hardly any of the above to Secretary Dulles but only to me on a “Horace/Iskander” basis. His reason for this was he would not in dealing with representatives of foreign countries be disloyal to his Prime Minister. (In fairness to Governor General I repeat here what I am sure was reported in … cables and I believe in Embassy report, namely that when in East Pakistan with Governor General just prior to heading into the wilds, he almost called off his trip but made phone calls to Ayub, Governor East Pakistan6 and Fazlul Huq7 and reported that he had told Fazlul Huq if he doublecrossed the Prime Minister and made a deal with Suhrawardy in East Pakistan without giving Prime Minister fair advance warning that he, Mirza, and Ayub would move and move fast. The result was that Fazlul Huq did return Karachi, did not make a deal with Suhrawardy and Bashani,8 for which Fazlul Huq was a few days later bitterly criticized in East Pakistan newspapers.)

Subsequently Governor General agreed I might send a summary of what he had said to Secretary Dulles, eyes only, but he will not talk this way to Dulles when he is here. Again repeated I knew him but Dulles did not know him well and Dulles would think he was being disloyal to his own government.

Unfortunately at present time he, Governor General, could not speak out because the provisional president would be elected by present consembly about mid-March for period of probably 18 to 24 months and he cannot risk alienating members present consembly who are talking this neutralist line but will soon vote on presidency. Among candidates for president are Suhrawardy, Ghulam Mohammad, Hamidul Huq Chowdhry and former Prime Minister Nazimuddin. Daultana9 out because of having licked Gurmani10 in recent provincial elections and Gurmani opposition to Daultana will stop Daultana. (Governor General stated he had 36 out of forty votes in West Pakistan for the presidency but made no mention of votes [Page 459] from East Pakistan. He did say that if he had been left on as governor of East Pakistan, which he greatly desired, he was certain that within couple of years he could have not only had a strong Muslim majority fully supporting the central government but could also have had a large element of Hindus on his side.)11
He said the Egyptian Ambassador here12 (whom Embassy considers very able and effective) had been very active in arguing with his Muslim brothers that they could collect from both sides the same as Egypt.
Mirza emphasized that regardless of any talks of neutralism if war came he and Ayub would throw out any neutralists and we could be assured of utmost cooperation of armed forces and of Pakistan. Pressed on loyalty of Ayub to him he indicated absolute certainty on this point.
He wanted me to understand that really the only reason he had agreed go Kabul was because of urgent pleading of US.
He was indignant that Prime Minister, while he was in East Pakistan, had allowed Nishtar13 (pal of Miss Jinnah14 and no friend of west or US) to become head Muslim League all against advice of Governor General and which Prime Minister prior departure Governor General for East Pakistan had seemed agree should not be done.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.90D/2–1756. Top Secret.
  2. Wife of the late Chinese President Sun Yat-sen and representative of the People’s Republic of China. Madame Sun began an 8-day official visit to Pakistan on February 24.
  3. Despatch 599, dated February 17, not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.90D/2–1756)
  4. Hamidul Huq Choudhury.
  5. Vice President Nixon visited Pakistan December 6–8, 1953. For documentation see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. XI, Part 2, pp. 1830 ff.
  6. Amir-ud-Din Ahmad.
  7. Minister for the Interior and Minister for Education.
  8. Maulana Bashani, President of the Awami League in East Pakistan.
  9. Mian Mumtaz Daultana, former Chief Minister of the Punjab and a leader of Muslim League.
  10. Mustaq Ahmad Gurmani, Governor of West Pakistan.
  11. On March 6, Mirza was elected President. He was inaugurated on March 26 as President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which had been adopted under the Constitution Bill passed by the Pakistani Constituent Assembly on February 29.
  12. Taffazil Ali.
  13. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar.
  14. Widow of the former Pakistani Prime Minister.