25. Telegram From the United States Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State 1

1046. For Hoover from Lodge. Re Kashmir.

Recent information (Karachi 25372 and Despatch 8133) indicating Pakistani Prime Minister has received impression, as result our comments on timing Kashmir discussion, that we are not prepared support Pakistan in UN are not justified by anything I have said or done. If decision is made to have US sponsor Pakistan resolution and [Page 81] push it through to “vote or veto” we can certainly do it. In all my conversations with Pakistan representatives here, I have always made it clear that if they wanted to have meeting now or in June we would interpose no objection whatever, and that we were most sympathetic with them. When I suggested they consider postponement I was only doing what their representative here thinks is advantageous from their own viewpoint. Mir Khan has repeatedly said he thought it more advantageous to Pakistan to take this matter up in January when Philippines rather than Yugoslavia will be on Security Council.
We should reassure Pakistan of our basic support. Same reasons that motivated US support Pakistan at SEATO conference apply in SC. There is no alternative to firm stand on principle of plebiscite as long as this desired by Pakistan. Deptel 6604 says we should avoid implication US “supports” Kashmir plebiscite. Yet on March 7 Secretary stated “basis of US position is that accession of Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices”. If we appear to “run out” on this statement, we lose respect both Pakistan and India.
The question is not whether we are committed, which we clearly are. The question is one of how and when we make good our commitment. Department should study feasibility of President reminding Nehru at an occasion when he is giving Nehru some really good news that, of course, we are committed on Kashmir question.
If US policy no longer supports Pakistan on plebiscite they should be told before item submitted, as they are certainly counting on US backing, but this “reluctant” policy (Deptel 660) would be a bad mistake.
On timing, I prefer January 1957. My second choice is while GA is in session in November–December (Mir Khan personally agrees with me). If neither of these times is possible, the later after Nehru’s visit the better.

I recommend Pakistan Embassy be told soonest, and I be authorized to inform Pakistani delegation here;

US would prefer timing suggested above.
We are sympathetic with Pakistan objectives, and Secretary’s statement of US position at SEATO, that accession of Kashmir to [Page 82] India or Pakistan should be decided through free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices, has not changed.
Assuming present administration re-elected, I would be authorized next January to restate in SC US position supporting Kashmir plebiscite in same terms as those stated by Secretary at SEATO meeting, and that we would support SC consensus statement by President to that effect and to send high-ranking individual to Kashmir area to discuss problem with parties concerned.

This will satisfy Pakistanis and may stave off need for US to sponsor a resolution.

Even though we assume plebiscite will not actually be held and some other solution must be found, in present circumstances and frame of mind of Pakistanis, I do not see how we can move in new direction without first having reaffirmed publicly our support for plebiscite along above lines.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/5–3156. Secret; Niact.
  2. Dated May 24, not printed. (Ibid., 690D.91/5–2456)
  3. Dated May 19, not printed. (Ibid., 790D.00/5–1956)
  4. In telegram 660, May 25, the Department explained that it did not want to pressure Pakistan into delaying Security Council consideration of the Kashmir dispute in light of the unstable political situation in Pakistan. Nor did it wish to give the Pakistanis cause for alleging that the United States was morally obligated to support their position in the United Nations because they had acceded to a U.S. request regarding timing. For these reasons, the Department instructed the Embassy to avoid the implication that the U.S. position “supports” a Kashmir plebiscite, and suggested that the Embassy instead use the language of the SEATO Communiqué, cited in the editorial note, Document 15. (Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/5–2556)