28. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State1
2710. In conversation with Mirza June 8 I mentioned subject New York Times article June 2 (Embtel 2626)2 making clear my knowledge it inspired by Mirza and expressing regret that this method had been selected to forward GOP viewpoint in US, as I doubted whether our government and people would react favorably to charges of being blackmailed or being involved indirectly in arms race on sub-continent. Also told Mirza that Prime Minister previously informed (Embtel 2386)3 that B–47, same as Canberras, tentatively scheduled 1959/60 delivery under Pakistan MDAP which was as soon as PF could absorb them; that understood from Pakistan military MDA shipments were coming in nicely now (which Mirza agreed); and that in June with prospective announcement letting Corps Engineers contracts and arrival carrier with F–86’s GOP would have plenty of favorable publicity for US aid programs. Mirza’s reaction was expression his desire keep this news as quiet as possible. (Parenthetically: PAF recently declined clear flights of MAAG and Attaché planes to Gilgit, explaining that wished avoid lending any possible credence to canards re US bases Gilgit.)
Mirza then said that GOP under severe pressure neutralist elements and fearful that Nehru in two days private talk with President Eisenhower might be effective in obtaining his two presumed objectives: first to reduce US military support to Pakistan, second to neutralize US position of Kashmir in UN. He asked how we stood on Kashmir, for a plebiscite? Pursuant instructions Deptel 2809,4 I said as we stood at SEATO, for settlement through UN if issue could not be settled through direct negotiations, we looked for peaceful settlement. Mirza was emphatic that he had always stood for peaceful settlement.
Comment: Appears clear that all Pakistani leaders worried about Nehru’s persuasiveness during his visit to US and in working through NY Times correspondent Mirza selected Asian way of indicating his desire for US support.[Page 86]
Embassy appreciates Department’s doubts re advisability support Pakistani effort in UN but wishes to emphasize the case for support of Pakistani position. On merits, Pakistanis have good moral case based on self-determination whatever may be legalities of Indian position re accession by Hindu Maharaja of predominantly Muslim state to India in 1947. This issue is involved in deep emotions in Pakistan. Present GOP is responsible for having stimulated recent popular clamor, but basis future clamor exists. Feeling of isolation in Pakistan which Pakistanis share with Iraqis, with unfriendly neighboring states attacking their pro-western alignment, and USSR knocking at door, can be serious factor Pakistani-American relationships near future. Embassy can see impairment US relationship Pakistan if US fails maintain line authorized by Department in December that question of accession should be decided through plebiscite.
For what it may be worth, it is Embassy’s opinion that this course is proper one and we will gain international respect by following it. Trust there will be opportunity for Department to review this subject with Ambassador Hildreth in Washington next week.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790.5/6–956. Secret. Repeated to London and New Delhi.↩
- In telegram 2626, June 1, Gardiner pointed out that the New York Times correspondent in Pakistan was about to file a story based on a May 31 conversation with Mirza in which the Governor-General complained about the United States and the United Kingdom. (Ibid., 790.5/6–156)↩
- Dated May 10, not printed. (Ibid., 790D.5622/5–1056)↩
- Also sent to USUN as telegram 660; see footnote 4, Document 25.↩