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

1600. MAAG/PAK 9–197 November 19 to CINCEUR,2 information DEF/ISA reported November 14 conversation with PM Suhrawardy3 wherein latter stated that since India would have 65 Canberra 8 bombers by 1958, it mandatory Pakistanis have 4 such planes by 1958 for training purposes. PM also said if Pakistanis had any light bombers Nehru would think long time before attacking Pakistan as latter could bomb Delhi in retaliation. CINCEURs EC 96435 November 26 to Sec Def4 pointed out advance provision light bombers for training consistent with current US force goals but because Pakistan motives vis-à-vis India country team position be established.

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Country team position: light bomber squadron is part of US commitment to Pakistan, and country team considers speculation as to Pakistan attitudes toward India irrelevant in determining timing of this element or other elements MDAP.

US committed itself to Pakistan military program with awareness of Pakistan feelings toward India and in turn Indian reactions and sentiments. Pakistan attitude and feeling toward India has been constant past several years and likely to continue in same vein foreseeable future. Though GOP will wish remain strong during this period vis-à-vis India, leaders have asserted their intention never aggress against India, and nothing new in PM’s statement re usefulness bombers to Pakistanis as deterrent aggression GOI. Pakistanis have shown in past and will likewise show in foreseeable future desire and courage to stand up and be counted with West against Communist aggression. Note its recent leadership among BP nations at meetings in Tehran and Baghdad.

Country team believes should provide Pakistan with few light bombers for training purposes sooner than recently planned (but not sooner than contemplated in aide-mémoire of 21 October 1954 setting forth military aid commitment).5

Accordingly country team considers that preparatory training program should be initiated in effort to accommodate Pakistan.

Timing of delivery of few light bombers for training purposes should be contingent upon time required to train necessary operational and maintenance personnel, delivery of maintenance tools, test equipment, and specialized support equipment peculiar to light bombers, availability of acceptable US light bombers and finally immediate funding action to accomplish the above.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/12–756. Passed to Defense; also sent to Paris for Wallner and the European Command.
  2. In this telegram, Major General Louis Truman emphasized that for the foreseeable future the maintenance and modernization of Pakistan’s existing forces would be dependent upon U.S. military aid. Accordingly, he recommended that no promises or commitments involving future performance or future expenditures of U.S. funds for foreign assistance should be made or implied unless they could be adhered to. (Department of Defense Files)
  3. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy became Prime Minister of Pakistan on September 12, 1956.
  4. In this telegram, Truman reported on a conversation with Suhrawardy on November 14. (Department of Defense Files)
  5. See Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. XI, Part 2, p. 1869.