49. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Intelligence, the Joint Staff (Collins) to the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Operations (Erskine)1


  • Emerging Pattern—Kashmir
After a lengthy presentation of India’s case on Kashmir on 23–24 January, the Security Council approved a resolution which reminded the governments concerned of the principle embodied in previous resolutions that the final disposition of Kashmir be made in accordance with the will of the people. The vote was 10–0 with the USSR abstaining. Krishna Menon told Ambassador Lodge that he (Menon) had hinted to Soviets before the vote that a Soviet veto was not desired because India did not want to appear to be under Soviet umbrella. Menon stated Soviets had told him that they would veto any Security Council resolution on Kashmir if India so desired.
The U.S. position throughout has been one of cautious support of Pakistan through a solution based upon U.N. resolutions, unless the parties themselves could agree to a solution through direct negotiations. The U.S. attitude is dictated by the fear of damaging U.S.-Indian relations which were somewhat improved after Nehru’s visit and by the desire to support Pakistan with whom we are allied.
The main course of events in Southeast Asia is not likely to be significantly affected by India’s setback in the Security Council. Nehru’s halo of morality has been tarnished by his attitude and actions, but he will retain his influence in the Afro-Asian Bloc. It is interesting to note that the U.N. representatives of Ceylon, Indonesia, and Burma all have commented upon the weakness of the Indian position. The Bandung powers may offer their “good offices” in an effort toward peaceful settlement.
India’s immediate courses of action are aimed at gaining time. For the short run they are trying to stall until after the forthcoming elections. A part of the pressure being applied to the U.S. by India is the forecast of Communist gains if U.N. action adverse to India is taken before elections. Another pressure for delay is the thinly [Page 124] veiled threat of another “blood-bath” to the Moslem minority remaining in India. Also, Nehru would like to prevent any action until after the General Assembly adjourns or at least until March when the President of the Security Council will be a Russian. Over the longer term, Nehru probably hopes that economic and political concessions to the Kashmiri presently being made will produce a majority for India in a future plebiscite. This is not likely. Nehru would probably settle for permanent partition of Kashmir along the present cease-fire lines.
Pakistan is pressing for immediate action by the Security Council to place U.N. forces in Kashmir. The Pakistan Government has stated that if India refused to accept the U.N. forces on India’s side of the cease-fire line that Pakistan would accept them in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Pakistan is insisting upon implementation of the original U.N. resolutions calling for a plebiscite in all of Kashmir. However, it would probably settle for partition of the area with a plebiscite held in the Vale itself, the heart of Kashmir. The Pakistani, like the Indians, call our attention to an increase in Communist strength in Pakistan if the U.N. failed to take positive action under vigorous U.S. leadership. The Pakistani Foreign Minister, Noon, has threatened to resign if U.S. failed to support Pakistan and he implied that Pakistan’s whole pro-West foreign policy would be affected by such U.S. failure. I believe that the Government of Pakistan has the Free Kashmir (Azad Kashmir) forces under control. These forces will probably be kept from launching hostilities until Pakistan sees no other hope of favorable settlement. By allowing the Azad Kashmir forces to attack Pakistan would be attempting to force the U.N. to intervene.
The U.K. position has been somewhat stronger in support of Pakistan than has that of the U.S. The U.K. probably wants to bring things to a head in the Security Council (anticipating a Soviet veto of any measure adverse to India) and then move the entire Kashmir problem into the General Assembly.
Soviet policy in Asia is not likely to be affected significantly by developments in the Kashmir problem. They will continue to support India, but will try to avoid as much as possible any further alienation of Pakistan. It is for this reason that the USSR has not taken part in the U.N. debate and has abstained, rather than vetoing, resolutions adverse to the Indian position. Chou En-Lai, through the Bandung “good offices”, may be able to appear as a peacemaker.
On 8 February the Kashmir problem was again considered in the Security Council and after re-statement of the positions of Pakistan and India, further action was postponed until a later date.
Richard Collins2
  1. Source: Department of Defense, OASD/ISA Files, NESA Records, Pakistan. Secret. Forwarded to Gordon Gray on February 12 under cover of a note from General G.B. Erskine, USMC (ret.). In the note General Erskine commented as follows:

    “The increasing tension between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir question has deep implications for U.S. relations with both countries and is of significant interest to the Department of Defense.

    “The attached paper was prepared by the Joint Intelligence Group and is forwarded for your information.”

  2. Printed from a copy which bears this typed signature.