77. Editorial Note

On March 27, the Pakistani Government promulgated an “Emergency Powers Ordinance,” which enabled the implementation of a plan to amalgamate the four provinces of West Pakistan into a single province. A variety of political and administrative factors motivated this “One Unit” plan, the most important of which was the need to balance the political relationship between East and West Pakistan.

Two days later Prime Minister Daud broadcast a speech over Radio Kabul in which he denounced Pakistan’s action as a denial of the aspirations of the Pushtuns and promised the support of his government to its Pushtun brethren in Pakistan. On March 30, a mob attacked the Pakistani Embassy and residency in Kabul, inflicting severe damage and injuring several Pakistani employees. In addition, the mob lowered the Pakistani flag and hoisted a Pushtunistan flag in its stead. The American Embassy in Kabul, which noted that several unsuccessful attempts had been made to enter forcibly the cars of two United States citizens in that city, judged that the attacks were “quite evidently” both “inspired and sponsored” by the Afghan Government. (Telegram 392 from Kabul, March 30; Department of State, Central Files, 789.00/3–3055) On the following day, Afghan mobs carried out similar attacks on the Pakistani Consulates in Qandahar and Jalalabad, and on April 1, a Pakistani mob made a retaliatory attack on the Afghan Consulate in Peshawar. (Telegram 1377 from Karachi, March 31; ibid., 689.90D/3–3155)

On March 31, the Pakistani Government delivered a note to the Afghan Minister in Karachi, protesting the assault on its Embassy in Kabul and demanding that Afghanistan (1) provide an explanation and apology, (2) make restitution for damages, (3) give assurances of adequate protection for diplomatic premises and persons in the [Page 167] future, and (4) make proper amends for the dishonor done to the Pakistani flag. Afghanistan made similar demands with regard to its Consulate in Peshawar, and strongly protested the inclusion of Pushtunistan in the amalgamated province of West Pakistan. (Despatch 619 from Karachi, April 1; ibid., 601.90D89/4–155)