85. Telegram From the Embassy in Afghanistan to the Department of State1

536. My telegram 526.2 King received me in presence Acting Foreign Minister Ali Mohammed. After exchange courtesies in French he switched to Farsi through Ali Mohammed.

Throughout formal part of conversation I followed strictly suggestions Department telegrams 3973 and 434.4 King replied with: [Page 176]

Thanks U.S. Government [for] interest in creating atmosphere favorable to removal recent Afghanistan-Pakistan tension.
Thanks for generous and altruistic aid which U.S. has given Afghanistan in land reclamation, agriculture, education, mining etcetera for which he and people grateful beyond ability express.
Hope Afghanistan may continue enjoy U.S. interest, aid and favor.
Following views U.S. Government made known by me to Prime Minister,5 Government of Afghanistan has done nothing which could aggravate Afghanistan-Pakistan tension, not even sending Afghanistan troops to frontier threatened by Pakistan troops in new positions thereon.
Deplores anti-Pakistan occurrences at Kabul, Jalalabad and Qandahar, which without precedent in Afghanistan’s treatment diplomatic missions and contrary Afghanistan’s traditional code hospitality.
Government of Afghanistan cannot ignore indignities and insults suffered Peshawar.
Government of Afghanistan has indicated every willingness re-establish normal relations with Government of Pakistan and accepted without hesitancy formula proposed by Anwar-Os-Sadat, which formula Government of Pakistan rejected.6
Is eager take any step toward restoration normal relations provided it not incompatible Afghanistan’s dignity.

He did not mention Soviet economic penetration, or awareness such penetration or further deterioration in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations may give rise to Soviet political threat.

King was quite stiff and formal at beginning audience, perhaps in anticipation of some strong demand, but as conversation progressed he relaxed and became as unposed and congenial as in former conversations with result we were shortly chatting. Daud was not mentioned or even referred to by direct allusion. During chat he evidenced much knowledge of my activities in U.S. aid programs and recalled my statement of November 1952 that so long as I am here shall [devote?] myself to Afghanistan’s well-being. This encouraged me express view well-being not being furthered by Government of Afghanistan insistence honorable amends be made simultaneously by Government of Afghanistan and Government of Pakistan, reminding him that Government of Afghanistan cast first stone and struck first blow on March 30 in Kabul, on March 31 at Jalalabad and Qandahar, all which preceded April 1 Peshawar affair, and that Government of Afghanistan should therefore make first amends, trusting Government of Pakistan to make subsequent amends for any Pakistan wrongdoing. He received this in very good part. I further made bold to mention that Afghanistan well-being [Page 177] would be prospered by constructive Afghanistan-Pakistan collaboration, closer economic ties with free world, incentive to private enterprise, expansion work looking toward improvement in agricultural method and standard of living and improved maintenance of highways looking toward betterment of economy and lowered cost living through reduction in inordinately high trucking and distribution cost. He was very affable at end our conversation, which lasted 50 minutes.

Audience was more successful than I had anticipated and I am certain démarche will bear fruit, unless King so dominated by Daud he fears to follow his own convictions. Should latter prove fact I fear, barring a swallowing of pride by Government of Pakistan which could cause it dangerous loss prestige among Afghans, Indians and some of its own peoples, worsening of Afghanistan-Pakistan situation should be anticipated.

Turkish Ambassador received instructions last evening, but still being decoded.7

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 689.90D/4–2655. Secret. Repeated to Karachi, Ankara, London, Baghdad, and New Delhi. The Embassy also recommended that the Department of State pass copies to the Army and the Air Force at its discretion.
  2. In telegram 526, April 25, Ambassador Ward informed the Department that he was scheduled to meet with the King on the following day. (Ibid., 689.90D/4–2555)
  3. Document 81.
  4. In telegram 434, April 19, the Department instructed Ambassador Ward to include in his remarks to the King a statement about U.S. concern for the possible disruption of its technical and economic aid programs in Afghanistan which might be caused by any further escalation of the Pushtunistan dispute. Ward had suggested these additional remarks in telegram 473 from Kabul, April 16. (Both in Department of State, Central Files, 689.90D/4–1655)
  5. See footnote 4, Document 80.
  6. See footnote 2, Document 81.
  7. In telegram 542 from Kabul, April 28, Ward reported that the Turkish Ambassador was belatedly instructed to associate himself with the U.S. and British Ambassadors in a joint or parallel démarche to the King. (Department of State, Central Files, 689.90D/4–2855)