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

1699. Following Prime Minister’s stag dinner last night while Diplomatic Corps having individual talks with visiting Prime Ministers from Saudi Arabia and Sudan I got five-minute separate talks with Foreign Office Secretary Baig, Finance Minister Chaundhri Mohamad Ali, Minister Interior Mirza and Prime Minister. Asked each what real crux of problem with Afghanistan was and each gave same firm reply, essence of which was “removal of GOA Prime Minister Daud”. I asked each Minister separately if this was Cabinet policy or their personal opinion and each answered “cabinet policy”. Each also said with varying degree of emphasis, however, that if Daud removed as GOA Prime Minister GOP would back down fast on its demands and start a new chapter in the book of GOP/GOA relations. Mirza and Baig said I was welcome to tell Ward they hoped he would make this reasonably clear to King and Royal family.

Only discussion I have had outside Embassy is with General Cawthorn, Australian HICOM, whom I consider most experienced and wisest man on Pakistan in present Diplomatic Corps. Long concerned about Afghanistan he talked at length with Robert Amory and Admiral Radford about Afghanistan on their visits here.2 Last night I reported to him only my conversations with the Ministers covered herein and asked him if he thought GOP policy right. He replied he thought GOP a little too firm and specific in original demands but thought their objectives sound and having gone as far as it has it would now be fatal for GOP to back down.

Ayub and Mirza appear not concerned about Afghan mobilization publicity but Mirza going Peshawar tomorrow (apparently with Ayub) to make check to see everything in order and make personal observation.

Comment: Pakistan policy apparently based on two assumptions: (1) There will be continued deterioration in Pakistan-Afghan relations if Daud remains, with Daud displaying even greater arrogance in future if he survives present crisis; (2) that continued Pakistan pressure involving if necessary economic measures cited Embtel 16683 (repeated information Kabul 77, London 110, Delhi 181) will [Page 183] result in Afghan Royal family deciding drop Daud rather than run risks involved internal unrest and increased dependence on Soviets which would be alternative. (Factor which affects Pakistan present policy calculations is their apprehension that unless King can be induced to replace Daud now Daud may shortly become strong enough to replace King.)

Embassy not in position fully assess validity these assumptions. However, have been impressed by unanimity of views expressed by both Americans and Pakistanis who know Afghanistan well, that (1) Daud is “madman” who will effectively thwart any improvement in general Pakistan–Afghan relations so long as he continues in power and (2) continuation of present developments unchecked will result in irrevocable loss Afghanistan to Soviets (with estimates of period of grace varying from six months to two years). We also note from Embassy Kabul’s messages that Pakistan pressure is now being strongly felt by Afghan Government and that there are indications Royal family considering replacement Daud.

Due these considerations Embassy feels US would be assuming serious responsibility in pressuring Pakistanis to apply palliatives to ills which they convinced require surgery. If by our intervention we check course of developments which Pakistanis now believe running in their favor, we will inevitably be held responsible for next crisis in Pakistan-Afghan relations.

For these reasons I have deferred delivery of message stated in Deptel 18354 (repeated information Kabul 499, London, Lahore, Delhi unnumbered) pending Department’s consideration these factors. For same reasons Embassy advises strongly against US becoming involved in any mediation exercises which clearly designed take pressure off Afghanistan and which would probably result in continuation Daud in power. Believe any such effort would irritate Pakistanis and might seriously prejudice US position here.

Appears to Embassy that most useful contribution US might make at present juncture would be to assist in getting across ideas King and other appropriate members of Royal family, that GOP could be expected to become very reasonable and cooperative if they had new Prime Minister to deal with in Afghanistan. Possible that Turks, Iraqis and perhaps British might be able assist in planting this thought.

[Page 184]

Ward expected here Sunday noon5 so if Department has any instructions or advice would welcome its receipt soonest enabling me check with him before he leaves early Tuesday a.m.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 689.90D/5–655. Secret; Niact. Repeated to Kabul, New Delhi, Tehran, Baghdad, Ankara, London, Lahore, and Dacca.
  2. Admiral Radford visited Afghanistan as part of a larger tour of several Asian countries in December 1954 and January 1955.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 86.
  4. Document 86.
  5. May 8.