26. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Rountree) to the Secretary of State 1
- India-Pakistan “package” proposals
On December 16, 1957, Mr. Herter approved my memorandum to you of November 302 (copy attached as Tab C) and suggested that we proceed to discuss the pertinent proposals with the Department of Defense and develop a plan of negotiation.
When we first raised the pertinent proposals with the Department of Defense, the latter expressed concern regarding two points.3 (Tab D) The first was that our plan implied a contemplated reduction in the armed forces of Pakistan; the second that it suggested a commitment involving the use of United States forces in defense of India and Pakistan against aggression. The Department, by letter,4 (Tab E) explained that neither of these interpretations was correct. The Department of Defense has raised no further objections.
As a result of these discussions, further consideration of the proposals by interested officers in the Department and by our Ambassadors in Karachi and New Delhi, agreed drafts have now been prepared of the letter from the President to the President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India (enclosure to Tab A)5 and a talking paper (Tab B) for the guidance of our Ambassadors during the first or exploratory stage of the negotiations.
The two drafts which are herewith presented for your approval represent the first step in the proposed negotiations. The exact timing of the initiation of this step remains to be worked out in consultation with Ambassador Langley and Ambassador Bunker. According to present indications, however, we believe that it will be possible to proceed quickly with the presentation of the letters once you have approved the drafts and secured the President’s agreement to the [Page 76] proposals. If this can be done by April 15, we would proceed to discuss the overall proposal with the British representatives on April 16 and 17 and transmit the letters to our Ambassador on the 18th. The exact timing of the presentation would then be left for determination by the two Embassies.
My memorandum of November 30 (Tab C) indicated that we envisage that the proposed negotiations would seek solutions to the outstanding problems now exacerbating relations between India and Pakistan. We now feel that the negotiations should properly seek to achieve agreements on arms limitation, Kashmir, and the Indus Waters. Ancillary agreements dealing with nonaggression, trade and partition problems might be expected to follow in the improved atmosphere, but we do not anticipate that they would be considered initially. Papers dealing with the various issues are being drafted and will be ready for approval by the time the approach is authorized. We envisage that the United States role in the negotiations will be to listen to the proposals of each party and attempt to assist them in arriving at an agreed formula. We feel that the United States must preserve a flexible position from the beginning and be prepared to encourage the positions which appear to have the best chance of producing agreement. Our general approach to each of the three main problems is as follows:
We wish to encourage India and Pakistan to reach agreement, within a “package” framework, on any reasonable solution of the Kashmir issue, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] We would hope that the principle of self determination by the people of Kashmir might prevail [2 lines of source text not declassified]. If partition is a mutually acceptable solution, consideration of the partition line should not be related in any way with the existing military “cease-fire line”, but rather should provide a fresh approach to this dispute, divorced from its long and acrimonious history under the United Nations resolutions. Certain criteria should, in our opinion, provide the bases for such partitions: (a) regard for religious concentrations whenever possible; (b) contiguity of geographic area; (c) present district and administrative boundaries; (d) terrain and natural communications and trade routes; (e) present or potential irrigation and hydro-electric projects; (f) national security, with particular reference to the northern frontiers; and (g) control over river segments or headwaters in relation to any settlement of the Indus Waters dispute.[Page 77]
2. Indus Waters:
The United States Government hopes that settlement of the Indus Waters controversy will be based upon development of the Indus Basin as an economic entity. In accordance with this principle, development of the Indus Basin should:
- Provide works designed and located in accordance with sound engineering principles rather than determined by political boundaries.
- Provide works designed and located so as to obtain the maximum benefit for the Basin as a whole in return for the smallest possible financial investment.
- Provide enough water to insure to both countries deliveries of historical uses plus reasonable amounts for future development purposes.
- Provide for the establishment of a joint commission with some form of neutral membership for the purpose of developing the Indus Basin as a unit.
Should such a settlement be achieved, the United States should be prepared to give its full support and assistance to both countries in order to develop the Indus Basin along these lines.
3. Arms Limitation:
The United States desires to facilitate an arms limitation agreement between India and Pakistan. We believe that such an agreement might be effective, particularly if it flowed from the amelioration of political tensions now identified with the Kashmir and Indus Waters disputes. While the details will have to be carefully worked out, it is possible that the arms limitation agreement might, in the first instance, be based upon present force levels (which would include the light bomber squadron we are committed to furnish Pakistan, and any other absolutely necessary acquisitions to achieve appropriate balance in specific fields). There might be established a South Asian Arms Commission, possibly within the framework of the UN, to inspect compliance with the agreement. India and Pakistan could be members, along with three other countries, e.g., possibly Canada (or Australia), Burma (or Ceylon), and Sweden (or Switzerland). The Arms Commission might create inspection teams composed of a representative each for India, Pakistan and one of the other Commission countries. These teams might be allowed unrestricted travel and inspection prerogatives throughout the territories of India and Pakistan.
- That you approve the draft of the talking paper attached as (Tab B).
- That you sign the Memorandum to the President attached as (Tab A).6
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/4–1758. Secret. Drafted by Nicholl on April 9 and concurred in by C. Douglas Dillon in draft and S/P, W, H, IO, ICA, EUR, E, and W/MSC.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 8.↩
- See Document 9.↩
- Document 12.↩
- See infra . The draft letters are not printed.↩
- Dulles initialed his approval of both recommendations on the source text; under recommendation 1 he made the following handwritten comment: “subject to talks with U.K.”↩
- Secret. Drafted by Nicholl of SOA and Henry Owen of S/P on April 4.↩