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

1563. Department pass ICA and Defense. Paris pass EUCOM, Thurston, and DEFREP NAMA. Deptel 1590.2 January 2 I discussed substance 1590 with President Mirza orally, then presented to him letter classified secret which outlined my remarks. Mirza read letter and said he agreed entirely. We discussed areas Pakistan Government which should be cut in and Mirza called Secretary and directed copies my letter be sent General Ayub, Army CC, Prime Minister Noon and Amjad Ali, Finance Minister. Mirza dictated letters of transmittal indicating his approval and asking concurrence immediately in order indicated time schedule be kept. Mirza’s letter to Finance Minister he directed to Secretary because Amjad in London with ill son, not known when he will return Karachi, with instructions my letter not be shown to anyone but Amjad upon return. This precaution against letter falling into Minister Das’3 hands. Das, a Hindu, Mirza distrusts.

Text my letter follows:

“Dear Mr. President:

“If I remain in Pakistan for a normal tour, the USG will have completed funding of its existing military aid commitments to Pakistan before I leave.4 The question therefore arises as to what form and how much military aid should and can be extended by the US to Pakistan in the years just ahead.

“The MAAG complement in Pakistan is too small and does not have the qualified personnel to undertake a thorough study of continuing costs of the Pakistan military program, on the basis of which an analysis of future requirements for military aid and defense support, as [Page 617] well as the impact of the military program upon Pakistan economy, can be determined. Because that is so I have been in correspondence with my government for some months and now have assurances that if the GOP thinks it desirable the US could send to Pakistan a technical costing team, to be assisted by the MAAG staff in consultation with the Ambassador and USOM, to make such a study.

“The purpose of such a study would be solely fact-finding and analytical and would not encompass changes in strategic concepts or the possibility of greater or less aid. Each government would be free to draw its own conclusions from such an accurate assessment of the burden of Pakistan’s current and recurring military costs, both foreign and domestic. It would greatly assist me in making future recommendations as to military assistance to Pakistan.

“With the aid of a technical costing team such a study would not require much time, especially if it has the full cooperation of the Pakistan governmental agencies which would benefit from it. It would ascertain the costs of the existing military establishment and estimate future costs for a period at least through 1960. The study would, presumably cover such matters as prospective deliveries of equipment from whatever source, specified level of equipment, maintenance and operation, training and overall readiness, projected organization of mutual assistance-supported forces and other forces the GOP has plans to support, and prospective bases and facilities available to Pakistan military forces. The costs could be assessed in both financial and physical resource terms.

“If the GOP believes such a study is not only desirable but imperative for sound planning and budget making in the immediate future, I am assured an advance party from the costing team could come to Pakistan as soon as early February for a week or two of discussions with the Embassy and the GOP concerning agreement on the concept and coverage of the study. Following that, probably a month should be allowed during which the GOP and Embassy staffs could do the preliminary work preparatory to arrival of the costing team itself, perhaps about March 15, for a three or four week stay.

“On the US side such timing would fit in with the necessity of future form and size of assistance the Pakistan military effort for purposes of budget presentation. I believe the study would be equally valuable to the GOP for the same purposes.

“I do not think any publicity about such a study is desirable because of the speculations which it might arouse both in Pakistan and in other countries, especially India. I think that if every effort were made within the Pakistan Government to treat the study as a routine technical review desired and sought by the Pakistan military establishment, though financed by the USG, that undesirable publicity could be avoided.”5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/1–258. Secret. Repeated to Paris.
  2. Telegram 1590, December 26, a joint State–ICA–Defense message, reads in part as follows:

    “Unless you perceive objections request you approach President Mirza with view obtaining agreement GOP cooperate actively and in its own interest with USG in detailed study current and recurring costs (both foreign and domestic) military program Pakistan for which purposes US desires send technical costing team to Pakistan. Should be explained that purpose will be solely factfinding and analytical and will not encompass changes in strategic concepts or possible additional aid desired by GOP. Obviously necessary have accurate assessment burden present program on both Pakistan and US prior to consideration such matters.” (Ibid., 790D.5–MSP/12–2657)

  3. A. Kumar Das, Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce.
  4. U.S. military commitments to Pakistan were undertaken under a Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement, signed at Karachi on May 19, 1954, and an aide-mémoire, dated October 21, 1954. For text of the agreement, see 5 UST 852; for text of the aide-mémoire, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. XI, Part 2, pp. 18691871.
  5. In a January 10 letter to Ambassador Langley, President Mirza approved the proposed costing study of Pakistan’s defense budget. Langley transmitted Mirza’s letter to the Department of State in telegram 1680 from Karachi, January 11. (Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/1–1158) An advance party of the Department of Defense “Costing Team” was scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on February 27; the full team was scheduled to arrive in mid-March.