296. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan1

1966. Embtel 1890.2 Department concurs in Embassy view demise present coalition government might have unfortunate results. Believe prospects for orderly evolution toward more stable constitutional government in Pakistan would be diminished should general elections be postponed or extraordinary executive powers be invoked for anything other than short pre-election period. In absence any apparent possibility direct cooperation between Mirza and Suhrawardy, believe it desirable they each maintain positions in which they could be encouraged contribute constructively to further development constitutional processes in coming months. Despite their respective shortcomings, their differences in temperament and outlook (e.g., on importance democratic institutions and processes) and their personal antipathies, believe each has potential for major contributions achievement stable representative government.

In present situation believe Ambassador should proceed cautiously in discussing such questions with Mirza. Department gratified Ambassador–Mirza rapport which permits useful exchanges of views; however, believe USG must as matter of principle avoid any semblance tutelage of Pakistani leadership.

Long-range US policy interests best served if this leadership develops capacity and habit make own decisions in important matters national policy with US and other friends playing role occasional counselor rather than constant mentor. Department believes this reflects Ambassador’s approach.

Above reflects Departmental interpretation NSC 57013 as applicable present circumstances.

Should opportunity arise Ambassador authorized express to Mirza his concern that another disruptive political crisis at this time would be unfortunate. Mirza should be enabled draw inference that USG believes its interests in Pakistan are tied to political stability per se rather than to political future any particular Pakistani leader or [Page 622] leaders. USG should avoid taking any position on such sensitive, strictly domestic questions as joint-versus-separate electorates or one-unit.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.00/1–3158. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Garrett H. Soulen and John M. Howison and approved by J. Lampton Berry.
  2. Supra.
  3. NSC 5701, “U.S. Policy Toward South Asia,”’ was approved by the President on January 10, 1957; see Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. VIII, pp. 2943.