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

2952. For Ambassador. Department greatly appreciates excellent reporting contained in your recent telegrams, particularly 2828, 2836, 2857, 2881 and 2912,2 which lead to conclusion change in Government probably imminent and could actually involve this time much more than mere change of personalities.

View this situation, Department believes it desirable, if you concur, that you take earliest occasion explain basic American position to Mirza along following lines: USG believes every country has both right and responsibility choose whatever form of government it believes best for itself since people and their leaders are in much better position judge what is good or bad for that country than any outsiders.

Therefore USG trusts President Mirza will not consider that our failure to react to his valued confidences regarding political developments in Pakistan implies endorsement or disapproval. We also trust our representative in Karachi may continue to maintain his present close contacts with President Mirza and members of his Government.

On other hand, USG believes it would not be reciprocating candor with which President Mirza has spoken with American Ambassador if we did not reiterate to President that United States and its people have for almost two centuries believed that in long run democratic government was superior, from point of view of peoples’ welfare and development, to authoritarian government. There may be exceptions which can be justified for limited periods. That decision must be left entirely for Pakistan leaders and people to decide. USG however would hope that as outsider who respects Pakistan’s sovereignty and cherishes its close and friendly bonds with that country, that any decision to set aside Pakistan’s long-held aims continuously to work toward the firm establishment of its democratic institutions should be taken only after most serious consideration and, in a sense, only as last resort. As friendly outsider USG believes this reflects feeling of President Mirza and his Government.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.00/5–1358. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Bartlett and approved by Rountree.
  2. All these telegrams were sent between May 13 and May 20; all are ibid., 790D.00.
  3. Langley conveyed this message to Mirza on May 24. (Telegram 2975 from Karachi, May 25; ibid., 790D.00/5–2558)