318. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the Counselor of the Pakistani Embassy (Shaikh) and the Deputy Director of the Office of South Asian Affairs (Meyer), Washington, July 29, 19581


  • Delay in Response to Pakistani Military Purchase Requests

Obviously motivated by a sharp telegram from Karachi, Mr. Shaikh telephoned concerning Pakistani requests for military purchases dating back to April. This is the fifth time that either Mr. Shaikh or Colonel Khan have prodded me on this matter in addition to various representations made to Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Soulen, and others.

Pointing out that the bulk of the equipment which the Pakistanis wish to purchase are “ordinary things” such as trucks and ambulances, Mr. Shaikh stated that Karachi cannot understand the lengthy delay in the United States Government’s approval. He said reports have been received in Karachi that certain individuals in the Pentagon have suggested that there is serious question as to whether Pakistan “can afford” to make these purchases. Mr. Shaikh indicated that there is considerable chagrin in Karachi not only at what appears to be a questioning of Pakistani judgment by American officials but even suggesting a lack of Pakistani independence to make its own decisions. Referring to what he called the present “state of mind of our people” Mr. Shaikh said that the “pride” of Pakistani officials, particularly military leaders, has been hurt by this apparent American Government [Page 660] attitude. He added that Karachi is charging Pakistan Embassy officials here with inefficiency and ineffectiveness because of their failure to obtain results in this matter.

I assured Mr. Shaikh that the military purchase requests are under active consideration and I would hope that within a few days he would receive an answer.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.56/7–2958. Confidential. Drafted by Meyer.