319. Memorandum for the Files by the Ambassador to Pakistan (Langley)1


  • Conversation between Ambassador Langley and Mr. Dillon

Ambassador Langley inquired whether final determination on a Defense Support figure had been made. Mr. Dillon replied that the figure was $80 million, pointing out that this represents a $30 million increase over last year and is, therefore, a very generous figure considering the shortage of funds caused by the Congressional cuts in the Mutual Security Program.

Ambassador Langley inquired regarding the status of the military program for Pakistan. Mr. Dillon said that a staff study of this problem was being conducted within NEA, with particular emphasis on long-range planning. The immediate problem concerned deliveries of new tanks. The question was whether and how we could induce the Pakistanis to scrap the old tanks which the tanks provided by the U.S. would replace. Ambassador Langley pointed out that one of the difficulties in administering the military program is the fact that the Pakistanis have never been told exactly what the role and mission of the Pakistan armed forces is to be. It would be very helpful if this could be clarified. Mr. Dillon replied that obviously this was very difficult, because the military role and value of the Pakistan army is dubious at best. In retrospect, it now appears clear that the military program in Pakistan was launched as a political measure designed to induce Pakistan to join regional security pacts. From a purely military standpoint, maintaining large armed forces in Pakistan cannot be justified. The economic burden of supporting these forces is a very serious one. For [Page 661] example, the recently completed costing study indicates that it will eventually cost approximately $35 million per year to maintain one air squadron. Moreover, the Pakistan military program is most vulnerable when it comes to Congressional and public opinion. The trend of opinion in the U.S. is definitely in the direction of using funds for productive economic development, rather than for unproductive military expenditures.

Ambassador Langley inquired how we can bring pressure to bear on India in connection with our aid program in order to make the Indians more reasonable vis-à-vis the Pakistanis. He gave as an example the recent talks on Indo-Pak border disputes in which the Indians had insisted that issues which had already been arbitrated in the past should be rearbitrated. He also mentioned Indian delays in reaching an interim agreement with Pakistan on the Karnafuli dam. Mr. Dillon pointed out that from his recent talks with Indian officials, it seemed that the principal obstacle to Indo-Pak negotiation of outstanding issues was the political instability of the Government of Pakistan.2 Rightly or wrongly, the Indians insisted that they could not negotiate with a government which might not be in power when the time came to implement any agreements reached. With regard to Karnafuli, Mr. Dillon said that he would raise this matter in New Delhi and urge the Indians to move forward with the interim agreement.3

Mr. Dillon asked Ambassador Langley for his estimate of the political stability which might result from the forthcoming Pakistan elections. The Ambassador replied that elections were no doubt very desirable, but that they would probably result in a government by coalition and, therefore, would still contain an element of instability.

The Ambassador inquired regarding the status of DLF loan applications by Pakistan and the PL 480 program. Mr. Dillon replied that Pakistan’s DLF application was proceeding satisfactorily and that DLF recently had approved two substantial loans. Mr. Dillon hoped that it would be possible to arrange for a two year PL 480 program for Pakistan.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/9–1758. Confidential. Drafted by Langley, who left Pakistan on September 9 for approximately 3 weeks of home leave and consultations in Washington.
  2. See Document 219.
  3. Dillon was scheduled to leave Washington on September 19 for a trip to 11 countries: Spain, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Switzerland, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The purpose of the trip was to confer with U.S. Ambassadors and other senior U.S. officials regarding operations conducted under the Mutual Security Program, as well as on other major economic problems, and to meet with senior government officials for conversations on matters of mutual interest.