343. Memorandum for the Record of a Meeting, Karachi, January 26, 19591


  • Meeting with President Ayub

1. Present were:

  • Pakistan:
    • President Mohammad Ayub Khan
    • Foreign Minister Manzur Qadir
    • Minister for Finance M. Shoaib
    • Secretary General Aziz Ahmed
  • United States
    • Deputy Under Secretary of State Loy W. Henderson
    • Ambassador to Pakistan James M. Langley
    • Assistant Secretary of Defense John N. Irwin, II
    • General Lyman Lemnitzer

2. After an exchange of amenities and expression of appreciation for the large amount of aid the Pakistanis had received from the United States, the President asked if he might speak substantially [substantively?] In a pleasant and frank way he raised the following points. Mr. Henderson presented U.S. policy on each point and General Lemnitzer and I commented as appropriate along lines set forth below.

[Page 698]
He asked what force structure the United States was prepared to support in Pakistan. General Lemnitzer explained that the U.S. strategic force goals were five and one-half divisions and that this was the structure we were supporting by our Mutual Assistance Program. He distinguished these goals from the planning goals established by the Baghdad Pact. General Lemnitzer also explained how force goals might change from time to time depending on military circumstances and on the development of new weapons and techniques. I commented that for the foreseeable future the Pakistanis should not expect Military Assistance support for forces over and above the five and one-half divisions that now constititued the U.S. strategic force goals for Pakistan. General Ayub said it was very helpful to have this definite information.
He spoke of a real need for modernizing the equipment of the five and one-half divisions, pointing out that they were now armed in a large part with obsolescent British weapons. I said that we had that situation very much in mind and that in future aid programs we would be willing to replace the British arms and improve modern equipment in accordance with Pakistan’s needs and our availability of funds; and that while we were dependent on Congressional authorization of funds, we hoped to continue future aid programs in the approximate amount of the program for 1959 and 1960. (In a later conversation with Ambassador Langley I said this might run somewhere between fifty and sixty-five million dollars.) General Lemnitzer commented that in modernizing Pakistan forces first things should come first; and that he believed that Pakistan must modernize its communications equipment even if that meant delaying delivery of certain new weapons.
General Ayub said that Pakistan would like to convert their present facilities for manufacturing 303 rifles to the production of new U.S. M14 rifles. General Lemnitzer commented that this was a very expensive business and that since Pakistan has sufficient small arms and ammunition for its present needs, Pakistan should consider its priority needs before spending funds on new small arms. General Ayub said he recognized the wisdom of General Lemnitzer’s comment but that they had ample small arms of the present type, therefore, they wished now to convert the factory to manufacture a better small arm rather than continue the manufacture of obsolescent small arms. He said Pakistan had considered the British rifle and the M 14 and had decided to convert the factory to the manufacture of M 14 rifles if they could make proper arrangements with the United States. He asked as to the possibility of obtaining blueprints and proprietary rights.
General Ayub stressed the value of Pakistan’s armed forces not only as a force to protect Pakistan but as a force in being available to go elsewhere if needed. He said it would be much less expensive [Page 699] and more useful for the United States to use Pakistan forces in this part of the world than to have to send U.S. forces. Therefore, it would be less expensive to the U.S. if the U.S. modernized Pakistan forces and equipped additional sufficient units that could be spared from the defense of Pakistan. This led back to a further discussion of modernization. I pointed out as an example that in our 1959 Program we were providing M47 tanks to replace M4 tanks stressing the necessity of avoiding an increase in operating and maintenance costs as a result of the modernization program. I said therefore it had been necessary for the United States to ask that Pakistan not transfer weapons being replaced, in this case M4 tanks, to other Pakistan units. General Ayub said he realized this and that Pakistan would not do so. He said, however, that Pakistan disliked to junk such weapons and that they preferred to put them in storage. I did not pursue this point, but I am suggesting to General WALTER2 that he insure that the Pakistanis do not increase costs by the way they junk, store, or retire old weapons.
General Ayub said that it was essential to solve Pakistan’s outstanding disputes with India. He asked Mr. Shoaib to talk about the canal waters dispute and Mr. Qadir to talk about the Kashmir dispute. He commented that it was clear from India’s foreign policy that one of India’s aims was to get the United States out of Asia. He then referred to a per capita comparison of United States aid to India and Pakistan that Mr. Henderson had made in the Council meeting earlier in the day, stating that such comparisons were fallacious in the view of Pakistan.
Mr. Shoaib gave a brief review of the canal waters problem, stating Pakistan was willing to agree to an allocation of the three western rivers to Pakistan and three rivers in the east to India, but that India must pay for canalizing the three western rivers in Pakistan. He said India agreed in principle but wanted to do it in the cheapest way, whereas Pakistan wished to do it in the most efficient way. He said that Pakistan thought the United States could and should help them on this problem with respect to India. He pointed to the large amount of aid the United States was giving India and suggested that the United States should insist that a portion of U.S. loans to India be used to finance the difference between the amount the Indians were willing to put up and the amount needed to canalize the three rivers in the way Pakistan thought to be most effective for its economic development.
Foreign Minister Qadir gave a review of the Kashmir problem, stating that it was essential that this be solved, that Pakistan was willing to submit the problem to any form of international decision or [Page 700] plebiscite. He said that they did not intend to raise this issue until after the canal waters dispute had been settled, unless settlement dragged on for too long a period. He said that pressure by the United States and Great Britain was needed in order to get a plebiscite or some form of arbitration. He said there had been some signs of weakening in India on their position for a plebiscite until it was found they could get large amounts of aid from the United States irrespective of their position on Kashmir.
There was a general discussion of Iraq and Kassim’s3 position. It was generally agreed that the most desirable solution was for the Iraqi nationalists (presumably lead by Kassim) to be victorious in maintaining an Iraq independent of both the UAR and the Soviet Union; that if such were not possible, it was preferable for the pro-Nasser faction to win out over the Communist group.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.90D/1–2959. Secret. Drafted on January 28 by Irwin and transmitted to the Department of State as an enclosure to despatch 679, January 29. Henderson, Irwin, and Lemnitzer were in Karachi for the Sixth Session of the Baghdad Pact Ministerial Council, January 26–28. Henderson was Chairman of the U.S. Observer Delegation.
  2. General Mercer C. Walter, USA, Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) in Pakistan.
  3. Brigadier Abdul Kassim, Prime Minister of Iraq and Commander in Chief of Iraq’s Armed Forces.