377. Editorial Note

President Eisenhower summarized his conversations with Ayub and Nehru in a December 14 letter to Herter, Document 88.

Eisenhower met with President Franco of Spain in Madrid on December 22 and reviewed with him the results of his good will trip:

“From Turkey, the President said, he had gone to Karachi, the capital of a very poor country. In addition to its poverty the country had not been too well administered. President Ayub had taken over [Page 795] the government, however, by a sort of coup d’etat last year and since a few months ago, there had been signs of real progress in Pakistan. President Ayub is an extrovert, outgoing personality, who speaks well, loves sports (cricket, horseback riding) and very likeable. He has started a number of reforms such as housing for refugees who had fled from India at the time of partition. In the last five months President Ayub had succeeded in putting up some 35,000 new dwellings, many of them formed into nice new villages. The refugee people were gradually being moved from huts made of sticks and mud—a deplorable kind of squalor—into better homes and communities with new dispensaries and schools and other facilities. President Ayub is also developing a new constitution. He realizes that the vast majority of his people are not yet ready for full representative government, but knowing that the villages know who the good men are, he is giving universal suffrage for village elections. The next echelon of government, however, would be elected by the head men of the villages, and so on up until a parliament is formed and the parliament would then pick a president. President Ayub had said his hope was that as soon as he could educate his people better they could gradually go on to universal suffrage on a national scale and in some decades all the people should be able to vote for their top officials.

“So, the President said, while some of our starry-eyed and academic types of liberals criticized General Ayub when he seized power by a military coup, one can see everywhere in Pakistan improvements and a quite happy attitude. This was demonstrated by the huge crowds of friendly people who turned out in Karachi to welcome President Eisenhower. In addition, the whole Pakistani nation was strongly anti-Communist and that alone was enough to make President Eisenhower very fond of it.” (Memorandum of conversation by William N. Fraleigh; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1521)

Eisenhower commented on his visit to Pakistan in his memoir, The White House Years: Waging Peace, 1956-1961 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1961), pages 494-496.