392. Editorial Note

In despatch 165 from Karachi, August 12, the Embassy assessed the record of the Ayub Khan regime during the first 6 months of 1960. In its introductory comments to this five-page despatch, the Embassy made the following comments:

“President Ayub has remained fully in control of Pakistan’s destinies during the past six months. Ayub’s prestige remains high, the Government continues to demonstrate considerable stability, and new economic and social targets have been set with the adoption of the Second Five Year Plan. Nonetheless, there have been some developments which are less favorable for the regime than at any time since it came to power in October, 1958. It has made some political blunders and a brief public debate on Pakistan’s future constitution revealed considerable opposition to Ayub’s constitutional concepts. Events elsewhere, especially in Turkey, contributed to a sense of uneasiness within Pakistan.

“There have also been some developments less favorable for the United States. Because of the U–2 episode and its aftermath, President Ayub and Foreign Minister Qadir, while not weakening their adherence to the alliance with the United States, expressed a diminution of confidence in America’s ability to act quickly, decisively, and competently in a crisis. Neutralist sentiment was expressed in some quarters and invidious comparisons were drawn about America’s aid program to its ally, Pakistan, and neutralist India and Afghanistan. The GOP looked for ways to relieve Soviet pressure—by urging us to be more forceful with the Soviets, on the one hand, and by asking the Soviets for technical aid on the other hand.” (Department of State, Central Files, 790D.00/8–1260)