2. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Jones) to Secretary of State Rusk0
- Significant Problems: Trends in Pakistan
Reports from our Ambassador in Karachi during recent months indicate the possibility that in certain quarters in Pakistan there is a trend toward a neutralist position. While President Ayub and his Government give every evidence of continuing as loyal allies and friends of the United States, there are indications that they may not wish to maintain a defiant attitude toward the U.S.S.R., but that they may wish to reach some sort of an accommodation. To date the principal manifestation of this possible trend is the Pakistan negotiation with the U.S.S.R. for a Soviet oil exploration team which the Pakistanis declined to consider when it was first offered by the Soviets in 1958. The U.S.S.R., for its part, following its propaganda attacks on Pakistan at the time of the U-2 incident, appears to have engaged in a strategic retreat vis-xà-vis Pakistan and has been deliberately friendly in its relations.
Our Ambassador in Karachi believes United States-Pakistan relations may have reached a critical stage and that Pakistan policies may be significantly influenced during the next few months by United States statements and actions. He also believes that if the U.S.S.R. brings an oil exploration team to Pakistan, it may enjoy “a major propaganda break-through.”
The Ambassador likewise reports a feeling of insecurity among the people of Pakistan in matters pertaining to relations with the West and states that doubts are generated by press reports of possible increases in aid to India which omit reference to Pakistan.
The Ambassador reports that President Ayub continues to give assurances that his Government strongly supports collective security and other concepts in harmony with United States policies; that he emphasizes an urgent need for United States declarations making it clear that we attach great importance to nations allied with the West and feels the United States should use the leverage of aid to India to persuade the Indians to pursue “less pro-communist lines.”[Page 3]
The Ambassador therefore believes there is an urgent need for a statement at the earliest practicable date which will reassure our Pakistani allies regarding our attitudes.
I believe there is convincing evidence that responsible Pakistanis are considering the desirability of moving toward a more nearly neutral position between the U.S.S.R. and the United States, and that it would be in our interest to include in our public statements evidence that we do not take Pakistan for granted; that we intend to honor our military commitments and continue our aid programs.
- Source: Department of State, NEA/SOA Files: Lot 66 D 7, Pakistan, 1961. Secret. Drafted by Theodore E. Weil (NEA/SOA).↩