232. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan0

938. Ambassador requested deliver following letter from the President to President Ayub.

Verbatim Text.

Dear President Ayub:

Thank you for your two letters of December 17.1 I will answer you separately on the matter of the Tarbela Dam after I have had a chance to hear the views of my advisors on this difficult and complex problem.

I have reviewed your other letter with Prime Minister Macmillan at Nassau. After a full discussion of the problems created by the Chinese Communist aggression against India, we have come to what seems to us a prudent course of action at this time to meet the challenge—a course of action which is in the best interests of the Free World. We agreed on a reasonable and frugal program of military assistance designed solely to enable India to defend itself better should the Chinese Communists renew their attacks at an early date.

To deny India the minimum requirements of defense would only encourage further Chinese Communist aggression, an aggression which we both see as posing as grave an ultimate threat to Pakistan as to India. Therefore, the supply of arms for this purpose should not be made contingent on a Kashmir settlement. Beyond this stage, however, we will certainly take any one-sided intransigence on Kashmir into account as a factor in determining the extent and pace of our assistance.

[Page 459]

The Prime Minister and I are fully conscious of the great opportunity that now exists for the settlement of this major issue within the Free World. As you know, our primary concern is the long-range defense of the subcontinent within the context of our global strategy. No single step could contribute as much to the security of the subcontinent as the resolution of the Kashmir problem. Despite the probably painful and time consuming process required, we look forward with confidence to real progress in the ministerial discussions which lie ahead.

Ambassador McConaughy, who participated in all of our deliberations, will give you a full account of the meetings in Washington and Nassau.

With warm personal regards,

Sincerely, John F. Kennedy

End Verbatim Text.

In accordance usual custom this letter is not to be published.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/12-2262. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Grant and Gatch; cleared with FE, EUR, U. Alexis Johnson, and Komer; and approved by Talbot. Repeated to New Delhi and London.
  2. See the source note, Document 228.