25. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State0
2087. From Murree dated 1 June, Midnight. During meeting in Murree June 1, President Ayub again expressed great concern over US policies toward India and particularly with respect to Kashmir question.
It was obvious that President, like other Pakistani officials with whom I have spoken and like virtually all Pakistani press, was upset at reports of Vice President Johnson’s statement following Asian tour indicating that President Kennedy and US administration wished Nehru’s leadership to be extended over other Asian countries. Most of what President Ayub said about Nehru and Indian policies, and about need for US to support allies more and neutrals less, was repetition of what he told Vice President Johnson. His main point in our conversation was to emphasize his belief that US and US alone can prevent disastrous consequences of failure to arrive at solution to Kashmir problem. Ayub said that a year ago he had been hopeful that Nehru was beginning to see the light and things seemed to be moving in direction of talks to settle Kashmir. He felt several factors had served to make Nehru more intransigent, among these being US statements indicating vast support to India without mention of Kashmir, somewhat lessened pressures from Chinese Communists, and creation two new India divisions which should be [Page 53] adequate to handle immediate Chinese threat in difficult terrain of disputed territories. Latter factor rendered less attractive to India possibility of settling Kashmir question so that forces now concerned with Kashmir could be diverted.
Ayub said it not as though there was only one Kashmir solution which India would have to accept or reject. There were several alternatives which could be considered if Nehru willing to talk seriously. Issue was becoming far more inflamed in Pakistan and no Pakistani Government could fail to press matter and remain in power. Feelings on subject were rising, not diminishing. He, therefore, earnestly hoped that US was giving careful thought to question, and that following Vice President’s return to Washington means would be found of exercising US influence upon India to seek a settlement. He had no doubt US recognized valid Pakistani concern and interest.
Comment: I personally believe time has come when we must seriously consider again what we can and should do in connection with Kashmir problem. I believe that at a minimum some approach should be made to Nehru on this subject, and I hope that Department will discuss this possibility with Ambassador Galbraith during latter’s consultation there. I would appreciate Department’s comments.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/6-261. Secret.↩