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

349. Karachi’s 429 to Dept,1 info New Delhi 163, London 122; New Delhi’s 773 to Dept,2 info Karachi 332, London 289. As we view Kashmir mediation problem on basis your thorough explorations, we seem to have reached impasse on both sides. Neither one has rejected mediation out of hand but each has imposed conditions which make early initiation of mediation impossible. Furthermore both sides seem to have rejected in advance various possible compromise plans for settlement. Nehru seems to have eliminated all but readjustment of cease-fire line. Pak insistence on self-determination “inherent in UNCIP resolutions” limits possibilities for compromise.

Under these circumstances we believe we should restate the basis on which we have intervened in Kashmir dispute, indicate that positions [Page 656] taken by parties have prevented us from assisting them seek solution, and for the time leave task of suggesting workable manner of launching mediation to them. This should give us time to proceed with more deliberate pace. Immediate problem is, of course, manner in which Under Secretary will handle Kashmir question in Pakistan. Our preliminary views on tactics both there and in New Delhi follow. Before we can definitely settle question of tactics, however, we need statement of Indian position which we assume will be contained in Nehru’s letter to President.3

Tactics in Karachi

We should tell Paks we have been surprised at steps they have taken which have lessened prospects for Kashmir settlement which they agree would be so much in their interest. First during bilateral talks they took actions re Chicoms which gave Indians the tactical opportunity to question benefit to them in form of improved Indo-Pak relations of any Kashmir compromise. Second, after detailed discussions between our governments, Paks have apparently rejected formula for mediation which we believe reasonably takes their interests into account.

We assume that Paks still want a Kashmir settlement and it is to their interest to have this problem disposed of on a reasonable basis. However, since they apparently are not prepared to accept our formulation for mediation, what useful ideas can they suggest that are not merely a replaying of old phonograph records? Quite frankly the US is unwilling to invest substantial continued effort and prestige in trying to bring two recalcitrant parties to amicable settlement of their differences if Paks give us no help. Moreover, Paks must understand that if they are looking toward strengthening their position through a new round of exercises in the UN they cannot expect the US support that we provided in the past.

FYI: Under Secretary tentatively plans follow this line in his discussions in Pakistan. We see no need for Embassy to reply to Pak aide memoire before Mr. Ball arrives.

For Embassy London: Please urgently advise CRO of above course.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 32-1 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Schneider on August 26; cleared by Cameron, Grant, and with BNA; and approved by Ball. Also sent to New Delhi and repeated to London.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 323.
  3. In telegram 773 from New Delhi, August 23, Bowles reported that he had met with Foreign Secretary Desai on August 21 to discuss the mediation proposal. In the course of the conversation, Bowles stressed the points he had made in his discussion of the proposal with Nehru on August 16. Bowles described Desai’s reaction as more moderate than in previous conversations. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 32-1 INDIA-PAK)
  4. The Embassy received a copy of Nehru’s August 27 letter to Kennedy from the Foreign Ministry on August 29, and transmitted it to the Department. (Telegram 840 from New Delhi, August 29; ibid.)