14. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations 1

2174. Following summary for information only and contents should not be disclosed to foreign officials. It is uncleared and subject to amendment upon review of memcon.

On very short notice FonMin Bhutto and Agha Shahi2 came to Washington February 10 for small working dinner at Secretary’s invitation. SC Kashmir debate predominated. Bhutto made strong pitch for [Page 28] necessity of having current SC consideration terminate with resolution even if Soviets vetoed. He stressed importance of this: (1) to hearten people of Kashmir in new situation presented by recent demonstrations; (2) to continue to bring force of world opinion to bear on Indian actions; (3) to avoid deterioration in US-Pakistan relations. Secretary sought to make clear that US attitude toward Pakistan or Kashmir issue has not changed but that touchstone of our policy is Peiping. Our overriding concern is general war and necessity for curbing Peiping’s aggressiveness. This is reason for our sensitivity to French moves, but more particularly Pakistan’s3 because latter is power in Asia. Bhutto stated that if there were an honorable settlement of Kashmir, Ayub’s 1959 offer4 could prevail, though he did not want this revealed to Indians. Secretary also told Bhutto our influence is limited both Pindi and Delhi and that requirement for solution of Kashmir in long run is desire of two countries for good relations. World opinion not likely to influence India any more than Pakistan. It is “mistake of lifetime” to think that India can be coerced. There is need for informal discussions among rational elements on both sides; with changing leadership in India, Pakistan has an opportunity to build climate favorable to reduction of tensions.

In course of this discussion Bhutto claimed Ayub domestic position stronger in 1964 than in 1959. Appropos of nothing he warned that US was wrong to think it could separate individuals in GOP; he stated that as FonMin he spoke for Ayub and US must have confidence in GOP as whole.

Bhutto seemed willing to consider consensus5 if it injected SYG and made it clear past SC resolutions are binding. However, Ambassador Ahmed continued to stress setback to US-Pak relations to point Bhutto chided him with observation US-Pak relations are more abiding than this.

In post-mortem following dinner Secretary stated we should try to strengthen Ivory Coast consensus; that there is no point in being even-handed on substance of Kashmir in view our basic position; but [Page 29] that resolution should not be crammed down our throats with Chou visit coming up.

Invitation extended by Secretary to Indian rep Chagla for working dinner February 14 turned down; efforts to find mutually acceptable time for appointment February 11 failed owing to prior engagements and weather.6

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 INDIA–PAK. Confidential; Priority; Limdis. Drafted by Laise on February 11 and approved by Talbot. Also sent to Karachi and repeated to New Delhi and London. A memorandum of this conversation is ibid., POL INDIA–PAK.
  2. Bhutto was in the United States to participate in the Security Council debate on Kashmir. Shahi was an official of the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.
  3. Reference is to French and Pakistani initiatives to normalize relations with China.
  4. Apparent reference to the offer Ayub made on December 22, 1959, at the urging of Ambassador Rountree, to issue a joint declaration with India that all questions between India and Pakistan would be settled for the indefinite future by peaceful negotiations, provided that prior agreement had been reached on basic principles, including settlement of the Kashmir dispute. See Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, vol. XV, pp. 197201.
  5. Reference is to a proposed consensus statement advanced by the Ivory Coast Representative to the Security Council to substitute for a resolution on Kashmir viewed as certain to be vetoed by the Soviet Union. Extensive reporting on the debate on Kashmir in the Security Council is in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 INDIA–PAK.
  6. On February 12, Ambassador Bowles reported on a meeting he had that day with Lal Bahadur Shastri, Minister Without Portfolio charged by the Indian Government with responsibility for seeking to lower the level of tension in Kashmir. Shastri expressed deep concern over the course of the UN debate concerning Kashmir and stated that without U.S. neutrality in the debate, he would face great difficulties in achieving his mission in Kashmir. (Telegram 2391 from New Delhi, February 12; ibid.)