141. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State1

13. Dept pass AID. Deptel 1485.2 Postponement of Pak consortium pledging session.

I personally delivered information contained reftel to President Ayub in Murree July 3. In consultation with Macdonald, I had decided it would be preferable to go straight to Ayub first with this news, thus relieving Shoaib of onus of having to carry and explain to Ayub this unwelcome message.
I set forth almost verbatim content of reftel. Ayub took the news quite hard—worse than I had anticipated. His first question was whether pledging action for India had also been postponed. Negative response to this seemed to embitter him. He noted that postponement now would cause maximum embarrassment for GOP, which had just come out with numerous policy statements and actions in economic field which would be prejudiced by US action. He complained that unexpected action left his government in vulnerable position.
Ayub asked with air of complete innocence, what were “certain other problems” referred to? Said blandly that so far as he knew, everything was set for consortium meeting and he was unable to identify the problems. I identified general foreign policy problem area for him, without getting down to specific complaints.
Ayub observed that he had not had any intimation from World Bank President George Woods in London last week that there might be difficulties in relation to consortium pledging session. He said emphatically that Woods had not hinted at any timing problems on part of US and he ventured the opinion that Woods, “being a man with common sense,” would not agree with or want to approve the postponement suggestion.
Ayub said that he did not see how the postponement news could be kept confidential for any length of time. It could not be kept quiet and the effects of the news would be unfortunate.
Ayub opined that the postponement decision clearly represented the beginnings of a new US policy toward Pakistan. He interpreted the announcement as the first stage of the implementation. He said, “Anyone can see that this amounts to more than a mere delay.”
Ayub did not anticipate any policy development which could be expected to change the position between now and September. He said he had done his best to persuade the US to see the argument for Pakistan’s “independent” foreign policy. The US had not been inclined to heed him as to this, or as to the dangers of US arms aid to India. He did not see that there was much more he could try to do.
His immediate reaction was that Pakistan would have to “look elsewhere” for economic development assistance. If GOP was unable to find other sources of assistance, Pakistan would simply have to retrench. The people had been through adversity before and could do it again. “We will have to cut the coat according to the cloth.”
Ayub was non-responsive as to whether he planned to pursue our invitation to discuss the “other problems.” He did not register any noticeable interest in sending a representative to the US. He thought that no great interest in an exchange had been shown on US side, noting that his last letter to President on threat to Pak security from India3 was unacknowledged after more than a month.

I made effort to damp down Ayub’s disturbing over-reaction without diluting the force of our message. I told him that the message did not foreclose anything and that the way remained entirely open for a constructive plenary session the end of September.

A delay of few weeks did not have to constitute any major setback. I said the situation was entirely recoverable and he should not consider that anything irretrievable had happened. The GOP had the means of readily restoring the situation, and giving US a case which we could effectively put before the Congress. I told him that I and my associates would be available day and night to assist the GOP in getting the program back on the tracks. However, Ayub gave no sign that as of today he is prepared to bring about any GOP policy modifications in response to postponement move.

The President thanked me for conveying the message to him privately. He said he would want to handle it in his own way and he asked me not to pass the information to any of his Ministers or other GOP officials.

Since there was no note-taker present and since he showed an interest in having an accurate summary of the message for reference, I wrote out in long hand for him a summary of reftel.

I urged the President not to misread message, and assured him that I was here to do everything humanly possible to bring about a meeting of minds and to restore the old harmony of foreign policy outlook.

Separate message will follow tomorrow on discussion initiated by President and pursued at his request as to intent and significance of recent GOP foreign policy moves and their relationship to essential US interests in Asia.4
Comment: It seems evident that reftel will precipitate a considerable stir and possibly an actual full-blown crisis in our relations with Pakistan. Ayub seems to feel that our postponement move challenges him, and strikes at self respect of country by seeking to penalize Pakistan publicly for pursuing “independent” foreign policy. While he may calm down after he has thought through the issues and consulted some of the fairly cool heads in his Cabinet, at the moment he is in a state of repressed anger at what he considers an unjustified punitive action, and the application of a double standard of international conduct to Pakistan and India. There is some danger of his reacting as if he has been “driven to the wall.” Macdonald and I in consultation with senior staff will submit further comments and recommendations tomorrow.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, AID 9 PAK. Secret; Priority; Limdis.
  2. Document 139.
  3. The letter was dated May 11; see Document 120.
  4. Telegram 15 from Karachi, July 4, described the tenor of Ayub’s remarks in the extended discussion during his July 3 meeting with McConaughy. His remarks reflected disappointment at what he saw as his inability to make the United States see the validity of the reasons for Pakistan’s “independent” foreign policy. Pakistan, he insisted, had to face the continuing hostility of India, and could not afford to incur the avoidable enmity of large Communist neighbors in addition to India’s. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, AID 9 PAK)