158. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan1
Washington, July 23, 1965, 3:11 p.m.
105. For Ambassador.
- We regret that GOP has over-reacted to notice that USG was unable to pledge at consortium meeting scheduled for July. It would appear that Ayub, at least initially, followed the anti-American line of Bhutto and other extremists.
- To the extent that GOP intention is to apply pressure on us—and this would appear to be motive of Bhutto and his associates—USG wishes to continue at all times treat GOP with courtesy and politeness while making it clear tactic of abuse and attack will not cause USG to change its policies or decisions. It is important that the Paks know of the extremely bad impression Pakistan’s behavior is creating from top to bottom in the US.
- We are concerned, however, that Ayub may have been led to believe that US is embarked on a specific course to force Pakistan acceptance of a subservient role to India. When you next see Ayub you should make clear to him this is totally false. Our position was and is that we do not want to take sides in dispute between India and Pakistan; that we have hoped and continue to hope for a peaceful solution of the Kashmir and other issues between the two countries; and that we do not consider that US friendship with one is incompatible with friendship with other.
- You should also make clear US has no desire compromise Pak sovereignty or force Paks to abjure normal relations with any country, including Red China. Instead, what is largely at issue is obligations of alliances freely entered into by Pakistan and which Ayub himself has repeatedly said have been of great benefit to it. As Paks well know, we have construed SEATO and CENTO as directed specificially and exclusively against the Communist threat. US has taken these alliances into account in providing truly massive investment in Pak viability and security, an investment which on any proportionate basis far greater than that which US has made in India, for example. Indeed, Pakistan second largest recipient US aid in world. Yet, as focus of US effort resist Communist expansion has shifted increasingly to Southeast Asia, it has received less and less cooperation from its Pak allies. This, [Page 318] despite fact that US defending flank of South Asia, including Pakistan. We deeply disappointed.
- Even so, we have always respected the sovereignty and independence of Pakistan and its right to conduct its domestic and foreign policies in the way which, in the opinion of the GOP, best meets the requirements of the Pakistani people. We shall continue to do so. But by the same token we expect all other countries to treat decisions of the USG with the same mutual respect. A USG decision, for example, to devote a larger or a smaller portion of its resources to foreign economic or military assistance or to allocate the amount made available in a particular way is certainly an appropriate subject for quiet and constructive discussion between countries such as the US and Pakistan, which have enjoyed friendly relations over a period of years. Yet with all due respect we cannot agree that there is any obligation to maintain a particular level of aid in any country or, indeed, any aid at all. The allocation and use of US resources is a matter which ultimately must be decided by the USG. The supplying of foreign aid is a privilege not an obligation, just as the receipt of concessional loans and other types of assistance is a privilege rather than a right. We cannot therefore accept the suggestion that our attitude in a consortium can properly be called “pressure.”
- The GOP is doubtless aware of the propensity of some US aid recipients to attack US policy and motives in an extreme and unfair fashion, particularly in public forums. Quite apart and separate from Pakistan, the attacks in various parts of the world have created resentment among the people of the US and in our Congress. This and other problems related to aid (including inadequate self-help measures in some countries and the gold outflow from the US) have recently resulted in increasing opposition to the level of US foreign aid as well as to its allocation. This opposition, while not new, is greater than before and constitutes a real problem. Even a brief study of recent Congressional debates and proposals on this subject should be sufficient to demonstrate current temper of US public and congressional attitudes.
- We believe that it is reasonable to expect that problems of this kind—indeed, any problems which either US or Pakistani government wishes to raise—should be discussed in a quiet, dignified and constructive manner. Anytime after House of Representatives has completed its action on current aid bill would be satisfactory from our point of view. This should occur in two to three weeks, although the exact date is not within Department’s control. As for channel for conducting meaningful dialogue, in view of strong and unfriendly reaction of GOP we have no plans at this time to send any high official to Pakistan. We gather the GOP plans send no one here. Perhaps best and most effective communication channel for time being is through US Ambassador.
- You are authorized convey as much of foregoing to Ayub as you deem helpful. Our position should on the one hand be dignified and courteous and even friendly and, on other, should indicate US does not consider either its motives or its action improper or harmful to Pakistan’s sovereignty or dignity in any respect.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, AID 9 PAK. Secret; Priority; Limdis. Drafted by Mann and Komer, cleared by Talbot, and approved and initialed by Rusk. Also sent to Rawalpindi.↩