159. Telegram From the Embassy Office in Pakistan to the Department of State 1

29. Re Rawalpindi’s 27 to Dept2—Consortium Postponement.

My overall conclusion at close of rather frustrating 18-day stay in Pindi is that Paks remain bitterly resentful of consortium postponement action; determined to adhere to posture of injured innocence; disinclined to take any initiative toward reconciliatory talks with US at this time; and dead set against any gesture toward adjustment of present GOP foreign policy orientation in remaining weeks before September 23 consortium meeting.
I have encountered no disposition on part of any GOP leaders to take advantage of my extended presence in Pindi to get any preliminary meaningful dialogue under way. I have had to take initiative for every appointment I have had, and I have invariably had to do the steering to get the conversation around to the critical subject, except, of course, in case of Shoaib. All Ministers to whom I have talked have seemed generally well disposed, but timid on this issue, and evidently powerless to exert any decisive influence. They are disposed to assume that any modification of posture required to get relations back on its track will be taken by the US. Clearly, the President himself is calling the shots aided and advised by Bhutto. FinMin Shoaib is doing his best to keep GOP rational but is increasingly feeling pressure of his critics and is so much on defensive that he is wary of seeing me with any frequency.
President’s mood toward US is amalgam of shocked disappointment, angry outrage and some degree of plain spitefulness and animosity. He has evaded on flimsy pretext my request made on July 21 for a quiet, private, personal and informal talk with him aimed at restoring a good cooperative working relationship. I am bound to conclude that President in his present heated mood does not wish to open any meaningful dialogue with US.
Immoderate trend of President’s thinking can be seen in his decision to allow Bhutto to reveal and distort in inflammatory terms before National Assembly our interest in discussion of “certain other matters” during waiting period consortium meeting; and in his refusal to allow Shoaib in his July 24 speech to National Assembly to dwell on bona fide Congressional reasons for postponement of pledging session.
President undoubtedly feels that our renewed appeal for support of Vietnam is related to consortium postponement, which he envisages as power play to bring him into line. I hear on good authority that he resents omission of any reference to consortium pledging problem in US appeal for GOP assistance to Vietnam. He is also hurt by continued absence of any reply to his Presidential letter of last spring regarding Indian belligerence.3
Paks by and large remain suspicious that US plans for them to play second fiddle to India in containment of Communist China on this flank. They are increasingly convinced we will not use our growing leverage on India (resulting from increased Indian economic dependence on US) to induce Kashmir settlement which would solve whole problem of subcontinental solidarity. With U.S. consortium pledge to India already made they consider that we are blind both to India’s military trafficking with Soviet Russia and to India’s abysmally poor economic performance. They consider that either of these circumstances should result in India’s getting short shrift from US instead of—as they see it—far better treatment than Pakistan.
GOP as of this moment evidently does not envisage any circumstances under which it would be willing to [garble—bend?] on so-called “independent” policy of non-provocation of Communist countries and substantial improvement of relations with them. Paks have industriously worked themselves into a public position where they could hardly live with an abrupt change of policy stance now, even if they wanted to. Both Chinese Communists and USSR are working assiduously to enlarge their opening.
We can only stand steady on our present position for the next two or three weeks. We need to show great forbearance and keep [Page 321] the way open for any possible Pak change of heart about starting a meaningful dialogue.4 I have let it be known widely that I am ready to return from Karachi for this purpose on a few hours’ notice. I am leaving now for a talk with Bhutto enroute to airport.
Further analysis and recommendation will follow from Karachi.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, AID 9 PAK. Secret; Priority; Limdis. Repeated to Karachi.
  2. Not found.
  3. See Document 120.
  4. The Department concurred with McConaughy’s analysis in telegram 129 to Karachi, July 31. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, AID 9 PAK)