169. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State1

399. Re: Consortium aid to Pakistan—US relations.

Amjad Ali (Pakistan) called on Goldberg today to reply to informal suggestions made by latter, on behalf of Pres Johnson, to improve Pakistan-US understanding (memcon Aug. 7).2

[Page 335]

Amjad Ali said Ayub highly pleased at friendly contact established through Goldberg and wants latter to convey his “warm personal friendship for Pres Johnson.” (Amjad Ali recalled Ayub visited Pres at LBJ Ranch.) Ayub was reassured on US reasons for postponement of commitments on aid. News of postponement came at very sensitive time, day after issuance by Pakistan Govt of semi-annual announcement of import policy. Announcement included estimates of imports, which depend in part on aid. Since legislature in session, Ayub had to bring matter to their attention and this inevitably created unfavorable impression. US move had come as unpleasant surprise to those (including Amjad Ali) who had worked for closer relations between two countries.

Ayub believed that any temporary deterioration in relations between two countries can, “with objectivity,” be put right. Any doubts US had re Pakistan foreign policy could be discussed in Wash. Ayub certain misunderstandings would thus be cleared up. Ayub noted further that there is large area of agreement in general orientation of policy of Pakistan and US and Pakistan intended continue such orientation. Pakistan cherished friendships with West in general and US in particular. Always prepared to hold bilateral talks and believes they be useful.

Having conveyed foregoing message from Ayub, Amjad Ali made, apparently, on his own initiative, several alternative procedural suggestions: 1) perhaps Justice Goldberg could take hand in talks by going to Pakistan; 2) alternatively George Woods, Pres of IBRD, who also well regarded by Ayub might go to Karachi (Woods met with Ayub during last Commonwealth meetings in London); 3) high-powered “envoy” be sent from Karachi to Washington.

Goldberg welcomed the spirit of Ayub response. As New York Times reported today, conf comite appears virtually to have resolved differences between House and Senate foreign aid bills and early passage likely. He was sure Pres Ayub would receive cordial welcome. He was particularly gratified at Ayub’s assurances Pakistan orientation will continue as in past; he had no doubts himself about Pakistan’s orientation and was glad misunderstanding in process of being cleared up.

Re suggestions he go to Karachi, Goldberg said he would talk to both Pres and Secy of State about Amjad Ali’s three procedural suggestions, including visit by high level Pakistan envoy to Washington. Would respond after consultations in Washington.

Comment: Most striking element of Ayub message as conveyed by Amjad Ali was firm restatement of (a) friendship with West and US in particular and (b) continuance of its traditional foreign policy orienta tion. [Page 336] Presumably this implies continuing membership in SEATO and alliance with US.3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, AID 9 PAK. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Passed to the White House.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 165.
  3. McGeorge Bundy sent a copy of this telegram to President Johnson on August 18 under cover of a memorandum in which he sought Johnson’s reaction to the suggestion that Goldberg, Woods, or some other high-level envoy be sent to Ayub. Johnson wrote on Bundy’s memorandum “Forget it!! Tell Goldberg we are out of travel cards.” Bundy noted that the possibility of a visit to Pakistan by Harriman had been discussed with the Department of State, and Johnson also ruled that out. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 13, August 1965)