183. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan1

283. Deliver soonest following letter from President in response Ayub letter September 2.2

“Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your letter of September 2 concerning the critical situation in Kashmir.

I share most earnestly the concern you express over the threat in the current situation to the continued maintenance of peaceful relations between Pakistan and India. The consequences of war would be so serious and so sweeping as to undermine all of the impressive progress that your country and India have made in the short years since independence. On this we can all agree.

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It therefore seems to me that you and India, and indeed all of us, have an immediate interest in bringing the current fighting to an end. Secretary General U Thant has urgently appealed for an immediate cease fire and other steps to restore normal conditions along the Cease-Fire Line.

The UN Security Council has now also unanimously called for an immediate cease fire.3 Those appeals merit prompt and wide support if the peace is to be kept. We are giving the Secretary General our full backing. We will continue to do so. I profoundly hope that your Government, as well as India, will not hesitate in offering him the support and cooperation necessary so that peace and calm can be restored.

I am well aware that a restoration of normal conditions along the Cease-Fire Line will not in itself bring an end to this dispute. And I know of the depth of feeling of your countrymen regarding Kashmir. But I am convinced that a real settlement of that difficult problem cannot be had by resort to force or unilateral action by either side. Whatever the merits of the dispute there can be no real settlement except through peaceful means and through redoubled efforts by men of good will to reason together in both your country and India and to find a way, as you say, to settle this and other disputes in an honorable and mutually beneficial manner. It will continue to be the policy of my country to do whatever we can to encourage and support efforts toward that end.

I would welcome any suggestions you might have on what could usefully be done. This could perhaps best be discussed in the personal talks which I hope we shall be able to have soon.

Sincerely, Lyndon B. Johnson.”

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 INDIA–PAK. Confidential, Immediate. Drafted by Laingen and Laise; cleared by Handley, Sisco, and Bundy; and approved and initialed by Rusk. Repeated to USUN, New Delhi, London, and Paris for Ball; and pouched to CINCSTRIKE/ CINCMEAFSA.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 182.
  3. Security Council Resolution 209, adopted September 4. (UN doc. S/RES/209)