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

290. Rawalpindi’s 37.2 You should respond as follows to GOP request for USG action pursuant our assurances to Pakistan:

Like Ayub, we are deeply disturbed at most drastic and grave turn that has occurred in the situation between India and Pakistan. Point has now been reached that risks disaster for both Pakistan and India. Situation requires most sober reassessments both Pakistan and Indian leadership before it too late;
In accordance with our assurances to Pakistan we are acting urgently, as we said we would, to meet this common danger by full support for immediate UN action to end the hostilities; that must be first objective of all concerned;
We regard Indian military strike across Punjab frontier as most serious development. To meet situation effectively, however, Paks and we need to be completely frank with each other. We must view India’s attacks across Pak border in over-all context events past few weeks. It clear from UNSYG report3 that immediate crisis began with substantial infiltration of armed men from the Pakistan side. We aware India first put regular forces across CFL but Pak responses thereto in Chhamb area struck at points India considered vital, and Indians have long asserted (a) they could not tolerate continued Pak offensive, and (b) if Pakistan should strike India’s vital interests, India would have no choice but to respond in area of its own choosing. GOP must have been well aware of risk involved in its own actions in Jammu and Kashmir;
To have any chance of averting immediate prospect of sheer disaster for both Pakistan and India, which would also have grave repercussions for Free World security in Asia, appeal of UNSC must be honored by both parties. We urgently ask Pakistan’s cooperation by immediate and full acceptance of UNSC’s resolutions.4 This will assist us to act effectively.
We are fully aware, as President indicated in his letter to Ayub,5 relationship unresolved Kashmir dispute to present tension. But neither we nor any other friends both parties can assist in coping with this or other root causes of Indo-Pak tensions without immediate and respected cease-fire and withdrawal of forces both sides.
We have appealed to Shastri for India’s immediate cooperation with UN efforts.
Our subsequent actions will depend in first instance on response both countries to UN efforts.6

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 INDIA–PAK. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Laingen and Talbot; cleared by Sisco, Deputy Legal Adviser Richard D. Kearny, Townsend Hoopes, and Komer; and approved and initialed by Rusk. Also sent to Rawalpindi, and repeated to New Delhi, London, USUN, CINCMEAFSA, Tehran, Ankara, Paris for Ball and DOD.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 187.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 181.
  4. The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 210 on September 6, renewing its earlier call for a cease-fire. (UN doc. S/RES/210)
  5. See Document 183.
  6. Rusk sent a personal message to McConaughy and Bowles on September 6 in which he noted that both India and Pakistan would be making a major effort to gain U.S. support, and each would develop its own brand of disappointment and resentment toward the United States. In the face of pressure and recrimination, the Ambassadors and their staffs “should be ready to explain firmly but sympathetically why the U.S. is not moving in to participate in the way each might wish.” Essentially, Rusk stated, “we are being asked to come in on the crash landing where we had no chance to be in on the take-off.” (Telegram 293 to Karachi also sent as telegram 364 to New Delhi; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 INDIA–PAK)