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

1654. Kashmir.

I had 45-minute breakfast appointment with President Ayub in Dacca March 2. Principal Secretary Farooqui only other person present. About half of conversation devoted to Kashmir issue and upcoming GOP tactics related thereto. President said his government has made firm decision to return to Security Council this month. Said FonMin Bhutto would leave March 9 for New York. He did not seem worried about sponsorship of item in SC or outcome.
Without making frontal attack on his decision, I raised question as to wisdom of hurried resort to SC again without full consultation with friends. I noted possibility that some SC members might be antagonized by Pak tactics and that voting prospect might be somewhat less [Page 48] favorable for Pakistan now than in February. Some difficulty might be encountered in mustering affirmative votes for usual type of resolution by all non-Communist SC members. The tactical situation might argue strongly for different type of approach or at least a delay in renewal of Security Council effort.
President said GOP really had no alternative since it was fully committed to SC effort which was merely recessed last month. Abandonment now would be misinterpreted at home and abroad. President indicated he was aware that GRC would be in chair during March and apparently assumed continued fairly benevolent ChiNat posture.
I told President that if die was cast on reopening of matter in SC, further consideration should certainly be given procedure best calculated to enlist GOI cooperation in settlement effort. We still thought consensus approach least abrasive and offered better prospects [than resolution?] opposed by GOI and certain to be vetoed by USSR. We thought that a consensus statement making three essential points stressed by GOP (reaffirmation of standing UN position, confirmation of validity of self-determination principle, and invocation of some mediatory effort with assistance of UN SecGen), might again be sought.
President said a good consensus statement would be acceptable to Pakistan as substitute for resolution if Soviets and Indians could be induced not to oppose it. But he was convinced that it would be impossible to avoid Soviet and Indian opposition. In that event the GOP would prefer traditional type of resolution, even though vetoed by the USSR. The force of a resolution blocked only by Soviet misuse of veto would be understood by all, whereas a consensus statement probably somewhat watered down, and still objected to by Indians and Soviets, would not have much weight or meaning.
I paraphrased language used by Secretary in his recent Washington meeting with Bhutto to effect that India could not be coerced into Kashmir settlement. A durable settlement could only be attained by voluntary agreement of interested parties.
President said that GOP has sought voluntary agreement with India for many years without success. His government must question whether a purely conciliatory approach will have any effect on the GOI. He did not imply that the threat of force should be invoked, but he felt that more energetic diplomatic action by Pakistan was only course open in present situation. He did agree up to a point about the futility of coercion, but he clearly felt that activist measures short of that must be resorted to in order to compel the Indians to see that a solution must be achieved.
President said deliberately and with emphasis that his government was now determined to press continuously on the Kashmir issue [Page 49] until settlement reached. He said his government will not give GOI any rest until then.
Other principal topic of conversation was recent Chou En-lai visit on which I obtained illuminating though not new or surprising background. This is covered in separate tel.2
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 15–1 PAK. Secret; Priority. Repeated to USUN, Hong Kong, London, and New Delhi.
  2. McConaughy concluded from his discussion of the Chou En-lai visit with Ayub that Ayub wanted to play the role of honest broker in establishing more effective communication between the United States and China, but was coming to recognize the stumbling blocks in the way of any detente. (Telegram 1665 from Karachi, March 5; ibid.) The Embassy’s overall assessment of the effect of the Chou visit, provided in telegram 1589 from Karachi, February 25, was that the visit, which concluded on February 26, had not substantially altered the character of relations between Pakistan and China.The process of “normalization” continued but ties had not been visibly broadened in the economic, cultural, or political realms, and Ayub and Bhutto had publicly reaffirmed Pakistan’s adherence to its Western alliances during the visit. (Ibid., POL 7 CHICOM)