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

1182. For Talbot and Ambassador. The President is deeply concerned over the indication that Ayub intends to continue his policy of leaning on India (and on us), using the ChiComs as a lever. He desires that before opening five-year MAP discussions with the Paks we seek to reach the necessary degree of understanding on future US/Pak relations.

To this end President wants Talbot to make frank, straightforward exposition of the obligations as well as benefits of Pakistan’s alliance with the US. Ayub must be made to understand that there are limits of US tolerance beyond which he cannot go if he wants continued US support and that he is close to these limits.

Talbot should make presentation as his own and should not state it as direct message from President, but he is authorized to say he is [Page 53] expressing opinion of entire USG and not just his own view or even that of Department on importance of preserving the basic Pakistani-US relationship which has served us both so well in the past. We fully aware of Pak unhappiness over our policy toward India, but believe Paks are now fully aware that for reasons of global anti-Communist strategy we are determined to help India.

Despite our differences, we on our side have continued our full support of Pakistan’s vital economic development, we have sought to help bring about a Kashmir settlement, we have tried in a number of ways to reassure Paks of our support against any aggression—including one from India. But we cannot continue to sustain past close US/Pak relationship if it becomes more and more of a one-way street. In effect, while continuing to give lip service to alliance, Paks are adopting tactics quite inconsistent with overall US anti-Communist strategy in Asia, which necessarily focussing largely on ChiCom threat. We are determined to face squarely our responsibility for helping to maintain the security of free Asia against the Chinese Communists until the nations concerned are strong enough to preserve it themselves. Pak policy cuts across this grain. When we are trying to stop Chinese Communist infiltration in Southeast Asia, Paks in effect seem to be encouraging them to make hay in South Asia.

Moreover, though we understand Pak motivations in using China to help them lean on India, we gravely doubt that it will produce the results Paks want. The Free World cannot afford to let India, any more than Pakistan, succumb to Communism or fall apart. As to Kashmir, we see Pak pressure tactics as forcing India to dig in its heels at a time of weakness, whereas making common cause with India against China could be far more productive.

Nor is it consonant with the spirit of our alliance to find ourselves the object of constant public harassment in Pakistan, even including high-level pronouncements.

You may say that President himself, who feels he knows Ayub well and admires what he has done for Pakistan, has expressed confidence Ayub will appreciate straight talk from us, and not misconstrue our candor. It is President’s own earnest desire to see end to mutual back-biting, and reaffirmation of those strong mutual interests which still underlie US/Pak relationship, in order prevent this relationship from slipping further downhill.

We do not want you to mention five-year MAP approach till we have had chance to sort out Pak reactions to your political approach. Nor do we want you to link our failure to be forthcoming yet on MAP to our concerns above. We prefer to let Paks make this link themselves. If Paks raise MAP question you may say that we had hoped to be able start talking about ongoing MAP, but general atmosphere in USG [Page 54] (including sentiment on Capitol Hill) is such that pending further sorting out of foreign aid prospects and other matters we feel it better hold off. Should Ayub raise Indian discussions, you can reply that all we are telling Indians as yet is to come up with austere longer-term defense plans so we can have basis for later MAP decisions here too.

This message supplements Deptel 1174 to Karachi2 and should of course supersede it in event of any conflict.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL PAK-US. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted in the White House and approved by Don T. Christensen (S/S). A draft of the telegram, March 9, 6 p.m., was initialed by Rusk. (Ibid.)
  2. Telegram 1174 to Karachi, March 7, provided guidance for Talbot’s impending discussions with Ayub. The Department stated that the principal objectives of the conversations should be to get a fresh assessment of the results of the Chou visit, and to establish a framework of political understanding within which it would be possible to move into a discussion of long-term military assistance to Pakistan. (Ibid., POL 7 PAK-US)