252. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State1

1164. Subject: Indo-Pak Crisis: Shoaib on Current Problems.

During meeting with AID Director Williams in Rawalpindi, November 24, Finance Minister Shoaib stated that President Ayub had deep-seated suspicion that American CIA was attempting to undermine his position and bring about his downfall. Shoaib said he had been [Page 475] working with Ayub in preparation for the visit to Washington, but that he had not been able to remove Ayub’s suspicion or even entirely plumb its full extent. It was a central point being actively played upon by those who advocated an alternative course in Pakistan foreign policy orientation, Shoaib said. He asked that this information be conveyed to the Ambassador and Secretary of State and he (Shoaib) recommended that reassurance to Ayub on this point be undertaken by President Johnson as “the first order of business” during the forthcoming visit.
Shoaib also said that the feeling was growing in Pindi that the US had let Pakistan down despite membership in SEATO and CENTO and specific pledges against Indian aggression. These points were being made in National Assembly and they were becoming harder to counter. US arms supplied to India had been used against Pakistan. Shoaib observed that he would meet again with President Ayub that evening and appeared to be inviting counter arguments. Williams replied that the US Government had fully met its pledge to come to Pakistan’s assistance in a situation where the origin of hostilities was confused. We had produced the cease-fire at a time when it was desperately needed and we had “taken India’s food supply by the throat,” with short rein month-to-month approval, in support of the cease-fire. The ratio of US arms assistance was ten to one in favor of Pakistan over India and no country had received such generous economic assistance as Pakistan. The US was Pakistan’s best friend by any standard of reasoning, AID Director Williams concluded.
Shoaib expressed concern about the increased military budget. He was afraid an enlarged army would become a permanent factor, but he said he was powerless to resist diversion of financial resources to defense, given the present mood and the need to replenish arms lost in the war. Williams hoped that no significant arrangement for arms from Communist China would be concluded before President Ayub’s visit to Washington. Shoaib was visibly disturbed, saying that Pakistan had to replenish arms from somewhere; the Indians were building up and reportedly getting US arms from Israel and Formosa. Shoaib said he had kept out of the attempts to make alternative arrangements for arms, but he appeared to accept validity of the point that a major arms deal with Communist China would prejudice the success of Ayub’s visit to the US.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 27 INDIA–PAK. Secret; Noforn; Limdis. Received at 1:04 p.m.