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

48. Dept to determine any further distribution. Ref: Emboff tel 47.2 Fm Talbot. Ambassador McConaughy and I share several major impressions of Ayub’s responses to my representation. We read his statements as again demonstrating that the American connection is fundamental to his policy. He sees no alternative to this for Pakistan, nor indeed any alternative to an American presence in free Asia if latter is to survive. Equally, I felt, he is directing Pak policies with assurance of a man persuaded that the US is reciprocally reliant on its Pakistan connection in an Asia awash in neutralism.

Ambassador suggests Ayub is also increasingly influenced by evidence that US is “allowing” other allies—e.g., France, Britain, and now Turkey and Greece—substantially greater latitude than previously to take independent and even disruptive actions without destroying alliance relations, and applies this lesson to what he sees as his political needs in Pakistan.

It was in this context, I believe, that Ayub replied to our démarche for restraint in his dealings with ChiComs and India. Paks feeling virtuous after having demonstrated capability of restraint during [Page 63] Chou’s visit from which, they point out, emerged not even previously expected cultural agreement. Paks therefore feel we should be satisfied with their performance in dealing with ChiComs at no cost to West, leaving them free at will to use their new ChiCom connections as pressure against India. I am uncertain how far our talk led Ayud away from this comfortable assumption, but at minimum it should intensify debate that has recently occupied top echelons here over American limits of tolerance. Ayub obviously gave very little ground in conversation. Ambassador and I feel, however that he and his advisors might now consider that their actions have carried them closer to our toleration limits than some may heretofore have believed. This should increase their anxiety over effect on US of further “normalization” moves proposed by ChiComs and also their caution in openly using ChiCom relationship for ploys against India.

On India Ayub’s line is even more defiant than last year. I made no visible dent on his expressed determination to put unremitting pressure on India until something gives on Kashmir. He scorned idea that a more cooperative posture would be more persuasive with those blessed Hindus. Repeatedly he brushed aside my argument that Pakistan’s hard line, like its dalliance with China, renders ineffective US efforts to influence India toward compromise on Indo-Pak issues. He appraises Indian position on these, especially Kashmir, as adamant and reciprocates heartily by equal adamacy. If this is in part a posture assumed for our benefit, it obviously also carries explosive potentials. Ayub’s attitude may rest on several separate judgments. In circumstances of today he feels he has more latitude than last year to press publicly and deliberately against India without damage to Pak interests. He presumably believes Pak’s relations with other Afro-Asian countries stronger than last year while India’s prestige has dropped. His philosophy of use of power clearly impels him to strive for settlement of dispute by pressing hard on opponent, taking full advantage of situations of weakness. This leads him to judgment Pakistan relatively stronger now vis-à-vis India than likely to be several years hence. Finally, in strong stand on Kashmir he appeals to emotions of Pakistani patriotism and solidarity which are mainsprings of support to his regime.

Ayub appears to be playing complicated game in mixed atmosphere of frustration and self confidence. Several recent actions, such as return to Security Council, suggest Paks in mood to follow impulses to act, but then anxious to try to bring US aboard. Object, of course, is to make every effort keep Kashmir question in motion, but not lose Americans in process. Meanwhile, it is increasingly clear that Ayub, for reasons of dignity or otherwise, has put out instruction that Paks shall not make any assistance requests. Paks have never mentioned deferred Dacca airport loan. General LeMay said nobody raised MAP [Page 64] questions with him, nor have I encountered any such request. It would seem evident Paks unwilling get themselves in begging position while sorting our present troubles in overall relationship with US.

At same time Ambassador points out Ayub’s references to “cutting commitments” reflect his current unwillingness to commit troops outside Pakistan for CENTO or SEATO purposes, as well as evident reluctance to take on any new or expanded commitments.

Before leaving subcontinent I hope to send you some comments on our policy dilemmas in South Asia. Meanwhile it is apparent our problems in Pakistan have not been resolved.3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Cental Files 1964–66, POL PAK-US. Secret; Immediate. Passed to the White House at 6:33 p.m. The telegram is a joint telegram from CUSASEC MAAG and the Embassy Office in Rawalpindi.
  2. Document 27.
  3. The telegram was transmitted via military channels and bears no signature.