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

168709. Ref: State 166539.2 Subject: Military Supply Policy for India and Pakistan. Following are your instructions covering military supply policy conveyed by reftel:

1. We desire implement decision as soon as Congressional consultations, now underway, are complete; telegram will inform you of completion. While we recognize Ambassador Bowles will need some elbow room on timing of approaches to GOI, there is some urgency for Ambassador Locke to inform GOP. We understand meeting with Ayub now set for April 7; we believe GOI should be informed as soon after that as possible to assure shortest gap possible between presentations. Basic elements of new policy should be communicated as stated reftel, omitting references to internal USG operations.

2. Both posts should emphasize that new policy reflects intensive review over long period time and with involvement highest levels USG. Both should also insure it clearly understood we do not under foreseeable circumstances intend return to supply relationship we had prior September 1965.

3. Our new policy recognizes that fundamental historical changes have taken place. Our purpose is to establish a new relationship that takes into account legitimate defense requirements both countries but rests primarily on conviction that basic security and economic well being of both countries depends on their finding way to lessen tensions between them and thus to reduce share of their resources going to military expenditures.

For Rawalpindi: 4. In conveying policy package to Ayub you should say we were encouraged by his response to our representations on arms limitation in November (Rawalpindi’s 1751).3 On assumption that that response remains basis for GOP arms policy, we now prepared do following within context of stated policy (i.e., only when such actions will contribute to arms limitation or reduced defense expenditures): [Page 837]

entertain specific requests for cash purchase in US of lethal spares on case-by-case basis;
continue to consider requests for credit purchase of non-lethal end items;
discuss his other problems of military supply, including requests for purchase from third countries of US-controlled equipment, but only within policy context stated reftel;
resume limited grant training program, if GOP so desires.

5. Before we able to address Pak request for our concurrence in M–47 tank deal with Germans (Rawalpindi’s 3489),4 we need know: (a) effect of prospective purchases of US tank spares on level operational tanks of US origins; (b) how proposed German deal would further affect tank strength levels; (c) number Pak tanks of ChiCom origin; and, (d) effects of foregoing tank strengths on overall armed forces structure.

6. In conveying policy package to Ayub we hope you can get across that we are prepared to help him meet his legitimate security requirements but that manner in which GOP deals in coming weeks and months with recent GOI offer begin talks on arms limitation (State 158121)5 could have decisive impact on way we able to respond to GOP requests.

For New Delhi: 7. We recognize difficult task you face in getting Indians to see that their own interests served by our new policy. There are a number of elements in package designed help meet your problem (i.e., permanent MAAG withdrawal, credit sales, training). We believe it would be useful highlight following points:

This decision terminates grant military assistance to Pakistan and substantially results in the end of a military relationship we have had with Pakistan since 1954;
the withdrawal of MAAG from Pakistan (and USMSMI from India) symbolizes this new policy;
need for some degree of flexibility in our sales policy if we are to have any influence on Pak position regarding arms limitation;
fact that military supply is only one element of larger USG policy designed contribute to security, integrity, and economic well being of South Asia as a whole; the record speaks for itself as to what we have done and are ready to do for India, a country that is central to our interests in area;
specific benefits for India include (1) $17 million on 3 per cent and ten year repayment basis for completion of Star Sapphire project. This is a special concessional rate, no longer available elsewhere and is provided in recognition of importance of completing this project; (2) authority to continue our credit sales program on case-by-case basis (currently on 5 1/2 per cent and 7 year terms); (3) limited grant training program.

8. We believe it would also be useful for you to reiterate in this context our strong satisfaction over recent Chagla letter to Pirzada6 on arms limitation talks, adding that we continue believe special burden responsibility rests on India as larger power if progress to be made in such talks.

For both posts: 9. Para 3 C reftel states policy on replacement items, i.e., the question is not now before us as to replacing an end item of US origin should that item be totally destroyed through accidental loss. That contingency will be considered when it arises.

10. Both GOI and GOP should understand what while we are prepared to discuss arrangements for carrying out our new policy, including handling of any public announcements, decisions of timing and tactics will have to be our own, influenced particularly by Congressional requirements. You should stress most strongly that we intend handle this matter in as low key as possible and will look to both Governments for their cooperation. We would prefer for present to avoid any kind of public announcement or comment on new policy but recognize difficulty doing so for very long. FYI: We believe it preferable to make low key announcement which focuses on MAAG and USMSMI withdrawal instead of reacting to leaks. This announcement would be made as soon as possible after Ambassador Bowles talks to GOI and might be followed up with backgrounder in Washington with selected journalists, possibly including Indians and Paks who resident here. Will keep you informed. End FYI. Contingency press guidance being prepared.

11. If asked about timing MAAG/USMSMI withdrawal, you should say this still being worked out. FYI: We envisage July 1 as target date. End FYI.

12. FYI: We recognize that conflicting approaches GOI (willingness talk with GOP on all subjects but without recognizing existence dispute on Kashmir) and GOP (willingness talk GOI all subjects but only if Kashmir dispute also discussed) will continue complicate our efforts achieve arms limitation. We believe you should continue take every opportunity urge both sides to moderate their preconditions. Meanwhile, [Page 839] we are prepared for time being to see what we can accomplish bilaterally. End FYI.

13. We intend brief Ambassador Hilaly and Chargé Bannerjee as soon as we know approaches made to Governments.

For London: 14. As soon as scenario for presentations in Rawalpindi and New Delhi has been worked out, we expect to authorize you to convey new policy to HMG at appropriate level and in closest confidence. In doing so you should say that we will wish consult further on what we might be able to do together to achieve progress toward arms limitation subcontinent.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, DEF 12–5 INDIA. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Spain, Laingen, and Heck on March 27; cleared by Handley, Macomber, Captain Asbury Coward (G/PM), Katzenbach, Townsend Hoopes, AID Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Near East and South Asia Alfred D. White, and Wriggins; and approved by Rusk. Also sent to New Delhi and repeated to London, Tehran, and CINCMEAFSA.
  2. Document 431.
  3. Document 384.
  4. In telegram 3489 from Rawalpindi, March 17, Locke reported that Ayub reiterated Pakistan’s need for M–47 tanks and interest in obtaining them from the Federal Republic of Germany. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, DEF 12–5 PAK)
  5. In telegram 158121 to New Delhi and Rawalpindi, March 18, the Department expressed mild encouragement over recent developments in Indian-Pakistani relations. The Department cited, as grounds for this encouragement, Chagla’s offer on March 14 of talks with Pakistan without preconditions, and Ayub’s expressed willingness to consider secret talks concerning arms limitations. The Embassies were instructed to encourage both governments to build on these openings. (Ibid., POL INDIA–PAK)
  6. See footnote 2, Document 423.