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

87857. Ref: (a) Rawalpindi 1269;2 (b) State 61581;3 (c) Tehran 2471.4 Subject: Military Supply and Peshawar. For Ambassador.

We believe time has come to try establish certain basic principles for our efforts ensure continuance Peshawar Communications Station. Department’s views on these follow and we would welcome your comments on them. Throughout Peshawar discussion, we will wish leave you maximum discretion on timing and tactics but feel that following points should be made clear to GOP soon at time and in manner you deem most appropriate: [Page 933]
The Peshawar Communications Station remains of great and undiminished importance to the US and we wish to keep it—though not at any price.
Peshawar is integral part totality USG-GOP relationship and must not by us or GOP be specifically linked to military supply policy (ref (b), para 1).
Military supply policy is in itself of considerable continuing value to GOP (ref (b), paras 2–5 and ref (d)5) and we assume GOP wishes preserve it. (FYI: GOP requests for tanks and extension leases for naval vessels, if approved, will be further evidence this.)
Any GOP attempt, such as Admiral Khan may have in mind to use Peshawar to force change in military supply (refs (a) and (c)) will not be successful and would only put strain on USG-GOP relations.
We believe following additional points (which should not be communicated to GOP) important to our own (i.e., USG) thinking on Peshawar matter.
While we prepared look as favorably as possible on GOP requests designed increase its own capability at Peshawar (e.g., recent “shopping list” submitted [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]), there are limits to what we can do in this field in terms both our own technical security requirements and our inability make major direct contribution to GOP capabilities directed against neighbor who is also friend of ours. In any event, degree our forthcomingness this field not likely be decisive in future Peshawar.
Bearing in mind 1 (c) and (d) above, MOD Admiral Khan’s indications of desire support continuance Peshawar are welcome. However, final discussions and decisions will have to be with Ayub6 in terms (a) and (b) above, and MFA will likely play significant role. In order try minimize danger of issue, which is one of broad national interest to both USG and GOP, being framed in terms of inter-ministry squabble within GOP, and on assumption we our own best advocate, we wonder if it would not be useful for you ease into subject of Peshawar with Pirzada at early date.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, DEF 15 PAK-US. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Spain; cleared by Heck, Richard E. Curl (INR/RCI), Handley, Wolf, General Newcomer, Major Wix, and Hamilton at the White House; and approved by Katzenbach. Repeated to CINCSTRIKE.
  2. Document 464.
  3. Document 469.
  4. See footnote 7, Document 473.
  5. The telegram does not include a reference (d).
  6. Oehlert met with Ayub on December 22 and informed him, as instructed, that the Peshawar facility remained of undiminished importance to the United States. Ayub agreed that Peshawar was an integral part of the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and he also agreed that the question of the renewal of the agreement should be discussed well in advance of the expiration of the 10-year agreement governing the facility in order to avoid “crash decisions.” (Telegram 2443 from Rawalpindi, December 22; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 15–1 PAK)