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

226368. For Ambassador. Ref: (a) Rawalpindi 6575,2 (b) State 214860,3 (c) State 202781,4 (Nodis).

You are authorized meet with Akhbar and Yusuf to present proposal for withdrawal Peshawar along lines paras 2–6 below.

Personnel: (A) USG proposes begin phase-out technical operational personnel in January 1969. Withdrawal of total of about 800 operational personnel would be completed by December 1969, at which time all USAF operational activities would end. Under planned month-by-month personnel withdrawals, about half of total operational personnel would be out in July 1969. Army Sugar Tree unit (approximately 30 personnel) would remain in operation until final close-out of Peshawar.

(B) Approximately 500 support personnel would begin departures before July 1969 with final evacuation to be completed by July 1, 1970. Since many of these personnel would be involved in final clean-up after operations ceased in December 1969, bulk of them would depart in monthly withdrawals between January and July 1970.

(C) In sum, we would have about 30% present authorized personnel out by July 1969, another 30% by December 1969, with remaining 40% completely out by July 1, 1970.


Technical Equipment: (A) As operational personnel are withdrawn as outlined above, the equipment and associated materiel which they have been using would be crated and readied for shipment. The exact movement schedule from the station would depend on availability of transportation, but, in any event, it would all be out before July 1, 1970.

(B) Antenna dismantling would begin in January 1969 with the antenna associated with Placid I (Bankhead), including the 15-foot dish [Page 1012] inclosed in the 21-foot radome, two 6-foot dishes inclosed in another radome, the corner reflector and four log periodic-type antenna. Dismantling and removal of these could probably be completed in ninety days. Other UHF and special antenna would be removed from January through June 1970, or earlier.

(C) Equipment for the 12 positions presently being used by the Pakistanis would be turned over to them in the event of a favorable Pak response to the USG phase-out plan. The high frequency antenna systems would be left to them in any event.

(D) In sum, some of the most visible antenna would be dismantled well in advance of July 17, 1969. Dismantling of the remainder of that which we would remove would span the January 1969–July 1970 period. The Pakistanis would receive title to the equipment for the 12 positions they now have plus the high frequency antenna.

Non-technical equipment and facilities: Physical plant, including residential and office buildings and recreational facilities worth approximately $10 million will be left behind for the GOP. Since individual items are not covered in the 1959 agreement, disposition of these would be worked out between USAF and Pak authorities. (FYI: In the event of a favorable Pak response to the USG phase-out plan we would be prepared to be helpful by leaving Peshawar a valuable and readily usable installation to the GOP. Since the 1959 Agreement is silent on residual value, we are in poor negotiating position on this subject. However, believe point that valuable installation will accrue to Pakistanis should subtly be made known. End FYI.)
Dependents: Dependents would normally depart with their sponsors according to schedules outlined paras 2(A) and 2(B) above. We would anticipate that about 50% of the approximately 400 dependents would be withdrawn by July 1969 and that all would be out by January 1970. (FYI: If absolutely necessary, we could undertake to remove maximum possible number earlier in 1969 making it possible at that time also to abandon base housing and to reduce and consolidate support facilities such as commissary, school, and hospital. End FYI.)
Exclusion Area: As part of proposed phase-out plan, we would be prepared to eliminate the US Exclusive Use Area at once. We would need only time to accomplish necessary physical adjustments which would probably be done in about two weeks. We would still require, of course, a separate small area under special security protection for our communications center. (FYI: 6937th Sp. Commander should be able provide you with description physical implications such change, e.g., number of additional square feet added to joint US/GOP area. End FYI.)
FYI: Tactics and Timing: Our objective remains to get as much time as possible beyond July 1969, but it now seems to us here that [Page 1013] one-year is most practical target to shoot at. There will remain some flexibility on a variety of specifics, but above proposal incorporates elements package discussed earlier (ref (c)) and is designed to make one year “moving-out” period beyond July 1969 as palatable as possible to Pakistanis. Should it turn out that one year period is unobtainable, we would then prefer total close-out by July 1969, including the withdrawal of US equipment used in the Pakistani exclusion area. Implementation such plan would have to begin soon, and, therefore, it is important that we determine as quickly as possible whether or not above proposal viable.
On this question, we still believe basic GOP attitude as reflected in and affected by recent exchange Presidential letters will be more important than specifics of withdrawal plan, but wish do anything possible present most attractive proposal. We hope paras 2–6 above will give you enough to open discussions. Should it become clear proposal is workable, one or more officials from agencies most directly concerned would come to Rawalpindi to help refine specifics.
We realize atmosphere for discussions could be improved by affirmative action on tanks and that it may be desirable wait additional week or so to see how current initiatives play out before coming to grips with Yusuf and Ahkbar on Peshawar plan. We will inform you on tanks ASAP.
Question of offering additional cash “rent” for period July 1969–July 1970 has been reexamined and para 4 (g) ref (c) is reconfirmed. We are prepared continue but not increase present rent. End FYI.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, DEF 15 PAK–US. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Spain on August 15; cleared by Heck, Handley, Wolfin (G/PM), Curl (INR), Robert H. Neuman (L/NEA), Sheldon (CIA), Hero (OSD/OGC), Wix (DOD/ISA), and Bromley Smith at the White House; and approved by Katzenbach. Repeated to CINCSTRIKE.
  2. In telegram 6575 from Rawalpindi, August 1, Oehlert reported on a conversation with Foreign Office Director General Piracha in which Piracha pressed for action on the pending tank sale. (Ibid., DEF 19–8 BEL–PAK)
  3. Telegram 214860 to Rawalpindi, August 3, informed Ambassador Oehlert that he could expect a proposal regarding the termination of the Peshawar facility shortly. (Ibid., DEF 15 PAK-US)
  4. Document 504.