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

960. At his request Pak Ambassador called on Governor Harriman January 21. Grant of NEA and Sisco of IO also present. Ambassador briefly reviewed developments last few months respecting Kashmir leading to GOP decision refer issue to SC.2 He said GOP very concerned by rising tension in Azad Kashmir and believed Indian moves annex Kashmir must be stopped. He asked for full and positive US support in SC and assistance behind the scene.

Governor Harriman replied that we believe GOP decision take issue to SC, a decision on which we had not been consulted, was unwise, could achieve little, and might be very harmful in present tense communal situation. He recalled strong US support in 1962 which followed President Kennedy-Ayub discussions in July 1961, but said we were not in position offer same support this time. US would vote [Page 17] for right kind resolution (if resolution proves desirable), but would refrain from active role in view our belief SC debate is wrong approach to problem. US believes bilateral talks to dampen current communal troubles necessary and best step take at this time. Ambassador was informed that we are very concerned that acrimonious debate on Kashmir and inevitable discussion communal strife could spark further massive disorders. (Ahmed appeared genuinely surprised learn scale East Pak disorders.) Also Nehru’s illness contributes our view this is very bad time raise Kashmir in SC and Pakistan cannot expect our support if it moves ahead without getting our judgment in advance. Governor stated that over-all GOP policy of trying bring many pressures bear on India was increasing tension in area and would make solution problems more difficult. For example, Pak moves toward ChiComs last year helped scuttle bilateral talks.

Ahmed stated that bilateral talks on Kashmir could achieve nothing. Bilateral talks on communal trouble could proceed at same time SC debate but essential thing was get at root of problem—Kashmir. SC debate, he said, would help cool atmosphere. He said he did not know anything about GOP plans or tactics for handling issue in Security Council.

Governor repeated our view that SC debate unwise at this time but emphasized that we do not condone India’s integration moves and had so informed GOI. Also, it is firm unswerving US policy help find solution Kashmir problem; we simply disagree with current Pak tactics. In our view solution more likely in atmosphere of goodwill than strain.

Comment: Strong line here was necessary as we fear from Embtel 1354 and 13603 GOP may be under misapprehension about extent of assistance we will give them in SC. Ambassador’s reaction confirmed this impression. We hope Embassy will continue make clear to GOP as instructed Deptel 9404 that we will not play previous leading role. Both Karachi and Delhi should avoid indicating specific nature of any proposal we would be prepared support in SC since USUN will require [Page 18] flexibility in its discussions with principal parties and other members of SC. Further guidance re SC handling will follow.5

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 INDIA–PAK. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Naas; cleared by James P. Grant, Carol C. Laise, and Joseph J. Sisco; and approved by Harriman. Repeated to London, New Delhi, Embassy Office Rawalpindi, and USUN.
  2. On January 16, Foreign Minister Bhutto sent a letter to the President of the UN Security Council requesting an urgent meeting of the Council to deal with the Kashmir issue. The text of the letter was conveyed to Washington as an enclosure to airgram A–585 from Karachi, January 18. (Ibid.) Foreign Secretary Aziz Ahmed informed McConaughy on January 17 of the decision to take the Kashmir dispute to the Security Council. (Telegram 1331 from Karachi, January 17; ibid.)
  3. In telegram 1354 from Karachi, January 20, McConaughy reported that, in accord- ance with instructions from the Department, he informed Aziz Ahmed that the United States would not actively support Pakistan’s appeal to the Security Council. McConaughy observed, however, that the Foreign Secretary’s response made clear that Pakistan was determined to highlight the need for progress on the Kashmir issue. Telegram 1360 from Karachi, January 21, reported another conversation between McConaughy and Aziz Ahmed on Pakistan’s appeal to the United Nations. Ahmed expressed confidence that U.S. influence on the issue would be exercised on behalf of a constructive solution, but McConaughy noted that the United States could not be expected to get out in front in support of the independent Pakistani initiative. (Both ibid.)
  4. Dated January 18. (Ibid., POL 32–1 INDIA–PAK/UN)
  5. McConaughy reported on January 23 that he raised the matter of the referral of the Kashmir issue to the United Nations with President Ayub that morning. McConaughy questioned the wisdom of the course, pointing out that it would antagonize India without producing any progress if India did not wish to cooperate. Ayub remained firm in his determination. (Telegram 128 from Rawalpindi to Karachi, repeated to Washington, January 23; ibid.)