120. Minutes of Senior Review Group Meeting1


  • Pakistan


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
    • John N. Irwin
    • Joseph Sisco
    • Christopher Van Hollen
    • Lindsay Grant
  • Defense
    • Armistead Selden
    • Brig. Gen. Devol Brett
  • JCS
    • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
    • Col. James Connell
    • Lt. Col. Walter B. Ratliffe
  • CIA
    • Lt. Gen. Robt. E. Cushman
    • John Waller
    • [name not declassified]
  • AID
    • Maurice Williams
    • Herbert Rees
  • OMB
    • Kenneth Dam
  • NSC Staff
    • Col. Richard T. Kennedy
    • Samuel M. Hoskinson
    • Harold H. Saunders
    • Jeanne W. Davis


It was agreed that

  • —The State/AID package of telegrams2 would be reworked by State, AID and Hal Saunders, in the light of the Presidentʼs remarks, to separate some of the political issues from relief matters;
  • —Mr. Williams would leave for Pakistan next week to make the presentation to Yahya on relief matters and discuss with M.M. Ahmad the case to be made to the World Bank consortium in October.

Mr. Kissinger: The President would like to see the principals for a few minutes on Pakistan.

(The following adjourned to the Presidentʼs office and returned at 3:47: Irwin, Sisco, Selden, Cushman, Moorer, Williams, Kissinger, Saunders; see separate minutes.)3

Mr. Kissinger: I think we covered the main points with the President on what is needed. We have the AID package on relief and refugees. I suggest we separate out some of the political issues from the relief matters. Saunders and Van Hollen can work together on this.

Mr. Irwin: I agree weʼve covered everything. We will take another look at the package in the light of the Presidentʼs remarks.

Mr. Kissinger: Is $100 million the right figure for refugee relief. Weʼre prepared to entertain a larger figure if that would be desirable.

Mr. Sisco: We should discuss the timing of this. Some people believe we can do too much too quickly with the Indians.

Mr. Kissinger: Iʼm talking about Pakistan. Weʼre not so eager to do things for India. We want to make a demonstrable case to prevent famine in East Pakistan.

Mr. Irwin: They donʼt need money as much as they do the means for distribution.

Mr. Selden: The real problem is distribution.

Mr. Williams: And administration.

Mr. Kissinger: Hal Saunders can get together with you on some changes in the State/AID message rather than redraft it here. Can we get the whole package out this week?

Mr. Sisco: I think so.

Mr. Kissinger: Then Maury Williams can go out there to make the presentation to Yahya. I think that is as much as can be done now.

Mr. Irwin: The quicker he can get there, the better.

Mr. Williams: We want to let the UN get out in front, though. Phase One should be an announcement by the UN that they are taking on the responsibility. My trip can then be made in support of the UN effort.

Mr. Kissinger: When will the UN announcement be made? Mr. Sisco: Itʼs supposed to be this week.

[Page 322]

Mr. Kissinger: (to Williams) Then you could go out at least by the end of next week. I wouldnʼt want you to wait three weeks or so.

Mr. Irwin: He wouldnʼt wait beyond next week.

Mr. Williams: Just as long as the publicity is directed to the UN. Itʼs a psychological thing. I donʼt need to wait until they recruit the people to do the job.

Mr. Kissinger: Someone should talk fairly straight to the Indians, too, and tell them the party is over. We will do what we can to help on refugee relief, but if they are planning to use this to split up Pakistan, we wonʼt go along.

Mr. Sisco: The Secretary (Rogers) made this point clearly to Jha, but it will take constant reiteration. They will have less of an excuse now that their treaty with Moscow gives them some assurances.

Mr. Irwin: I have spoken twice to Jha and the Secretary saw him this morning.

Mr. Kissinger: The President has made it plain that there will be an absolute crisis in our relations if two divisions of Pakistan guerrillas cross the border.

Mr. Sisco: Iʼm convinced there will be no formal Indian attack, but they will probably continue to support the guerrillas in their border crossings. We should watch this very carefully in the light of the new treaty with Moscow.

(Messrs Williams, Van Hollen and Rees left the meeting.)

Mr. Kissinger: There was one other item I wished to take up. Should we not be doing something to prepare for October when the pressure to respond to Pakistanʼs financial assistance needs would become more acute? At present, there is little support in the World Bank consortium for additional assistance. Yet there might be something the US could be doing to help the Pakistanis present a better case to the consortium. I consider it intolerable that the World Bank should be setting political conditions for the resumption of assistance, but it would be difficult to argue that case if the Pakistanis made no case of their own on economic grounds. Could not Maury Williams, when he goes to Pakistan, also discuss with M.M. Ahmad the elements of a possible case to be presented to the consortium in October?

Messrs. Irwin and Sisco agreed heartily that this should be done.

(Mr. Saunders immediately after the meeting called Mr. Williams and informed him of the discussion. Mr. Williams said that he would be quite prepared to take up that subject and had been developing some ideas for an approach.)

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–112, SRG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Secret. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. The minutes indicate that the meeting began at 3:10 p.m. and concluded at 3:55. According to Kissingerʼs appointment book, the meeting began at 3:10 and was interrupted at 3:15 by a meeting of the principal members of the Senior Review Group with President Nixon. That meeting concluded at 3:47 at which point the meeting of the Senior Review Group resumed and concluded at 4:20 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule)
  2. Reference is to two draft telegrams conveyed to Kissinger under a covering memorandum on August 7 by Eliot. One was a draft telegram from AID to Islamabad and New Delhi providing a status report on humanitarian relief in East Pakistan that emphasized the importance of preventing a famine. The other was a draft telegram of instructions to Ambassadors Keating and Farland entitled “Scenario for Action in the Indo-Pakistan Crisis,” that outlined initiatives to be undertaken with Prime Minister Gandhi and President Yahya. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–058, SRG Meeting, Pakistan/Cyprus, 8/11/71)
  3. Document 121.