137. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India 1

159706. Subj: Trial of Mujibur Rahman. Ref: State 149347.2

Because of possibility that Indians might attempt to exploit any written reply to Mrs. Gandhiʼs August 11 message3 on trial of Mujibur Rahman, we have decided that it would be preferable for Ambassador to make oral response on behalf of President to Foreign Secretary Kaul. Ambassador should make following points: the President has received Mrs. Gandhiʼs message and has considered it with care. There has been extensive interest in United States in trial of Mujib. Secretary Rogers has conveyed our concern about summary treatment of Mujib to GOP. We intend to continue to indicate our concern on appropriate future occasions, not only for humanitarian reasons, but also because we recognize importance which trial, and possible execution of Mujib, would have in broader context of search for peace and stability in South Asia.

Johnson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 29 PAK. Confidential; Exdis. Drafted by Quainton on August 19; cleared by Schneider, Laingen, and Kissinger; and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Islamabad.
  2. Telegram 149347 to New Delhi, August 14, transmitted the text of the letter sent to President Nixon on August 7 by Prime Minister Gandhi; see the attachment to Document 128.
  3. See Document 119.