145. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President
  • Samuel M. Hoskinson, NSC Staff
  • Major General Inam-ul Haq, Director General, Defense Procurement, Pakistan Ministry of Defense
  • Z.M. Farooqi, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Pakistan

Following the initial exchange of pleasantries, General Haq led off by saying he knew that Dr. Kissinger was very busy and that his remarks would be brief and to the point. He had been discussing the technical aspects elsewhere and did not want to get into these. First of all, he wanted to say that President Yahya was very appreciative of this opportunity for consultation on the military supply problem. Consequently, he had sent General Haq to Washington to determine what could be shipped now and our thoughts. President Yahya does not want an embargo, but he had instructed him to determine what, if necessary, could be shipped by the end of this month.

Dr. Kissinger, after indicating the US desire not to pressure Pakistan on this issue, said he wanted to make sure it was understood that the President was not placing any arbitrary deadline on a possible cutoff of military shipments to Pakistan. If Pakistan needed two or three weeks beyond the end of September to wind things up, that was perfectly alright. We were not holding a gun at Pakistanʼs head on this problem. Our only point was that if the pipeline were dried up in the relatively near future, it could remove some constraints on us and might make it easier for the US to be more forthcoming on economic matters. Dr. Kissinger concluded this series of comments by asking Mr. Hoskinson to make sure that they were fully understood by the remainder of the US Government.

General Haq indicated his understanding and agreement with Dr. Kissingerʼs remarks. He especially welcomed the opportunity to have more time for shipping items in the pipeline to Pakistan. He then noted that Pakistan also has some 50 tons of presently unlicensed military supplies in warehouses in New York.

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These, he said, were important shipments that Pakistan would like very much to obtain. (While Dr. Kissinger left the room for a moment, General Haq explained to Mr. Hoskinson that they were mainly aircraft spares and valued at about $1 million.) Dr. Kissinger responded that “we will look into these shipments.” He added that, while we would like to help as much as possible, we would not want to limit our capacity to help in other areas by our actions on one limited aspect of the arms supply problem. Again, Dr. Kissinger stressed that we were not attempting to force or pressure Pakistan. General Haq indicated his full understanding of Dr. Kissingerʼs comments.

Dr. Kissinger then went on to explain that we are trying to promote the resumption of economic aid to Pakistan and will do our best on this. Mr. Farooqi, at this point, said that Pakistan hoped that if we can get over the arms supply problem it would be easier for the US to take the lead in the consultations. Dr. Kissinger replied that indeed this was our intention and, after indicating that Deputy AID Administrator Williams had discussed the consortium question in Islamabad, he asked Mr. Hoskinson to explain what we had in mind. Mr. Hoskinson said that Williams had indicated we were pressing for a consortium meeting right after the forthcoming World Bank/IMF meeting here during which debt relief and humanitarian relief would be discussed. Dr. Kissinger added that there might be something we could also do with some of the $75 million held over from last yearʼs appropriation.

General Haq shifted the subject by saying that Pakistan would like to have US assistance in obtaining vital military supplies through third countries. Dr. Kissinger replied that we would look at this with sympathy but there were problems and complications.

The conversation ended with General Haq explaining, at some length, the West Pakistani view of the situation in East Pakistan. Among other things, he alleged that the number of refugees was really much lower than the Indians claimed and that this is why they would not accept UN observers; the Mukti Fauj were mostly Indians, and India wanted to cut off the northwestern tip of East Pakistan to establish the “Bangla Desh” government. The General also asserted that the military imbalance between India and Pakistan was growing, especially since India was receiving new shipments of tanks from the Soviets as a result of the friendship treaty.

(After leaving Dr. Kissingerʼs office, General Haq told Mr. Hoskinson he thought he would be staying on longer in Washington since he now had more time and would at least want to settle the “50 ton problem” before he reported the results of his trip to President Yahya.)

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 626, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. VII, Sep–Oct 1971. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Hoskinson on September 13. The meeting was held in Kissingerʼs office at the White House. The time of the meeting is from Kissingerʼs appointment book. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule)