152. Letter From Pakistani President Yahya to President Nixon1

Dear Mr. President,

In calling Major-General N.A.M. Raza, a veteran soldier as well as an experienced diplomat, back to duty from retirement, I have I think selected a most suitable envoy for Washington. His appointment further emphasises the paramount importance I attach to our relations with your great country. Apart from his distinguished services as our Ambassador in Tehran, Rome and Paris, he served twice as Ambassador in Peking.

May I avail myself of this opportunity, Mr. President, to express my very sincere appreciation of the sympathetic understanding and assistance that I have been receiving from you and your Government in over-coming the immense difficulties placed in my path towards restoration of democracy, by the unfortunate crisis in East Pakistan.
As you know I have been doing everything within my power to put the country back on the rails. However, India with her intransigence, her open hostility and her unabashed support and aid to the miscreants is making my task infinitely more difficult. I earnestly request you to do all you can to dissuade India from this militantly aggressive attitude of hers towards my country. She must be made to realise the serious threat that her present policy is posing towards the peace of this region.
Since the announcement of my political programme of 28th June, I have taken various steps to hasten the moment for the redemption of my pledge to transfer power to a civilian Government. As you may have been informed, I have declared general amnesty in East Pakistan and have also appointed a civilian Governor there, who is being assisted by civilian ministers selected from various shades of political opinion. Dates for by-elections in East Pakistan have also been announced. All these steps have evoked a response from political circles and I am hopeful that by the end of the year the major problems would have been resolved. In this process of democratisation your continued personal interest and the support of the United States would be invaluable.
With that in view, I would earnestly hope that Ambassador Raza, in whom I repose my fullest trust, would receive your kind cooperation and would have access to you so as to keep you posted on future developments in my country.

Please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 759, Presidential Correspondence File, Pakistan (1971). No classification marking. This letter, and an accompanying 11-page aide-mémoire, were delivered to Kissinger by Ambassador-designate Raza on November 3, the eve of Prime Minister Gandhiʼs visit to Washington. (Memorandum from NSC Staff Secretary Jeanne Davis to Theodore Eliot, November 4; ibid.) The aide-mémoire marshaled Pakistanʼs case in its dispute with India through November 2. (Ibid.) The text of the letter was transmitted to Islamabad on November 6 in telegram 203180. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL INDIA–PAK)