197. Backchannel Message From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland)1

Appreciate your personal assessments of the situation2 and share your concern for its gravity. Because there may be some differences in approach within the bureaucracy, I wanted you to be aware of actions we have taken over the past twenty-four hours, and am providing information via this channel with the confidence that it will be kept exclusively to you although you may draw on it in discussions with Yahya. I also provided this information to Pakistani Ambassador Raza today on an exclusive basis. Details include:

Meeting with the British Ambassador today during which I informed him that U.S. is prepared to support the UN Resolution along the lines contained in State 212583.3 I emphasized, however, that we would leave up to the Government of Pakistan decision as to whether the issue should be referred to the Security Council. I asked him to request that his Government support Pakistan in UN and if this proved impossible for them, to at least refrain from supporting India.
Decision to send stronger démarche to Prime Minister Gandhi on situation. Specific inquiries would be included concerning Indiaʼs failure to respond to our proposal already agreed to by Yahya calling for pullback of forces from border between West Pakistan and India.
My discussion with Chancellor Brandt on November 23 during which I informed him of our position with respect to Security Council Resolution and suggested that we would welcome démarche from FRG to Indians registering FRG concern for the situation.
Instruction to Ambassador Beam to register again our concerns to Moscow.
Daily meetings of Washington Special Actions Group from which several additional actions are pending. These meetings have resulted in issuance of strictest Presidential instructions to tilt toward Pakistan in our public stance.

In addition to informing Ambassador Raza of the foregoing, I recommended that he check promptly with the PRC UN delegation in New York to ascertain their views on the desirability of introducing the issue into the UN as well as their views on the draft resolution. I informed him that we believe PRC views should be considered by Pakistan as they decide whether or not to proceed in UN forum.

We will continue to follow the situation very closely and you can assure Yahya that President is personally involved in all aspects of the problem. Please keep me informed via this channel of any additional steps that you believe should be considered here.

Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages, 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Dated November 24, but an attached memorandum from Haig to Kissinger indicates that it was sent on November 25 at 1233Z. (Ibid.) Haig signed for Kissinger, but a copy in another file indicates that Kissinger revised and cleared the telegram. (Ibid., Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, July 1971)
  2. See Document 192.
  3. See footnote 8, Document 196.