208. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1


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India-Pakistan: Active fighting continues in the border areas of East Pakistan. Indian officials seem increasingly open about the fact that Indian troops have gone across the border, but they continue to maintain that the crossings are to quell Pakistani shelling or in some other act of self-defense. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] the Pakistani army in East Pakistan expects to be able to defend the province for a month or more and to limit Indian penetrations to 10 or 15 miles if the Indians do not use air power.

Pakistani Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan Sunday2 sent a message to U Thant through the Pakistani ambassador at the UN asking that UN observers be stationed on the East Pakistan borders as soon as possible. He said a public announcement would be made today.

During a two-hour talk with Ambassador Farland Saturday3 evening, President Yahya said in response to an indication of interest from Farland that he would arrange a meeting for Farland tomorrow with A. K. Brohi, the distinguished Pakistani lawyer who has been defending Mujibur Rahman. Yahya said the prosecution in Mujibʼs trial had completed its case and the trial had adjourned for a few days while Brohi prepares the defense. Farland says he had been aware from confidential sources that Brohi had been hopeful of contacting him. Several competent newsmen have reported being told that Brohi has been serving as a go-between in political negotiations between Yahya and Mujib.

Ambassador Keatingʼs report on his meeting with Mrs. Gandhi is just coming in and will be reported in a supplementary note.4

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, Presidentʼs Daily Briefs, November 17–30, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. November 28.
  3. November 27.
  4. See footnote 5, Document 209.