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

[number not declassified] We have no information here to suggest that a Pakistani attack on Kashmir is imminent or under active consideration,2 although some contingency plan to that effect surely exists. Yahya continues to assure me that he does not wish war, nor does he intend to start it here. He has so far held sway over his hawks, although how much longer he can do so in the face of continued Indian incursions into East Pakistan is most uncertain. Pakistanis are in a state of readiness and if they do finally conclude they must fight in the West as well as in the East, Kashmir is an emotionally attractive target, although we have generally thought that they would go for the more easily penetrated areas further south. Will advise you immediately if anything changes this view. Best regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages, 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan. Secret. Received at 2028Z.
  2. Farland was responding to a backchannel message sent to him by Kissinger at 1649Z on November 30 in which Kissinger asked him to comment on reports that Pakistan might be considering an attack on Indian forces in Kashmir in order to relieve pressure upon East Pakistan. (White House telegram WH 11052; ibid.)