220. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State 1

12007. Subj: Indo-Pak Relations: Fighting in West. Ref: Islamabad 12001.2

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In company with additional FonSec Alvie,3 I arrived at President Yahyaʼs residence at about 2000 hours local time Dec. 3. Met with President Yahya 10 minutes thereafter. In addition to President Yahya, there was in attendance Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan and Chief of Staff General Abdul Hamid Khan. President informed me that, beginning about 1500 hours local time Dec. 3, a series of Indian army incursions supported by air cover had occurred at a number of points as far north as Kashmir and as far south as Rahim Yar Kham. He said further that as a result of this activity, four Pak air force strikes had taken place upon airfields in the general area north and south of Lahore. He indicated that he was hopeful that Pak planes had returned safely but as yet he had not had a complete report from Air Marshal Rahim Khan. Furthermore, he asked me to convey to President Nixon his personal message to the effect that his restraint had been exercised to the utmost, and that the action which his government had taken today to interdict the military aggression of GOI was among the most difficult decisions that he had ever made.
The President then began to spell out in precise detail the areas in which Indian incursions had transpired. I told him that I would appreciate it very much if the FonSec or the additional FonSec, who is taking extensive notes, could give me a copy setting forth these specific areas for the purpose of absolute clarity. This was immediately agreed to and the FonSec said that he would see that this information was delivered to the chancery shortly. I am awaiting this information at this time and will forward same upon receipt.4
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK. Secret; Flash. Repeated to DIA, New Delhi, Dacca, Karachi, Lahore, London, Moscow, USUN, and CINCPAC for POLAD. Received at 2022Z.
  2. In telegram 12001 from Islamabad, December 3, Ambassador Farland reported that the Foreign Ministry had requested that he meet that day with President Yahya. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 571, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/1/71–12/4/74)
  3. Momtaz A. Alvie.
  4. Farland received the Foreign Ministry report by the end of the day. It described simultaneous attacks by the Indian Army between 3:30 and 4 p.m. at Sialkot, Chumb, in an area between the Jessar bridge and Lahore, and on the Rajasthan front opposite Rahim Yar Kham. Pakistan responded, according to the report, with air strikes at Srinagar, Avantipura, Pathankot, and Amritsar. (Telegram 12008 from Islamabad, December 3; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK)