246. Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Information Cable1





6 December 1971


  • Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhiʼs Briefing [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] on the IndoPakistani War


[1 line of source text not declassified]


[5 lines of source text not declassified]

On 6 December 1971 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi [1 line of source text not declassified] told [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] that India is doing quite well on the diplomatic front. The Soviet Unionʼs support in the United Nations, while expected, shows the value of the Indo-Soviet friendship treaty. Mrs. Gandhi also commented that she is pleased with the stand taken by France and Great Britain in the Security Council.
As far as China is concerned, said the Prime Minister, she had expected it to take a more balanced view, even though Chinese support to Pakistan in the United Nations was a foregone conclusion. The Prime Minister stated that she hopes the Chinese do not intervene physically in the North; she noted, however, that the Soviets have warned her that the Chinese are still able to “rattle the sword” in Ladakh and Chumbi areas. If they should do so, she said, the Soviets have promised to counter-balance any such action.
The Prime Minister said that the United States might attempt to bring the cease-fire issue before the General Assembly after another Soviet veto. She stated that India would not accept the advice of the General Assembly, however, until:
Bangladesh is liberated;
The southern area of Azad Kashmir is liberated; ([less than 1 line of source text not declassified] comment: This encompasses the area west of the 1965 cease-fire line between Chhamb and Punch.);
Pakistani armored and air force strength are destroyed so that Pakistan will never again be in a position to plan another invasion of India.
The Prime Minister continued by saying that it is a pity that, in spite of Indiaʼs efforts, the United States has not changed its policy toward the sub-continent. The new nation of Bangladesh is emerging; West Pakistan will be reduced to the size of other small West Asian countries. This balance of forces will be favorable to India, she said, but the United States is unable to appreciate the changes which are taking place; however, the Prime Minister added that there is still time for the United States to alter its policy toward the sub-continent.
The Prime Minister stated that she expects other socialist countries to recognize Bangladesh after some time has elapsed. The immediate concern of India, however, is to finish the war quickly.
Mrs. Gandhi concluded her briefing by reiterating Indiaʼs war objectives:
The quick liberation of Bangladesh,
The incorporation into India of the southern part of Azad Kashmir for strategic rather than territorial reasons, (because India has no desire to occupy any West Pakistan territory); and, finally,
To destroy Pakistani military striking power so that it never attempts to challenge India in the future.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation. Secret; Priority; No Foreign Dissem. Circulated in Washington to the White House, the Departments of State and Defense, DIA, the JCS, within Defense to the Departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force, to NIC, NSA, and the Office of Current Intelligence.