26. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Policy Review on Pakistan

Secretary Rogers has sent you the attached memo2 saying that the time has come to “re-examine our basic stance toward Pakistan.” He cites the need to keep our options open in case East Pakistan becomes independent and to examine our relative priorities between India and Pakistan and the interplay of U.S. interests with those of Communist China and the Soviets in South Asia. To this end, the Secretary has ordered the Interdepartmental Group for the Near East and South Asia to conduct an “urgent review” of U.S. policy toward Pakistan and to make recommendations for consideration by the Senior Review Group and possibly by the NSC.

The situation in Pakistan is changing, and the Senior Review Group met Friday3 morning to discuss our posture in light of these new developments. You will soon be called upon to make some decisions on our economic aid and military supply programs for Pakistan [Page 67] on which it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find a neutral ground. Whatever we do or do not do has implications.

It is important that this exercise begin with a clear focus on our overall interests and objectives in South Asia and result in a policy framework that will provide a sound basis for these decisions. I shall report further as this review proceeds. The Senior Review Group is meeting again this week.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–053, SRG Meeting, Pakistan 4/9/71. Secret. Sent for information. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. Dated April 7; attached but not printed.
  3. April 9.