262. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India 1

222636. 1. Under Secretary accompanied by Sisco called in Jha, accompanied by Verma, First Secretary.

2. Irwin said the United States is deeply concerned over the current developments in South Asia and wishes to ask the Ambassador what Indian intentions are. The US cannot countenance an Indian policy resulting in Indiaʼs taking of any territory. That would have a most profound and long-lasting effect on US-Indian relations and require the US to consider the implications resulting from such an action. Irwin said he had been instructed to ask the Ambassador to obtain from his government the assurance that India has no intention of taking any territory, including any part of Azad Kashmir. He made clear that while not minimizing US concern over Indian policies and actions in East Pakistan he spoke with particular reference to West Pakistan.

3. Jha noted that India had recognized Bangla Desh, but there was no intention of annexation in the East or what he termed a protectorate relationship with Bangla Desh.

4. Jha continued that in the West there has never been any intention of territorial annexation. However, with respect to Azad Kashmir, he could not give any answer totally free of uncertainty. He said he would have to inquire of Delhi and he would be in touch with us as soon as possible. He noted that as in 1965 that Pak forces had moved into Kashmir. He said he thought one factor which would have to be weighed is how prolonged and how broadly [based] the fighting will be. Here we had the impression he was referring to the fighting in the [Page 735] East, since he added that if Bangla Desh fighting could be sorted out quickly without new factors intervening, India would possibly go along with an early normalization of the situation. He said this was only personal speculation on his part since he would have to report to his government and get their views.

5. Jha then asked what are the Pak aims? Under Secretary pointed out that Pak aims were made very clear today in note to Secretary General accepting General Assembly resolution calling for ceasefire and withdrawal.2

6. Meeting concluded with Irwin stressing we were approaching a most serious crisis in our relations and the Ambassador saying again he would be in touch with us soon as he heard from Delhi.

Irwin
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted on December 9 by Sisco and approved by Irwin. Also sent to Islamabad, Moscow, and to Brussels as Tosec 44 for the Secretary at NATO meetings.
  2. Pakistanʼs acceptance of the General Assembly resolution was reported in telegram 4901 from USUN, December 10. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 578, Indo-Pak War, Pakistan Chronology, Dr Henry Kissinger)