264. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan1

222703. Islamabad for Ambassador.

You will have seen Dacca 5573.2 Contact Yahya immediately. Confirm whether this is the bona fide Pak position. If so ask him whether he would like us to be helpful vis-à-vis the UN with communications and otherwise.

Does this mean that Yahya is ready for a cease-fire in the West? If he is, we want him to know that we are ready to make a major effort [Page 740] to bring it about in order to preserve Pakistan territorial integrity and armed forces.

Please respond flash.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK. Secret; Flash. Drafted by Sisco and approved by U. Alexis Johnson. Repeated to New Delhi, Dacca, and USUN.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 263.
  3. Ambassador Farland contacted Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan who consulted with President Yahya and confirmed Pakistanʼs request for a UN-organized cease-fire in East Pakistan. Sultan Khan said that Pakistan was also ready for a UN-monitored cease-fire in the west, to be followed by negotiations to effect a troop withdrawal and a settlement of the war. (Telegram 12355 from Islamabad, December 10; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK)