271. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

I met with Yahya in his residence at 1000 hrs. local Dec. 10 and conveyed to him the information contained in your message of Dec. 9.2 Yahyaʼs initial reaction was to indicate a lack of comprehension regarding exactly what was implied by the information conveyed. After I went over the entire subject again and reiterated salient points, Yahya still indicated strong objections because “Russia is giving India everything she wants.”
I then undertook the hardest “sell job” of my life. After about 30 minutes I brought Yahya around to a point where he was making his own proposition. Except for the slightly different wording and the [Page 749] fact it was his own proposal and not the Russian one, Yahya in fact “bought” the original proposal as delivered.
Yahya proposes that, subject to the provisos contained in paragraph 2 of your communication, (a) India and Pakistan should agree to an immediate ceasefire with the separate armed forces “standing fast”; and that the United Nations or other international organization provide observers to see that the ceasefire is effective; (b) that India and Pakistan “at any effective level” immediately open negotiations aimed at a settlement of the war and troop withdrawal; and coincident therewith simultaneously enter into negotiations looking towards the political satisfaction of Bengali aspirations, i.e., a political settlement.
I read the operative paragraph above to Yahya and he reaffirmed his position. Warm regards.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, December 1–10. Secret; Sensitive. The text of this message was conveyed to Haig in a December 10 memorandum. (Ibid.)
  2. Document 259.