302. Telegram From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Presidentʼs Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1

Here are my present thoughts on India–Pakistan.
We should move a ceasefire resolution soonest. It would be best if British resolution were introduced. But the Italian2 would serve as a vehicle as well. The major objective should be to get a cease-fire resolution with vague political formula not mentioning Bangla Desh or East Pakistan. In this round we must make a record and get asked by Paks to do the political yielding. Make sure Paks keep Chinese informed and abroad. Put it hard to Vorontsov that vague formula is the bridge to our common objective on political side. It is imperative that they show good faith and stop stalling if they want serious dealing with White House.
Spivack is to stay away from Bangla Desh. See you soon.
Re Delhi 19203,3 Keating is to give no such assurances. Many thanks.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 432, Backchannel Files, Backchannels To/From HAK. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only; Flash. The telegram is not numbered; it was received in the White House at 11: 51 a.m. A draft, found in another file, indicates it was transmitted at 1637Z. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan)
  2. The texts of the Italian and British draft resolutions were transmitted to Kissinger on December 14 in White House telegrams WH 11159 and WH 11176, respectively. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 432, Backchannel Files, Backchannels To/From HAK) The differences between the two resolutions were summarized by Saunders in a December 15 memorandum to Kissinger as follows:

    “The British is a simple ceasefire on all fronts. The Italian still provides, in addition, for ‘disengagement leading to the withdrawal of all their respective armed forces from the areas of conflict.’

    “The British tries to say enough about a political settlement to hint that it could be what the Indians want. The Italian provides for direct negotiations between the West and East Pakistanis without pre-conditions and could save some Pakistani dignity.

    “The British sets up a UN special representative to help sort out political and humanitarian problems. The Italian leaves it to the locals.” On balance, Saunders felt that the Italian resolution was preferable from the U.S. perspective. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 573, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/14/71–12/16/71)

  3. In telegram 19203 from New Delhi, December 14, Ambassador Keating reported that rumors of possible U.S. involvement in the Indo-Pak war were circulating in India. He asked for authorization to offer assurances that the United States did not intend to support Pakistan with U.S. arms or equipment. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK)