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


  • Information Items

India-Pakistan Situation: President Yahya has agreed to a ceasefire in the west by saying that Pakistanʼs earlier acceptance of the UNGA resolution indicates its willingness provided “other provisions” are also observed. He has ordered his forces to stop firing at 9:30 a.m. EST, the time India proposed.

Ambassador Bush at the end of last eveningʼs consultations reported that agreement on a Security Council resolution seemed closer than at any time previously. The focal point of discussion was the U.S./Japanese draft which:

  • —demands that a durable cease-fire be observed until disengagement takes place leading to “prompt withdrawal of the armed forces from all the occupied territories”;
  • —calls on all members to refrain from aggravating the situation;
  • —calls for protection of civilians and soldiers;
  • —calls for international assistance in the relief, return and rehabilitation of the refugees and strengthening the UN staff to assist.

Negotiations on wording will continue this morning. The Security Council is scheduled to convene at 10:30 a.m. In the course of consultations in response to a specific question by Ambassador Bush on Kashmir, Foreign Minister Singh stated categorically that India “has no intent to alter the cease-fire line,”2 except for minor rectifications for geographic reasons to which each side agreed.

Singh also said that in the east India planned to install a civilian government of officials elected in 1970. He asked whether the U.S. could get Mujib released to head it, but he did not press the point. The Indian army will stay in the barracks. India is not interested in occupation but cannot withdraw under present conditions and leave chaos behind. India will withdraw as soon as practicable and wished the UN resolution to reflect the need for flexibility in timing.

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[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] the Indian army in the East has been instructed to isolate radicals within the Mukti Bahini. New Delhi is reportedly insisting that Bangla Desh have a government that includes political elements other than the Awami League. The multi-party consultative committee set up earlier in the fall, including some Communists, will apparently form the nucleus of the new government.

There is talk in West Pakistan that Yahya will be replaced, but so far these reports remain speculative.

Prior to the scheduled cease-fire this morning, heavy fighting apparently continued on the western front with India claiming gains inside Pakistan in the area south of Kashmir. Major Indian progress there would have put an end to Pakistani hope of sustaining a major campaign in Kashmir.

An analysis [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] indicates the continuation of Chinese air transport activity of the type previously associated with Chinese aircraft and supply deliveries to West Pakistan.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 38, Presidentʼs Daily Briefs. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. Printed from an uninitialed copy.
  2. The exchange between Bush and Singh, which included this assurance, was reported to the Department in telegram 5110 from USUN, December 17. (Ibid, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK)