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


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

India-Pakistan Situation: Ambassador Farland has sent in his assessment of the first few days of Bhuttoʼs regime. He concludes that Bhutto has moved with extraordinary speed to solidify his control of West Pakistan and to set the stage for launching his political and economic reform program. He has been aided in this effort by the widespread demoralization both within the military leadership and the populace as a whole, who seem prepared, at least for the moment, to give him a free hand. The early signs suggest that Bhuttoʼs domestic program will feature social reform and populist assaults on the establishment, while he builds a highly personal, somewhat authoritarian regime. On the international front, Bhutto has taken the first steps toward a new relationship with India with hints of some flexibility on the Bangla Desh issue and Mujib. On relations with the great powers, he seems to be keeping his options open. In sum, Farland says that Bhutto has taken over West Pakistan “lock, stock, and barrel,” probably saving it from internal collapse in the process. On the other hand, it is not clear whether Bhutto will be able to rise above his reputation for unscrupulousness, vanity, and intense personal ambition to become a real statesman.

From New Delhi, Ambassador Keating reports that Mrs. Gandhiʼs domestic political stock has soared while the oppositionʼs has declined in the wake of Indiaʼs military victory. Personal adulation of Mrs. Gandhi has gone to the extremes with even the opposition leaders hailing her as Indiaʼs Joan of Arc and the incarnation of various Hindu deities. At the same time, Mrs. Gandhi appears to have retained her cool, calculating manner and is moving to capitalize on her popularity by scheduling new elections in several states.

In other developments over the weekend, U Thant has named Vittorio Winspeare-Guicciardi, Under Secretary General and head of the UNʼs Geneva office, as his special representative in India and Pakistan [Page 873] to go to the subcontinent to help deal with humanitarian problems as called for in the Security Council resolution.2

Bhutto is reported to have announced plans for a judicial inquiry into the causes for Pakistanʼs defeat. It is not to submit its findings for three months and may be Bhuttoʼs effort to satisfy public opinion with a minimum move.3

[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.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 332.
  3. Nixon underlined Bhutto and added a handwritten note that reads: “K—he must be strongly informed—RN will be very opposed to trial of Yahya.” Kissinger noted in the margin that he had done so.