55. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

K: Yesterday, Mr. President, I didnʼt have a chance to talk to you about it, because we were both in transit. We have reports that the Indians are massing troops at the Pakistan border—

P: Which one, East or West?

K: East. And I asked Alex [Johnson] let Keating tell the Indians that whatever the problem is and while we were keeping our hands off and while we were willing to help humanitarian efforts, we were strongly opposed to military action.

P: We certainly will; if they go in there with military action, by God we will cut off economic aid.

K: And that is the last thing we can afford now to have the Pakistan government overthrown, given the other things we are doing.

P: And also they have got to know that if [sic] what is in jeopardy here is economic aid. That is what is in jeopardy.

K: And there is absolutely no justification for it—they donʼt have a right to invade Pakistan no matter what Pakistan does in its territory. Besides the killing has stopped.

P: It has quieted down.

K: Oh yes. It may not be a tenable situation in the long term, but again that is not for India to decide.

[Omitted here is the remainder of the discussion, which is unrelated to South Asia.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 396, Telephone Conversations, Home File, May–Nov 1971. No classification marking. President Nixon was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger called from his home in the Georgetown section of Washington.