82. Letter From Pakistani President Yahya to President Nixon1

Dear Mr. President,

I was greatly encouraged by report given to me by Mr. M.M. Ahmad after his meeting with you in Washington last month. I deeply appreciate your continuing interest in our development and particularly your assurance that United States would not wish to do anything that would aggravate Pakistanʼs difficulties and United States would like World Bank and other members of Consortium to adopt a similar helpful posture.

The proceedings of the informal meeting of the Consortium held at Paris on 21st June have however come to us as a disappointment. The official communiqué issued after the meeting is bare and negative. The same day British Broadcasting Corporation and New York Times carried stories that the Consortium had decided to withhold further aid to Pakistan until the Pakistan Government reveals what sort of political settlement it envisages for East Pakistan. The veracity of the newspaper reports has been enhanced by a statement of the British Foreign Secretary that “there can be no question of new British aid to Pakistan until we have firm evidence that real progress is being made towards a political settlement”.
All these developments have led to a strong and widespread public reaction in Pakistan. It is most unfortunate that all this should have happened at this juncture. It can only make more difficult the task of a political settlement.
In response to these developments I had no choice but to declare in unequivocal terms in my broadcast of today that external assistance with political strings will be unacceptable to Pakistan.
It is important that the general impression about the present attitude of the Consortium countries to Pakistan is fully clarified. The adjournment of the Paris discussions without announcing a date to take up our requirements is being interpreted as a consequence of Indian pressure tactics.
I hope Mr. President that in view of the friendly relations between our two countries and your personal interest in Pakistanʼs integrity and well-being, you will prevent the present ambiguity and misunderstanding from becoming a source of further strains in Pakistanʼs relations with the Western world. This is something which we should in our joint interest try to prevent.
Your sympathetic approach to the problems that Pakistan is facing today and the understanding you have shown of our efforts to resolve the crisis in East Pakistan continue to be a source of strength to me. I hope Mr. President that your personal interest and support in this regard will be maintained.

With warm personal regards,

Yours sincerely,

A.M. Yahya Khan
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 759, Presidential Correspondence File, Pakistan (1971). Secret. Sent to Kissinger on June 29 under cover of a letter from Pakistan Ambassador Hilaly which indicated that the text of the letter had been transmitted by telegram from Islamabad. (Ibid.)