95. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon 1

SUBJECT

  • Dr. Kissingerʼs Talks with Mrs. Gandhi and Foreign Minister Singh

Some additional information concerning Dr. Kissingerʼs meetings with Mrs. Gandhi and Foreign Minister Singh has been provided in Ambassador Keatingʼs reporting cables:

  • —In a brief initial private session Mrs. Gandhi explained her political problems, her desire to avoid the use of force and her concern about Chinese influence in East Pakistan.
  • —When asked how much time there was before the refugee problem would become unmanageable, Mrs. Gandhi said it already was “and we are holding it together by sheer will power.” She added that practically no one in the Indian Parliament approved of her policy.
  • —Mrs. Gandhi said that India was not wedded to any particular solution to the conflict between East and West Pakistan. In fact, she said, it is not an Indo-Pak problem and that India would not be involved except for the refugees.
  • —Mrs. Gandhi asserted that the pattern of the past U.S.-Pak relationship has led the Pakistanis to expect U.S. support no matter what actions it takes. This, she said, has encouraged a “policy of adventurism” and it is irritating to have the whole survival of the Pakistani state based on antagonism to India.
  • —Concerning her possible visit to the U.S. in November, Mrs. Gandhi said she would like to come but could not “breathe a word of it now” or she would be placed in a position where she would have to say “No.”
  • —In a relaxed, unemotional and cordial atmosphere, much of the same ground was covered with Foreign Minister Singh. He made an explicit effort to depersonalize the issue of our own shipments to Pakistan but did emphasize the blow to Indo-U.S. relations.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Kissinger Papers, Geopolitical File, Box TS 58, Trips: HAK, Chron File, July 1971. Secret;Nodis. Sent for information. The memorandum was sent to President Nixon on July 8 as an attachment to another memorandum from Haig summarizing Kissingerʼs visit to New Delhi. (Ibid.) A handwritten note in an unknown hand reads: “Donʼt send—pouch back.”