175. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Among the Deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan (Bhutto), the Pakistani Ambassador (Raza), and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2

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R: We have talked to the Chinese. They say, ‘We are trying to do something. So far the Americans have not come out with anything except behind the scenes. First it came out that the Americans said it was unjustified. They say they are talking to the Russians. But the Russians have taken no notice of it. If we do come in, we might be left high and dry.’ That is their main worry. I am telling you this briefly.

K: Where are you now?

R: Here in the room of the Deputy Prime Minister.

K: I think a meeting between the deputy Prime Minister and the President would be unwise. It has nothing to do with assurances. I will find out and get you assurances. It would create a tremendous amount of excitement for the Deputy Prime Minister to come here before we find out what we will do jointly.

R: The Chinese say they will not support the Resolution for a ceasefire alone. They must insist on a ceasefire and withdrawal.

K: Will they vote against it?

R: They won’t vote against it—they will abstain.

K: What do you want them to do?

R: I have to convey something of your reaction—whether you will come out with something so the world and the Russians know you are serious. They say the Russians are the biggest bluffers, and also the biggest cowards. They want to make use of others to fight their war. If they are openly challenged then they will come down. May I have the Deputy Prime Meister speak to you?

K: Please. Mr. Deputy Prime Minister?

B: Dr. Kissinger, how are you? I appreciate the fact that I am conveying our thoughts to you for conveying to the President himself. It is the political implication that we have talked to him and it will perhaps affect the Indian thinking on this.

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K: Let me talk to the President

B: Otherwise, I am satisfied with our discussions.

K: Let me talk to him and see.

B: The other people are reluctant about the final position we spoke about. Five days ago they took a position in the General Assembly, insisting on two elements in the Resolution.

K: What do you want?

B: They bailed us out before. We can’t tell them offhand ‘no, we don’t agree.’ We have to discuss it further with you and then go and talk finally to them. Time is running out.

K: What is there to discuss?

B: They say the final position is not according to their position—that presents the complication. The first two elements—try and succeed on that. If we fail on that...

K: They don’t even want to raise the second point?

B: They want to raise it in the sense of what they told me. They first thought we wouldn’t be so hesitant. They seem to be firm. They said something about your own position—‘we don’t know whether the U.S. has effectively and firmly told the other people.’

K: Tell the other people firmly what?

B: ‘You cannot intervene and you must stop intervening and if you intervene, then we have obligations to Pakistan.’

K: We have done that.

B: I told him that. He said, ‘we have to be satisfied also.’ I told him we were stuck in the middle. They said it is essential that we reconcile the American and China points of view. Both have staked their own prestige on it. They said, ‘we would like to see further agreement between the two of you.’ These are the developments since we met—we had discussions. Furthermore, in view of what I suggest...

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K: I think it will be very difficult and I don’t think very wise. The President is in Camp David. If we get you there, there will be a great sensation and immediately we have to announce a lot of things which I don’t know whether will do much good. I will raise it with the President.

B: This might have at least that effect on the Soviets as well the initiative.

K: I understand. I will raise it with him.

B: Ambassador Raza wants to talk with you again.

R: If I come straight away...

K: I am going out for dinner now and you are still in New York. I will see you if it is urgent. What would we discuss?

R: The point is that I should assure the Chinese as to exactly how you consider coming out with something strong instead of just writing a letter. They quoted the example of Cuba. The Russians tried to blast through; when they were face down by the U.S., they backed off. The same thing in the Middle East. They also brought up the point—‘you tell us these things but Bush is meeting with Bangla Desh people; and the State Department is hobnobbing with the Bangla Desh.’

K: But you know we are not talking to the Bangla Desh.

R: They say they have information Bush is meeting people.

K: He received somebody he didn’t know was Bangla Desh.

R: This is not my view. I am telling you what they said.

B: These people are concerned the U.S. doesn’t mean to do anything seriously and are marking time. I didn’t want to raise all these things on the phone. My main point is we don’t want to bypass you or them. They would like complete, substantial agreement in your thinking.

K: Let me call you in an hour.

B: Thank you.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 11–15 Dec 1971. No classification marking. Haig was also on the telephone. Kissinger and Haig were in Washington; Bhutto and Raza were in New York City.
  2. Bhutto asked to meet with Nixon, and he and Raza pressed Kissinger for a firm public statement warning India to cease intervention in Pakistan.