208. Letter From the Pakistani Ambassador (Raza) to President Nixon 1 2

My dear Mr. President,

I have the honour to convey to you the following message from President Bhutto:

BEGINS:

I am grateful for your message of congratulations on my assuming the office of President of Pakistan. On behalf of the people of Pakistan and myself, I reciprocate in full measure the warm sentiments you have expressed. At this first opportunity, let me convey our sincere appreciation to you and the American people for the support extended to us in our struggle to preserve our national independence and territorial integrity. The tragedy that has struck the people of Pakistan has few parallels in history. While the world watched, India set about to destroy with predatory cynicism the established frontiers of our homeland. India continues to occupy our territories in spite of the overwhelming verdict of the General Assembly and the demand of the Security Council for the withdrawal of all armed forces to their respective territories and to positions on the ceasefire line in Jammu and Kashmir. We seek a durable peace in the sub-continent, [Page 2] a just and honourable peace, but there can be no peace unless the armed forces of India first vacate their occupation of our territories.

An uneasy truce prevails with our troops on the borders, and our people face the grim aftermath of war. The task ahead is indeed formidable, but we are determined to succeed. We are determined to rebuild on the debris of the past, a past not of our making. The problems of national reconstruction are massive. We must as early as possible bring a measure of hope and happiness to our people who have endured much suffering. We have no doubt that in all our efforts we will have your continued cooperation, understanding and friendship and that of your great people.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

ENDS.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 760, Presidential Correspondence File, Pakistan, President Bhutto. No classification marking. The text of Bhutto’s letter was transmitted to Islamabad on January 28 in telegram 16271. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 US/Nixon)
  2. Raza conveyed a letter from Pakistani President Bhutto to Nixon in which Bhutto expressed appreciation for the support the U.S. gave to Pakistan during the conflict with India, and asked for continuing U.S. support as Pakistan attempted to negotiate a peace settlement and recover from the impact of the conflict.