227. Telegram 1622 From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State 1 2

Pres. Bhutto has requested that following message be transmttted by urgent means to Pres. Nixon:

Mr. President,

On the eve of your eventful visit to Peking I send you my personal good wishes for the success of the important mission you are undertaking, a mission which demonstrates your statesmanship and vision. The whole world is watching with hopeful expectation the outcome of your discussions with the Chinese leaders as it may well open a new era in international relations. You have the prayers of all nations who want enduring peace in the world based on recognized principles of international morality in contradiction to the fleeting exigencies of power politics.

I would like to take this occasion, Mr. President, to share with you some of my thoughts and those of my countrymen on matters which are of grave concern to us and others in this part of the world.

We are, indeed, grateful for the personal efforts made by you and your government to prevent an armed conflict in the sub-continent. That it did break out and that Pakistan was subjected to calculated and ruthless aggression by India with the connivance of a great neighboring power, does not diminish the value of your efforts. The brave posture taken by the United States in defence of the weaker but morally victorious country was vindicated by the support of the overwhelming majority of countries in the General Assembly of the United Nations. During my visit to Peking earlier this month, I found that the Chinese leaders shared our [Page 2] appreciation of your constructive role in the tragedy which struck Pakistan.

A most painful consequence of the latest Indian aggression is the large number of Pakistani prisioners of war who are still languishing in Indian prisoner of war camps. Quite independent of other considerations, this, by all civilized standards, is a humanitarian question. Unfortunately, India cynically sees in it an opportunity to exert political pressure on Pakistan, and has disregarded all our efforts to seek their early repatriation. In the same spirit India is procrastinating the withdrawal of her troops from Pakistan’s territories occupied during the conflict.

India’s aggression, her indefensible detention of our prisoners of war and the continued presence of her troops on our soil have destroyed the fabric of peace and security in the sub-continent. India’s massive military preparations and the vast arsenal of arms she has managed to collect with the collusion of the Soviet Union have shifted the military balance preponderantly in her favor, and to the detriment of her neighbors, particularly Pakistan. Today, it is not Pakistan alone that stands exposed to danger, but all smaller neighbours of India. If military expansionism is allowed to be pursued as an instrument of contemporary foreign policy, Asia will see no peace, nor will the rest of the world. Before the present crisis, Pakistan was a bulwark against India’s military adventurism in South Asia. Thus Pakistan’s dismemberment is not only a most tragic event for our people but it carries with it far reaching implications far beyond the pale of our borders.

Mr. President, I do not have to dilate on these matters as you are fully conscious of the significance of these and other important developments. You have not only raised your powerful voice but mobilized your resources to prevent the chain of crisis which must, inevitably, occur if India, backed by a neighbouring super power, is allowed to go on the rampage from Burma to Iran and from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean. The truth of this imminent danger is testified by your report on foreign policy to the Congress. We are confident that you will continue to abide by the principles for which you have taken such a courageous position.

[Page 3]

In the ultimate analysis the great powers have responsibility to ensure that a lasting peace is established in the sub-continent, on the principle that national territorial integrity is sacrosanct and that the balance of power must not be allowed to tilt preponderantly in favour of a predatory aggressor state. We hope that your discussions in Peking will embrace some of these problems. I wish you success in your discussions with the Chinese leaders, and hope that the talks will be the first positive step in establishing peace in our Asia—a peace which will enshrine the time-honoured principles of justice and equity.

With warm personal regards,

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

His Excellency
Mr. Richard Nixon
President of the
United States of America Unquote


Note by OC/Ts Exdis caption inserted per Mr. Flatin, S/SO.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 627, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. IX, Jan–31 Aug 72. Secret; Immediate; Exdis.
  2. The Embassy transmitted a message from Pakistani President Bhutto to President Nixon in which Bhutto reviewed Pakistan’s grievances and concerns regarding India in the hope that they would factor into Nixon’s discussions with Chinese leaders during Nixon’s impending visit to China.