274. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2


  • India-Pakistan Summit

The provisions of the India-Pakistan Agreement on Bilateral Relations reached at the Simla meetings between Prime Minister Gandhi and President Bhutto fall into three categories.

  • First, there is a series of general agreements
    • —The principles of the UN Charter shall govern their relations.
    • —They will settle their differences, including the basic differences of the last 25 years, by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or any other peaceful means they may agree on. Pending final settlement, neither side will alter the situation unilaterally.
    • —The prerequisite to reconciliation is a commitment to peaceful co-existence.
    • —Each will respect the other’s national unity, territorial integrity, political independence and sovereign equality.
    • —They will refrain from the threat or use of force against each other.
  • Second, there is agreement on a progression of steps to restore and normalize relations in the following fields.
    • —Resume communications, postal, telegraphic, sea, land and air links.
    • —Promote travel.
    • —Resume trade and economic cooperation as far as possible.
    • —Promote scientific and cultural exchanges.
  • Third, there are steps “to initiate the process of the establishment of durable peace”:
    • —Indian and Pakistani forces shall be withdrawn to their respective sides of the international border, i.e., the border south of Jammu and Kashmir.
    • —In Jammu and Kashmir both sides will respect the December 17, 1971, cease-fire line without prejudice to the recognized positions of either side.
    • —The withdrawal will begin as soon as the agreement is ratified and be completed within 30 days. (Bhutto has called a special session of his National Assembly for next Monday, July 10, so the withdrawal could begin soon. )
    • —Representatives will meet to discuss repatriation of prisoners and civilian internees, resumption of diplomatic relations and a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir.
    • —There will be another summit at a mutually convenient time.

While Bhutto did not get his prisoners back, he can point to the agreement for withdrawal of Indian troops south of Kashmir. The main Pakistani concession in this document seems to be Bhuttos apparent willingness to settle the Kashmir issue bilaterally rather than with third-party involvement, as has been the traditional Pakistani position. The Indian concession seems to be allowing Bhutto to go home with some movement as a beginning to a longer process.

Since the main issues—prisoners, Kashmir, Bangladesh recognition—all involve Mujib, it is not surprising that progress on them would await some sort of understanding with Mujib. Bhutto on returning to Lahore said he was confident the prisoner issue would be settled soon, and he had earlier said he hoped to meet with Mujib before his regular National Assembly Session scheduled to begin August 14. What really came out of the summit will not be clear until we begin to get reports on whatever understanding may have been reached on how each side will approach Mujib and according to what timetable.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 598, Country Files, Middle East, India, Vol. V, 31 Dec 71-July 1972. Confidential. Sent for information. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates Nixon saw it.
  2. Kissinger provided an assessment of the Simla agreement.