5. Telegram 19762 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan 1 2


  • Pakistan Ambassador’s Call on Secretary Rogers
After an exchange of preliminary remarks in which both the Secretary and Ambassador Hilaly touched on President Nixon’s keen interest in Pakistan, the Ambassador described Pakistan’s development program. He emphasized the breakthrough in agriculture, Pakistan’s increasing exports, and its achievements in light industry. He added that not only had Pakistan virtually solved its food problem, but that its exports were now 58 per cent manufactured goods and only 42 per cent raw materials.
Expressing gratitude for the very large US assistance program in the past, the Ambassador said that this aid had made possible Pakistan’s liberal economic policy. He expressed sharp concern over decreases in recent years in the US aid program, saying that it had dropped from $250 million three years ago to $70 million this year. He said that US commodity loans and IDA were the only sources of “soft” aid of the kind which had made possible Pakistan’s development success. He was not optimistic about getting [Page 2] significant additional funds from IDA and, unless some way could be found to cushion the blow of reduced US aid, the tempo of Pakistan’s development program would be impossible to maintain. He emphasized that Pakistan needed at least $200 million per year in “soft” aid. He asked that Secretary Rogers acquaint the President of Pakistan’s problem.
The Ambassador touched briefly on Pakistan’s political problems, saying that President Ayub had fired up the people to a real development effort, but that the Government had perhaps become a bit complacent recently, and it now looked as if some changes would have to be made. He pointed out there had been no foreign policy issues raised in the present agitation in Pakistan and recommended to the Secretary the chapters on foreign policy in President Ayub’s book. He was sure all elements of Pakistani opinion except the extreme fringes were agreed on current foreign policy. He said it was in the US interest to help Asian leaders like Ayub who were moderate and responsible and that our two countries should discuss their problems frankly.
The Secretary said that President Nixon and he were very conscious of Pakistan’s problems and they will certainly be studied very carefully. We know that Pakistan’s development program has been doing very well. However, many countries have aid requests and our people and our Congress are questioning aid policy very closely.They are unable to understand why many countries which seek our aid at the same time castigate the US and its policy. He added that a new AID Director had just been appointed and that a group was studying the whole aid problem.
As the meeting was ending, Ambassador Hilaly said he wished the Secretary would [Page 3] mention to President Nixon the problem of military supply. Pakistan has a request for five F–104 replacement aircraft pending. It also had been trying for almost two years to get one hundred secondhand tanks, about which there was a promise from President Johnson during a stopover visit to Karachi airport in December, 1967. It appeared that something was moving on one hundred tanks with Turkey now, but the Pakistan Army is getting worried after all these months of waiting. Pakistan also faces the question of decisions for the future as to where it is going to get military equipment in the years ahead. The Secretary indicated he expected to come to grips with these problems soon.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL PAK–US. Confidential. Drafted on February 6 by James W. Spain (NEA/PAF), cleared by William J. Handley (NEA), and approved for transmission by Spain. The conversation took place on February 6. Rogers reported on the conversation in a memorandum that he sent to the President on February 6. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1, President’s Daily Briefs, Feb 1–8, 1969)
  2. In a conversation with Secretary Rogers, Pakistani Ambassador Hilaly outlined Pakistan’s concerns about reduced economic assistance from the United States and the delay in promised military supplies.