Bangladesh


29. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco) to Secretary of State Rogers, January 5, 1973.

Sisco presented Secretary ROGERS with a draft cable for the Dhaka Embassy instructing it to insist on an explanation of the police “fade out” and on procedures for recovering U.S. property.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970—73, CUL 11 Bangladesh. Confidential. It was drafted by Laingen and cleared by Meyer. The Embassy delivered the letter attached in telegram 3179 to Dhaka on January 6. On January 2 police protecting the USIS center in Dhaka abandoned the building to student protesters. In telegram 218, January 11, the Embassy reported that with protection from Bangladeshi police, U.S. officials had reoccupied the USIS building in Dhaka. (Ibid., 23—8 BDG—US)


30. Memorandum From Harold Saunders and Samuel Hoskinson of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), February 5, 1973.

Saunders and Hoskinson asked Kissinger for a decision on whether to release a $30 million grant for Bangladesh, or wait to signal U.S. concerns regarding events in Bangladesh. Kissinger elected to wait.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 591, Country Files, Middle East, Bangladesh, Volume 1. Limited Official Use. Sent for Action. Kissinger checked the “wait” option. On an undated attached note to Kissinger, Scowcroft wrote: “Henry, I think we should wait.”


31. Telegram 87646 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Bangladesh, May 8, 1973, 2305Z.

The Department summarized a conversation between Assistant Secretary Sisco and Ambassador HOSSAIN ALI on the negotiations stemming from the Simla agreement, including Pakistani recognition of Bangladesh, the repatriation of Bengalis and Biharis, and war crimes trials.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970—73, POL Bangladesh—U.S. Confidential. It was drafted by Peck, NEA/PAB; cleared by NEA/PAB, NEA/IRN, and NEA; and approved by Sisco. It was repeated to London, New Delhi, Tehran, Islamabad, and USUN.


32. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), June 20, 1973.

The memorandum discussed the relationship between stability and the provision of food aid. The tight U.S. grain supply posed a problem for the fulfillment of U.S. aid pledges for fiscal 1973—74.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, AID (U.S.) 15-8 Bangladesh. Limited Official Use. It was drafted by Lawrence Lesser (NEA/PAB); and cleared by NEA, NEA/PAB, EB/OFP, and AID/ASIA/DP. R. H. Miller signed his name above Theodore Eliot's typed signature.


33. Official-Informal Letter From the Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy in Bangladesh (Newberry) to the Director of the Office of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh Affairs (Constable), August 27, 1973.

Chargé d'Affaires Newberry argued that the United States should not undertake to create a military supply relationship with Bangladesh.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Dhaka Embassy Files: Lot 76 F 62, DEF 1, General, 1973. Confidential. The letter is an unsigned copy. A copy was sent to Sidney Sober in Islamabad and to the Minister Counselor in New Delhi. The letter from Newberry was a response to Constable's request for information in a letter of August 13. This followed a semi-official inquiry by Bangladeshi army officers into the possibility of purchasing arms and spare parts from the United States, discussed in a memorandum of conversation dated July 18, submitted by Economic and Commercial Officer Jay Freres. (Ibid.)


34. Minutes of the Secretary of State's Staff Regional Staff Meeting, Washington, February 14, 1974

In the regional staff meeting, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Sisco and Secretary of State Kissinger discussed a specific message to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India commending the recent agreement to reopen the questions of prisoners of war and recognition of Bangladesh. The participants also discussed how to facilitate communication between the interested states.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger's Staff Meetings, 1973-77, Entry 5177, Box 2, Secretary's Analytical Staff Meetings. Secret; Nodis. In telegram 32493, February 17, the Department transmitted the text of a “pat on the back message.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Sober congratulated the Pakistani and Bangladeshi Governments on February 22 for settling the recognition issue. (Ibid.)


35. Minutes of the Secretary of State's Staff Regional Staff Meeting, Washington, April 10, 1974, 3:10 p.m.

Secretary of State Kissinger, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Rodger Davies, and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Sisco discussed the prospects for improved relations on the subcontinent in the wake of the agreement on POWs and the recognition of Bangladesh.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger's Staff Meetings, 1973-77, Entry 5177, Box 2, Secretary's Analytical Staff Meetings. Secret.


36. Memorandum of Conversation, New York, September 30, 1974, 10:30 a.m.

Secretary of State Kissinger and Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman met the day before Mujib was to meet President Ford in Washington. They discussed the Simla negotiations and the normalization of relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan; other topics included development, the state of U.S. foreign policy, and the events of the 1971 crisis.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Exdis. It was drafted by Constable and approved in S on October 15. Kissinger was in New York for the UN General Assembly.


37. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, October 1, 1974, 3 p.m.

Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman and President Gerald Ford discussed U.S.-Bangladeshi relations.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Files, Memoranda of Conversations, Ford Administration, Box 6, October-December 1974. Secret; Nodis. Secretary of State ROGERS had recommended inviting Mujib the previous June, but Kissinger and Scowcroft delayed until after Pakistani President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's meeting with Nixon that September. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 591, Country Files, Middle East, Bangladesh, Volume 1)


38. Telegram 220125 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Bangladesh, October 5, 1974, 0054Z.

The Department commented on the visit of Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman and the likely consequences for Bangladesh.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Islamabad Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 114, Decentralized Subject Files, 1973-74, Pakistan/Bangladesh. Confidential. It was repeated to Islamabad, London, and New Delhi.


39. Memorandum of Conversation, Dhaka, October 30, 1974, 5:30p.m.

Secretary of State Kissinger and Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman discussed the economic and political state of Bangladesh and its relations with Pakistan.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973-77, Entry 5407, Box 5, Nodis Memoranda of Conversation, November 1974. Confidential. It was drafted by Laingen


40. Telegram 26227 From the Department of State to the Embassies in Bangladesh and Pakistan, February 5, 1975, 1739Z.

Bangladeshi Ambassador HOSSAIN ALI met with Undersecretary of State Joseph Sisco to ask that Secretary of State Kissinger convey a message to Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Middle East and South Asia, Box 2, Bangladesh-State Department Telegrams, From Secretary of State Exdis. Confidential; Priority; Exdis. It was drafted by Griffin (NEA/PAB); cleared by NEA; and approved by Sisco. It was repeated to New Delhi. In Telegram 177 from Dhaka, January 10, Boster reported on Hossain's request. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)


41. Telegram 29604 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Bangladesh, February 9, 1975, 0447Z.

The Department transmitted Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's reply to the Bangladeshi feeler about negotiations.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Middle East and South Asia, Box 2, Bangladesh-State Department Telegrams, From Secretary of State, Exdis. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. It was drafted by Griffin; cleared by NEA; and approved by Kissinger. It was repeated to Islamabad and New Delhi.


42. Minutes of the Secretary of State's Regional Staff Meeting, Washington, August 15, 1975, 8 a.m.

Assistant Secretary Atherton briefed Secretary of State Kissinger on the unfolding coup in Bangladesh.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger's Staff Meetings, 1973-77, Entry 5177, Box 3, Secretary's Analytical Staff Meetings. Secret.


43. Telegram 3964 From the Embassy in Bangladesh to the Department of State, August 16, 1975, 1135Z.

The Embassy provided for the Department early analysis of the August 15 coup against President Mujibur Rahman. It tentatively predicted that the United States would enjoy greater influence under the government of new president Khondakar Mushtaque Ahmed.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Priority. It was repeated to Islamabad, Katmandu, New Delhi, Calcutta, and CINCPAC.


44. Telegram 197340 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Bangladesh, August 19, 1975, 2333Z.

The Department informed the Embassy of the conversation between Assistant Secretary Atherton and Ambassador Ali. Both Atherton and Ali emphasized the importance of continuing normal relations, despite the coup.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Dhaka Embassy Files: Lot 80 F 185, Subject Files, 1974-78, POL 23-9 Coup, August-September 1975. Confidential; Immediate. It was repeated to New Delhi and Islamabad.


45. Telegram 5470 From the Embassy in Bangladesh to the Department of State, November 10, 1975, 1010Z.

The Embassy provided a narrative account and analysis of the military unrest and resulting coup of November 3-10.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. It was repeated priority to Bangkok, Colombo, Islamabad, Kabul, Katmandu, Moscow, New Delhi, Rangoon, Beijing, Calcutta, and CINCPAC. The Embassy warned of a possible coup against the Ahmed Government repeatedly in a series of analytical telegrams, including 5088, October 21 and 5300, November 3. (Both ibid.) In telegram 5398, November 7, the Embassy reported meeting with representatives of Major General Ziaur Rahman, who emerged as the center of the post-November 10 government. (Ibid.)


46. Telegram 325 From the Embassy in Bangladesh to the Department of State, January 19, 1976, 0950Z.

The ambassador dined with General ZIA and discussed U.S. aid to Bangladesh, population control, the training of police and military personnel, and Bangladeshi relations with India.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Dhaka Embassy Files: Lot 79 F 54, Dhaka Decentralized Subject Files, 1976, POL 15 Bangladesh-United States, 1976. Confidential;Limdis. It was drafted by Boster; cleared by Cheslaw (DCM) and POL; and approved by Boster. It was repeated to Islamabad and New Delhi.


47. Telegram 1532 From the Embassy in Bangladesh to the Department of State, March 29, 1976, 0915Z.

The Embassy reported on the lack of institutional human rights protections in Bangladesh under the State of Emergency imposed during the November 1975 coup. While there was no constitution, it noted that the Martial Law Administration (MLA) did not suppress the rule of law and cited the steady release of political prisoners by the post-August governments.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Dhaka Embassy Files: Lot 79 F 54, Decentralized Subject Files 1976, SOC 14, Human Rights. Confidential; Priority. It was drafted by Sheila Kaye O'Connell (POL); cleared by POL and Cheslaw (DCM); and approved by Boster. The report responded to Department telegram 45319, February 26, which requested the yearly human rights report from all posts. (Ibid.)


48. Aide-Mémoire, Dhaka, June 16, 1976.

The Embassy pointed out to the Bangladeshi Ministry of Foreign Affairs that compensation for the USIS centers damaged in the December 1972 and January 1973 attacks had not yet been made.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Dhaka Embassy Files: Lot 79 F 54, Decentralized Subject Files, 1976, POL 15, Bangladesh-United States, 1976. No classification marking. It was cleared by Cochran and Fawcett; and approved by Boster. For background on the January 5, 1973 student attack on the USIS center in Dhaka see Document 29.


49. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, July 2, 1976, noon.

Secretary of State Kissinger met with Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator Rear Admiral Mossharaf Hossain Khan to discuss the possible sale of U.S. military equipment to Bangladesh, as well as the problem of Indian military incursions into Bangladesh.

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 105, Geopolitical File, Bangladesh 1975-77. Confidential; Nodis. It was drafted by Peck; and approved on July 22 in S. The meeting took place in the Secretary's Office. Khan wished to follow this meeting with another in October on the mistaken assumption they tacitly agreed to negotiate an arms supply agreement. Atherton disabused Bangladeshi misconceptions. See Document 52, and Telegram 233901 to Kissinger, September 21, National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files.


50. Telegram 170354 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Bangladesh, July 10, 1976, 1838Z.

The Department summarized the July 1 meeting between Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator Rear Admiral Khan and USAID Administrator Daniel Parker, on Bangladesh's need for helicopters, military equipment, increased PL-480 aid, and questions of trade and development. PARKER indicated the constraints limiting additional U.S. aid to Bangladesh, particularly military aid.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Dhaka Embassy Files: Lot 79 F 54, Decentralized Subject Files 1976, POL 15 Bangladesh-United States 1976. Limited Official Use.


51. Memorandum for the Record, Washington, September 3, 1976.

Ambassador Davis Boster reported a conversation he had with Bangladeshi Ambassador M. R. Siddiqi in Washington on August 30. Boster noted the positive effects of Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator Khan's visit, the general improvement in relations since 1973, and Bangladeshi domestic politics.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Dhaka Embassy Files: Lot 80 F 185, Subject Files, 1974-78, E 19, Political Views 1976. Confidential; Limdis. It was drafted by Boster. A copy was sent to DCM, POL, ECON, and NEA/PAB.


52. Telegram 252346 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Bangladesh, October 12, 1976, 2013Z.

The Department reported on the meeting between Rear Admiral Khan and Assistant Secretary Atherton and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Philip Habib regarding military assistance for Bangladesh. Atherton and Habib clarified the limitations of U.S. policy regarding military sales to countries receiving significant food and development aid and offered to establish a military training program for Bangladeshi officers.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Dhaka Embassy Files: Lot 80 F 185, 1974-78 Subject Files, DEF 17 Armaments Procurement 1976. Secret; Limdis. It was repeated to New Delhi and Islamabad. Deputy Dubs followed this meeting on October 15 with a conversation with Siddiqi, repeated to the Embassy on October 19 in telegram 258148. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files) A MAP was instituted for fiscal 1977. (Ford Library, National Security Advisor, NSC Staff for Middle East and South Asia Affairs, Convenience Files, 1974-77, Box 1, Bangladesh (2), Mirror File)