10. Telegram 236146 From the Department of State to the Embassies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, December 1, 1973, 2053Z1 2

SUBJECT:

  • PAK-AFGHAN RELATIONS

REF:

  • (A) STATE 172577 SEPT. 1973;
  • (B) KABUL 8106

CONFIDENTIAL

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73/60

ORIGIN SS-30

INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 /031 R

66611

DRAFTED BY: NEA/PAB:SCHIFFERDECKER

APPROVED BY: NEA: JJSISCO

NEA/PAB:DMCOCHRAN

NEA:LBLAINGEN

NEA/PAB:PDCONSTABLE (DRAFT)

S/S: MR. BARNES

——————————- 007825

R 012053Z DEC 73

FM SECSTATE WASHDC

TO AMEMBASSY KABUL

AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

INFO AMEMBASSY TEHRAN

AMEMBASSY MOSCOW

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

AMEMBASSY LONDON

STATE 236146

E.O. 11652: GDS

TAGS: PFOR, PK, AF

FOR AMBASSADORS ELIOT AND BYROADE

1. SINCE EACH OF YOU PROBABLY WILL HAVE OPPORUNITY IN NEAR FUTURE TO DISCUSS CURRENT STATE PAK-AFGHAN RELATIONS, WE CONSIDER THIS OPPORTUNE MOMENT TO REVIEW BRIEFLY USG ATTITUDE TOWARD PROBLEM. DESPITE RESTRAINED EXPRESSION ON CONFIDENTIAL

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PUSHTUNISTAN BY NAIM TO AMBASSADOR ELIOT (REFTEL B), WE CONTINUE TO BE TROUBLED OVER SITUATION BECAUSE OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN TWO COUNTRIES, INCLUDING:

(A) REPORTS OF MILITARY “ALERTS” IN BOTH COUNTRIES.;

(B) HARDLINE RHETORIC OF BHUTTO DURING RECENT TOUR OF

NWFP AND ADVERSE AFGHAN REACTION;

(C) RECENT ARMS SHIPMENTS OF APPARENTLY SIGNIFICANT

NATURE FROM USSR INTO AFGHANISTAN.

THIS MESSAGE ALSO REFLECTS CONCERNS RECENTLY EXPRESSED INFORMALLY BY EMBASSY KABUL (NOTAL) THAT SOME PAK SOURCES TALKING OF POSSIBLE GOP PRE-EMPTIVE MEASURES AGAINST AFGHANISTAN, SHOULD GOA FURNISH SUFFICIENT “PROVOCATION”.

2. USG OBJECTIVES AND BASIC POSITION TOWARD PAK-AFGHAN CONFLICT REMAIN AS OUTLINED REFTEL PARAS FOUR THROUGH EIGHT. WE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT NEITHER SIDE IS ADEQUATELY COMMUNICATING WITH OTHER, WHETHER DELIBERATELY SO OR BY DEFAULT, AND THAT PLAYING OF HARD LINE BY BOTH SIDES COULD TRIGGER STEPS THAT WOULD UPSET FRAGILE STABILITY IN AREA, WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR INVOLVEMENT OF OUTSIDE POWERS. ALTHOUGH NEITHER COUNTRY SO FAR HAS BEEN WILLING TO INITIATE STEPS TO DEFUSE TENSIONS, WE BELIEVE IT WORTHWHILE TO CONTINUE EMPHASIZE THEME THAT AT MINIMUM BOTH SIDES SHOULD CONSIDER IMPROVING THEIR CONTACTS, RATHER THAN SETTING FORCES OF CONFRONTATION IN MOTION.

3. FOR AMBASSADOR ELIOT: WE ARE MILDLY ENCOURAGED BY NAIM’S FORMULATION EXPRESSING HOPE THAT PAKISTAN WOULD HANDLE PUSHTUN PROBLEM IN WAY THAT WOULD “PREVENT THE SITUATIONFROM BECOMING ONE IN WHICH AFGHANISTAN WOULD HAVE TO INVOLVE ITSELF.” THAT AT LEAST IS AN UNDERSTANDABLE EXPRESSION OF GOA POLICY ON THE ISSUE. WE RECOGNIZE, OF COURSE, THAT NAIM TENDS TO PUSH SOFTER LINE THAN DAOUD. LATTER HOWEVER IS ALSO ON RECORD AS SEEKING PEACEFUL RESOLUTION PUSHTUNISTAN “PROBLEM”. IF THAT IS TO BE ACHIEVED BY PARTIES CONCERNED WE WANT DAOUD TO APPRECIATE OUR VIEW THAT BOTH SIDES CAN CONTRIBUTE BY COOLING OF RHETORIC AND OTHER STEPS THAT WOULD EASE TENSIONS TO POINT WHERE DIALOGUE WOULD BE PRODUCTIVE. WE HOPE YOU WILL CONFIDENTIAL

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FIND WAYS IN NEAR FUTURE TO REITERATE OUR BELIEF THAT BOTH SIDES COULD TAKE STEPS DESIGNED EASE TENSIONS.

4. DEPARTMENT WOULD ALSO APPRECIATE KABUL’S EVALUATION OF CURRENT SOVIET MILITARY HARDWARE SHIPMENTS INTO AFGHANISTAN. WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOUR JUDGEMENT AS TO WHETHER THIS IS RESUPPLY AND REPLACEMENT EFFORT OR WHETHER NEW SHIPMENTS GIVE AFGHAN MILITARY ANY NEW OFFENSIVE OR DEFENSIVE CAPABILITY.

5. FOR AMBASSADOR BYROADE: WE LEAVE TO YOUR DISCRETION HOW STRONGLY YOU WISH TO EMPHASIZE OUR CONCERNS DURING YOUR INITIAL MEETING WITH BHUTTO. HOWEVER, YOUR LONG AND INTIMATE INVOLVE-

MENT IN PAKISTAN-AFGHAN RELATIONS IN PAST PROVIDES BASIS FOR A PERSPECTIVE AND A FRANKNESS ON THIS SUBJECT WITH BHUTTO THAT WE BELIEVE IS IN ORDER FOR YOUR FIRST MEETING. AS FOR THE ISSUE ITSELF, OUR SUPPORT FOR PAKISTAN’S INTEGRITY IS CLEAR AND ON THE RECORD. WE APPRECIATE GOP VIEW THAT AFGHAN PUSHTUNISTAN POLICY AMOUNTS TO REFUSAL TO RECOGNIZE PAKISTAN SOVEREIGNTY AND THAT THIS IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. AT SAME TIME WE WANT BHUTTO TO UNDERSTAND OUR CONCERN THAT EXTENT TO WHICH DAOUD PERSISTS IN PRESENT HARD LINE WILL BE AT LEAST PARTIALLY DETERMINED BY GOP POSTURE, INCLUDING MANNER AND EXTENT OF PAKISTAN MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS IN FRONTIER AREA. WE, OF COURSE, DO NOT BELIEVE DAOUD POSES A SUBSTANTIAL MILITARY THREAT, DESPITE CURRENT REPORTS OF NEW SOVIET MILITARY SHIPMENTS TO AFGHANISTAN. FRANKLY, WE STILL HAVE NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT CONCLUSION THAT SOVIETS ARE BEHIND DAOUD’S CURRENT PUSHTINISTAN LINE, AND WE ALSO TAKE SOME SATISFACTION IN INDICATIONS THAT INDIANS HAVE COUNSELED RESTRAINT ON DAOUD. FINALLY, WE HOPE YOU WILL FIND WAYS TO INDICATE TO BHUTTO OUR VIEW THAT EXTENT TO WHICH HE CAN PRESS AHEAD WITH GENUINE POLITICAL ACCOMMODATION WITH OPPOSITION ELEMENTS IN FRONTIER WILL BE MORE DECISIVE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN REMOVING ANY BASIS FOR AFGHAN “MEDDLING”. NO ONE KNOWS THAT BETTER THAN BHUTTO HIMSELF, BUT THAT NEED NOT PRECLUDE OUR INDICATING THAT WE FEEL THAT WAY TOO.

CONFIDENTIAL

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6. FYI: AMBASSADOR SULTAN KHAN IS PAYING FAREWELL CALL ON SECRETARY DECEMBER 3. IF THERE SHOULD BE ANY SIGNIFICANT DISCUSSION PAK-AFGHAN RELATIONS AFFECTING ABOVE GUIDANCE, WE WILL INFORM YOU ASAP. END FYI.

PORTER
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential;Exdis. It was drafted by Schifferdecker; cleared by NEA/PAB, and NEA; and approved by Sisco. It was repeated to Tehran, Moscow, New Delhi, and London.
  2. The Department discussed Afghan-Pakistani tensions, requested of both embassies information and advice, and encouraged them to facilitate discussions between the two governments.