14. Telegram HAKTO 76 From Secretary of State Kissinger to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft), November 1, 1974, 1300Z.1 2

TO:

  • Dick Cheney

FROM:

  • Brent Scowcroft [BS initialed]

BY WIRE

November 1, 1974

FOR: THE PRESIDENT

Secretary Kissinger asked me to provide you with the following report of a meeting he had with President Daoud of Afghanistan: Quote — — — Unquote

TELEGRAM

Department of State

HAKTO 76

011300Z NOV 74

FM SEC KISSINGER

HAK TO 76

TO GENERAL SCROWCOFT

[Page 2]
1.
PLEASE PASS FOLLOWING REPORT FROM ME TO THE PRESIDENT:
2.

BEGIN TEXT: I STOPPED TODAY FOR FIVE HOURS IN KABUL, AFGHANISTAN ENROUTE FROM ISLAMABAD TO TEHRAN. THIS IS A FASCINATING COUNTRY AND A STALWART PEOPLE WHOSE GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION HAS MADE THEM PROBABLY THE WORLD’S OLDEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL PRACTITIONERS OF NON-ALIGNMENT. AFGHAN HOSPITALITY IS ALSO LEGENDARY AND THAT WAS RICHLY EVIDENT TODAY IN THE WARMTH OF THEIR RECEPTION, INCLUDING A COMMAND PERFORMANCE OF BUZKDSHI, A TRIBAL SPORT OF INCREDIBLY ROUGH BUT ABLE HORSEMANSHIP THAT ITSELF SUGGESTS WHY THESE PEOPLE HAVE MANAGED SO WELL IN MAINTAINING THEIR INDEPENDENCE.

I FOUND PRESIDENT DAOUD, AN AUTHORITARIAN FELLOW WHO THREW OUT HIS ROYAL COUSIN A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO AND SET UP A REPUBLIC, STILL SENSITIVE THAT WE MIGHT SEE HIM AS A KIND OF RUSSIAN STOOGE. THAT THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE WAS THE FIRST POINT HE MADE TO ME IN OUR TALKS, THOUGH HE ALSO EMPHASIZED THAT HE WANTS AND BELIEVES HE HAS GOOD SECURE RELATIONS WITH THE RUSSIANS. I MADE IT CLEAR THAT WE ATTACHED HIGH IMPORTANCE TO AFGHAN INDEPENDENCE AND THAT HAD NO REASON TO BELIEVE DAOUD ANY DIFFERENT FROM HIS PREDECESSORS IN HIS DETERMINATION TO MAINTAIN HIS INDEPENDENCE.

3.
DAOUD MADE EXPLICIT THAT HE WANTS A CONTINUED AMERICAN PRESENCE HERE AND I SAID WE UNDERSTAND THAT AND WANTED TO BE OF CONTINUED MODEST HELP IN THE DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES THAT HE CLAIMS ARE HIS OVERRIDING PRIORITY.
4.
UNFORTUNATELY THAT PRIORITY IS NOT ALWAYS APPARENT HERE AND THAT WAS CLEAR TODAY. DAOUD AND HIS COLLEAGUES WERE ALMOST TOTALLY PREOCCUPIED WITH GETTING ACROSS TO ME THEIR CASE ON PAKISTAN, A DISPUTE OF DIALECTICAL DIMENSIONS [Page 3]INVOLVING AFGHANISTAN’S CONVICTION THAT PAKISTAN IS OPPRESSING THE PUSHTU AND BALUCH TRIBAL PEOPLE ON THE PAKISTAN SIDE OF THE BORDER AND TO WHOM THE AFGHANS ARE RELATED BY HISTORY AND EMOTION. DAOUD IS A HARD LINER ON THIS ISSUE, AND BHUTTO IS EQUALLY DETERMINED THAT THE AFGHANS ARE NOT GOING TO TELL HIM HOW TO CONDUCT HIS AFFAIRS.
5.
THE AFGHANS TOLD ME TODAY THEY ARE READY FOR TALKS WITH BHUTTO AT ANY TIME AND PLACE. BHUTTO TOLD ME YESTERDAY IN ISLAMABAD THAT HE IS ALSO OPEN TO TALKS. UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS ONE OF THOSE EMOTIONAL ISSUES WHERE GOOD SENSE SUFFERS FROM THE BURDEN OF A LONG AND COMPLEX HISTORY. I REMINDED DAOUD THAT WE SUPPORTED PAKISTAN’S INTEGRITY AND STRONGLY HOPED A PROCESS COULD BE FOUND TO RESOLVE THIS PEACEFULLY. I SAID THAT IF AT ANY TIME WE COULD BE HELPFUL IN ACHIEVING THIS WE WOULD CONSIDER THAT AND SEE WHAT WE COULD DO.
6.
I INTEND TO RAISE THIS PROBLEM WITH THE SHAH WHEN I SEE HIM TONIGHT, SINCE HE HAS RECENTLY ATTEMPTED A MEDIATORY ROLE. HE HAS GOOD RELATIONS WITH BOTH DAOUD AND BHUTTO AND SEEMS TO ME A LOGICAL CANDIDATE TO BE INVOLVED TO INSURE THAT THIS ISSUE IS KEPT MANAGEABLE UNTIL TIME AND HISTORY RESOLVE SOME OF THE EMOTIONS. THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM IS THAT THE AFGHANS, DESPITE THEIR INSISTENCE THAT THEY RESPECT PAKISTAN’S TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY, NEVER ACCEPTED AS LEGALLY OR ETHNICALLY VALID THE BOUNDARY IMPOSED DURING THE BRITISH PERIOD AND INCORPORATING MINORITY ETHNIC GROUPS THAT THEY BELIEVE SHOULD BE PART OF AFGHANISTAN, OR AT LEAST SHOULD HAVE HAD THAT OPTION.
7.
I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS SITUATION RISKS HOSTILITIES IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, BUT IT FEEDS BHUTTO’S PREOCCUPATION ABOUT AN INDIAN-SOVIET-AFGHAN CONSPIRACY AGAINST PAKISTAN, PROVIDES A SOURCE FOR WOULD-BE TROUBLE MAKERS TO EXPLOIT, AND IS ONE MORE ELEMENT COMPLICATING THE PROCESS OF BRINGING STABILITY TO SOUTH ASIA. END TEXT.
8.
WARM REGARDS

0044

GRNC
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger Trip Briefings, Box 2, HAK Messages for the President (2). Secret; Sensitive.
  2. Secretary of State Kissinger reported on his meeting with President Mohammad Daoud. Their discussion centered on Afghanistan’s dispute with Pakistan.