20. Telegram 1418 From the Embassy in Afghanistan to the Department of State, February 25, 1976, 0715Z.1 2

SUBJ:

  • PRIME MINISTER BHUTTO’S FORTHCOMING MEETING WITH SECRETARY IN NEW YORK

REF:

  • STOCKHOLM 0943

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 01 KABUL 01418 250934Z

15

ACTION SS-25

INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 SSO-00 NSCE-00 /026 W ——————————- 124682

O R 250715Z FEB 76

FM AMEMBASSY KABUL

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6357

INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE

AMEMBASSY AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

C O N F I D E N T I A L KABUL 1418

EXDIS

E.O. 11652: GDS

TAGS: PFOR, AF, PK, UR

1. ON THE EVE OF THE SECRETARY’S SEEING PRIME MINISTER BHUTTO IN NEW YORK, IT MAY BE USEFUL TO SUMMARIZE OUR VIEW OF RECENT TRENDS IN AFGHAN-SOVIET RELATIONS. TONE OF REFTEL SEEMED TO INDICATE BHUTTO IS UNDULY CONCERNED ABOUT THIS RELATIONSHIP.

2. FAR FROM FALLING INCREASINGLY UNDER THE SWAY OF THE SOVIETS WE BELIEVE DAOUD REGIME’S HISTORY DEMONSTRATES STEADY TREND AWAY FROM RELIANCE UPON SOVIETS AND TOWARD INCREASING FLEXIBILITY IN TERMS OF BOTH DOMESTIC ACTIONS AND FOREIGN RELATIONS. CABINET CHANGES OF SEPTEMBER 1975 (SEE KABUL 6429, 29 SEP 75) WERE MOST GRAPHIC DEMONSTRATION OF THIS TREND BUT OTHER EXAMPLES COULD BE CITED. INCREASING COOPERATION BETWEEN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAN IS ANOTHER CAUSE FOR BELIEVING AFGHANISTAN SEEKS AN INDEPENDENT COURSE AND TO FURTHER COUNTERBALANCE PREPONDERANCE OF SOVIETS HERE.

3. IT IS INTERESTING BHUTTO SHOULD HAVE CITED FEAR THAT AFGHANS WOULD SIGN AN ASIAN COLLECTIVE SECURITY AGREEMENT WITH CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL

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SOVIETS, FOR IT HAS BEEN PRECISELY AFGHANISTAN’S ARGUMENT WITH PAKISTAN WHICH HAS SERVED AS A MAJOR REASON FOR AFGHANS NOT SIGNING SUCH AGREEMENT. AFGHANS FEAR A COLLECTIVE SECURITY AGREEMENT WOULD FREEZE EXISTING BOUNDARIES AND THEREBY UNDERMINE AFGHAN POSITION ON PUSHTUNISTAN. FURTHER, ENDORSEMENT OF ASIAN COLLECTIVE SECURITY PACT WOULD SOUR SINO-AFGHAN RELATIONS AT A TIME WHEN GOA IS USING GOOD RELATIONS WITH PRC AS ELEMENT IN STRATEGY TO OFFSET SOVIET INFLUENCE.

4. ISSUE OF FOMENTING DISSIDENCE ALONG ONE ANOTHER’S FRONTIER AREAS BY BOTH AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN IS COMPLICATED, AND THERE ARE INDICATIONS BOTH SIDES HAVE TRIED THEIR HANDS. OUR DISTINCT IMPRESSION HAS BEEN HOWEVER THAT DAOUD HAS NOT FOLLOWED A “FORWARD POSITION” WITH REGARD TO INCITING DISSIDENCE SINCE HE RECEIVED A GOOD SCARE AT THE TIME OF THE PANJSHIR INSURGENCY IN JULY 1975. (SEE KABUL 4881 OF 7/28/75, KABUL 4965 OF 7/30/75 AND KABUL 5137 OF 8/7/75). WE ALSO THINK DAOUD IS IN FULL CONTROL OF HIS MILITARY, THAT HIS NEW CHIEF OF STAFF HAIDER IS TOTALLY HIS MAN AND THAT THE AFGHAN ARMED FORCES WILL BE AS RESTRAINED VIS-À-VIS PAKISTAN AS DAOUD WANTS THEM TO BE. HE IS CURRENTLY EXERCISING RESTRAINT.

5. FINALLY, WE BELIEVE DAOUD LEARNED SOMETHING FROM HIS EXPERIENCE IN THE EARLY 1960’S WHEN THE PUSHTUNISTAN ISSUE RESULTED IN A MAJOR BREAK WITH PAKISTAN, GREATLY INCREASED SOVIET INFLUENCE IN AFGHANISTAN AND DAOUD’S OUSTER FROM THE GOVERNMENT. HE WILL NOT, IN OUR VIEW, WANT TO PUSH MATTERS THAT FAR AGAIN, IN PART BECAUSE OF HIS SENSITIVITY TO IRANIANS REACTIONS, ALTHOUGH HE ALSO WON’T CHOP THE PUSHTUNISTAN ISSUE.

CONFIDENTIAL

ELIOT
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. It was repeated immediate to USUN and Islamabad.
  2. With Secretary of State Kissinger meeting with Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in New York in March in mind, the Embassy reported on Afghan efforts to allay Pakistani fears of Soviet encirclement.