7. Telegram 172577 From the Department of State to the Embassies in Pakistan and Afghanistan, August 29, 1973, 2324Z.1 2

SUBJECT:

  • PAKISTANI-AFGHAN RELATIONS

REFERENCES:

  • ISLAMABAD 6998, 6997, 6874, AND 6853;
  • KABUL 6176; STATE 164399 AND 164400

SECRET

DRAFTED BY NEA/PAB:PDCONSTABLE:ASCHIFFERDECKER/BK

8/29/73:EXT.20353

APPROVED BY NEA:RPDAVIES

NEA/PAB:DMCOCHRAN

NEA:LBLAINGEN

S/S-O;W.NEWLIN

——————————- 090697

R 292324Z AUG 73

FM SECSTATE WASHDC

TO AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD

AMEMBASSY KABUL

INFO AMEMBASSY TEHRAN

AMEMBASSY MOSCOW

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

AMEMBASSY LONDON

SECRET STATE 172577

EXDIS

E.O. 11652: XGDS

TAGS: PFOR, PK, AF

1. WE HAVE CAREFULLY REVIEWED EXCHANGES WE HAVE HAD TO DATE WITH GOP AND GOA ON PAK-AFGHAN RELATIONS. WE HAVE ALSO WEIGHED RECENT ANALYSES FROM BOTH POSTS ON BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ASPECTS OF BALUCH-PATHAN PROBLEMS, [text not declassified] SEVERAL DISTURBING ASPECTS STAND OUT: (A) DAUD’S CONTINUING DIFFICULTIES IN CONSOLIDATING HIS POWER APPARENTLY PROPEL HIM TO TAKE HARD LINE ON THE PUSHTUNISTAN ISSUE; (B) BHUTTO MAY HAVE MISCALCULATED AFGHAN RESPONSE

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TO HIS ACTIONS AGAINST TRIBAL OPPONENTS IN FRONTIER; AND (C) ANY RECONCILIATION WITH NAP LEADERS, IN LIGHT OF THE ARRESTS AND GOP EFFORTS IMPOSE AUTHORITY, MAY PROVE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT IN NEAR TERM.

2. SOME OF IMPLICATIONS OF ABOVE WOULD SEEM TO BE:

(A) AT MINIMUM TENSIONS WILL INCREASE BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN; (B) IF BHUTTO’S CONCEPT OF “FORWARD POLICY” IS PURSUED AND AFGHAN SUPPORT, HOWEVER INDIRECT, FOR BALUCH AND PATHAN TRIBALS IN PAKISTAN CONTINUES, DIRECT ARMED CLASHES BETWEEN FORCES OF GOP AND GOA ARE LIVE POSSIBILITY; (C) FORCEFUL PAK ACTIONS AGAINST AFGHANISTAN WILL PRODUCE NEW INSTABILITIES IN KABUL, IF NOT OVERTHROW OF DAUD, WITH POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT BY MORE RADICAL YOUNG OFFICERS WHO ENGINEERED THE JULY COUP; (D) PROLONGED UNREST IN BALUCHISTAN AND NWFP, DEALT WITH BY REPRESSIVE GOP TECHNIQUES, COULD HAVE SEVERELY DAMAGING EFFECTS ON POLITICAL STABILITY THROUGH-OUT PAKISTAN AND PRODUCE DANGEROUS EROSION OF PRIME MINISTER BHUTTO’S SUPPORT.

3. MOST IMPORTANTLY, PROLONGED INSTABILITY IN RELATIONS BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN WILL INEVITABLY LEAD TO GREATER POLARIZATION OF ENTIRE AREA AND HEIGHTENED INVOLVEMENT OF OUTSIDE POWERS. RELATIVE AFGHAN WEAKNESS MAY INDUCE GOA TO LOOK TOWARD SOVIETS (AND INDIANS) FOR INCREASED SUPPORT AND GOP WILL COUNT ON USG, CHINESE AND IRAN TO TAKE ITS SIDE AGAINST WHAT IT WILL INSISTENTLY PORTRAY AS A SOVIET THREAT. ULTIMATE OUTCOME OF SUCH POLARIZATION IS DIFFICULT TO FORESEE, BUT CLEARLY IT INVOLVES RISKS FOR U.S. AS WELL AS OTHERS.

4. IN THIS SITUATION WHAT ARE U.S. OBJECTIVES? WE WOULD DEFINE THEM AS: (A) MAINTENANCE OF REGIONAL STABILITY; (B) PRESERVATION OF THE INTEGRITY OF PAKISTAN; (C) PREVENTION OF EXPANSION OF SOVIET INFLUENCE IN THE AREA; AND (D) RESUMPTION OF PROGRESS TOWARD REGIONAL COOPERATION. THE TWO IMMEDIATE AND BASIC FACTORS OPERATING IN PRESENT PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN SITUATION THAT THREATEN THESE OBJECTIVES ARE:

(A) AFGHAN “MEDDLING” IN PAKISTAN’S INTERNAL AFFAIRS

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(AS VIEWED BY GOP); AND (B) POSSIBLE MISMANAGEMENT BY THE GOP OF ITS INTERNAL TRIBAL PROBLEMS TO POINT THAT PAKISTAN IS RIVEN BY CIVIL STRIFE, LEADING SOME AMONG ITS NEIGHBORS TO CONCLUDE THAT THEIR SECURITY INTERESTS CAN BE PROTECTED ONLY BY INVOLVEMENT, IF NOT INTERVENTION. CAPACITY FOR USG TO BRING INFLUENCE TO BEAR IS LIMITED BUT NOT NEGLIGIBLE. AFGHANISTAN HAS LONG HAD INTEREST IN MAINTAINING U.S. PRESENCE THERE AS ALTERNATIVE TO LOPSIDED SOVIET INFLUENCE. PAKISTAN LOOKS TO U.S., NOT ONLY FOR SIZEABLE ECONOMIC SUPPORT, BUT FOR POLITICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT. PAKISTAN ULTIMATELY LOOKS TO U.S. AS GUARANTOR OF ITS SECURITY IF FACED WITH THREAT FROM SOVIET UNION OR SOVIET-SUPPORTED THREAT.

5. IN SEEKING APPROPRIATE POSTURE, U.S. CONFRONTS DILEMMAS. WE WANT TO AVOID BEING PLACED IN MIDDLE OF CONTROVERSY BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN. HOWEVER, A POSTURE THAT IS TOO REMOTE MAY MEAN THAT SITUATION WILL DETERIORATE TO POINT WHERE GREATER U.S. INVOLVEMENT SUBSEQUENTLY BECOMES NECESSARY TO PURSUE OUR BROADER AREA OBJECTIVES. WE THEREFORE BELIEVE IT IMPORTANT THAT PARTIES INVOLVED HAVE CLEARER UNDERSTANDING OF OUR CONCERNS NOW.

6. FOR KABUL: AS INDICATED IN STATE 165225 WE ACCEPT YOUR JUDGMENT THAT HAVING INFORMED NAIM OF YOUR INSTRUCTIONS PURSUANT STATE 164400 IT PREFERABLE TO DEFER APPROACH TO DAUD UNTIL TIME OF YOUR FAREWELL CALL. CONTENTS OF THOSE INSTRUCTIONS, HOWEVER, STAND, AND IN PARTICULAR THE IMPORTANCE WE ATTACH TO PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN FINDING WAYS BILATERALLY TO ASSURE THAT PEACEFUL RELATIONS ARE MAINTAINED BETWEEN THEM SO AS TO PROMOTE STABILITY, PEACE AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION IN REGION. WE LEAVE IT TO AMBASSADOR’S DISCRETION HOW THESE POINTS ARE GOTTEN ACROSS BUT HOPE IT CAN BE DONE IN WAY THAT WILL REMIND GOA BOTH OF IMPORTANCE USG ATTACHES TO MAINTENANCE OF STABILITY IN AND INTEGRITY OF PAKISTAN AND OUR CONCERN THAT TRIBAL DISSIDENCE, WHETHER ENCOURAGED FROM WITHOUT OR WITHIN PAKISTAN,

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RUNS COUNTER TO THIS OBJECTIVE.

7. FOR ISLAMABAD: WITH RESPECT TO BHUTTO’S EXPRESSED HOPE (ISLAMABAD 6874) THAT USG WILL MAINTAIN POSITION THAT WE WILL NOT ENCOURAGE ANY INTERFERENCE BY KABUL IN PAKISTAN’S INTERNAL AFFAIRS, BHUTTO IS WELL AWARE OF OUR RESPECT FOR HIS LEADERSHIP OF PAKISTAN DURING EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TIMES. WE VIEW ANY INTERFERENCE IN PAKISTAN’S INTERNAL AFFAIRS AS INAPPROPRIATE AND AFGHANISTAN LEADERSHIP IS AWARE OF THIS. AT SAME TIME AS A CLOSE FRIEND OF PAKISTAN, WE WOULD BE REMISS IF WE DID NOT POINT OUT SOME OF THE DANGERS WE SEE FOR PAKISTAN IF IT WERE AGAIN TO BOG DOWN IN PROLONGED AND COSTLY INTERNAL STRUGGLE THAT COULD (HOWEVER INAPPROPRIATELY) INCREASE TENSIONS WITH SOME OF PAKISTAN’S NEIGHBORS.

BHUTTO SHOULD ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT OUR INFLUENCE ON THIS EMOTIONALLY CHARGED ISSUE IN AFGHANISTAN IS LIMITED AND THAT CONTINUED PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN TENSIONS WILL TEND TO EXHAUST U.S. INFLUENCE IN KABUL, WITH A LIKELY INCREASE OF SOVIET INFLUENCE THERE.

8. IT IS IN THIS CONTEXT OF CONCERN FOR PAKISTAN’S OWN LONG TERM WELL BEING THAT WE RESPONDED THE WAY WE DID TO DAUD’S REQUEST THAT WE APPROACH GOP. THEREFORE, WE WELCOME INDICATIONS (ISLAMABAD 6998) THAT BHUTTO SEEKS ACCOMMODATION WITH BALUCHI LEADERS AND IS CONSIDERING WAYS TO STRENGTHEN CONTACTS AND DIALOGUE WITH NEW LEADERSHIP IN KABUL (ISLAMABAD 6997). WE BELIEVE POLICY OF CONTINUED CONCILIATION AND RESTRAINT, WHICH BHUTTO INITIATED AT BEGINNING OF HIS PRESIDENCY AND WHICH PROVED SO PRODUCTIVE THEN, IS WISEST POSSIBLE COURSE.

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ROGERS
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Exdis. It was drafted by P. D. Constable and A. Schifferdecker; cleared by NEA/PAB and NEA; and approved by Davies. It was repeated to Tehran, Moscow, New Delhi, and London. In telegram 164400, August 17, the Department asked Ambassador Robert Neumann, in his next meeting with Daoud, to tie continued U.S. aid to the stabilization of Afghan-Pakistani relations. (Ibid.) Neumann responded in telegram 6176 from Kabul, August 20, that he linked the two in meetings with Naim, but felt that threatening Daoud would be counterproductive, “however softly stated.” (Ibid.)
  2. Based on a review of post-coup traffic between the Department and regional embassies, the Department summarized current Afghan-Pakistani tensions and presented U.S. policy objectives, including specific instructions to the ambassadors.