318. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan1

11800. Subject: Statement on Pakistan Nuclear Developments. Ref: 78 Islamabad 10202,2 11830,3 12681.4

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1. (S) Entire text.

2. Following careful consideration of proposed language on Pak nuclear programs, you are authorized to initiate the process of making the GOP aware of our knowledge of their efforts and the potential consequences if they persist in their course.

3. We recommend you start with Zia and later let others know. At an early opportunity, please seek an appointment with President and as appropriate, draw on the following: Quote: You should know that my government and also other governments are concerned about Pakistan’s intentions with respect to developing nuclear weapons capability. You are aware of our views on reprocessing. You should know that we are equally concerned about continuing reports which come to us of Pakistan’s efforts in the field of uranium enrichment which we believe are designed to provide fissile material for nuclear explosive devices. Such reports and other information regarding research into nuclear explosives naturally give us concern.

There is no question that the continuance of these activities will have serious consequences for the stability of the region and will impact adversely on our bilateral relations including affecting our ability to continue our economic and other support for Pakistan. We wish to bring this to your personal attention since we believe the continuing instability in the area underscores the fact that it is in our mutual interest to maintain and strengthen our relations. End quote.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P850074–1481. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Sent for information Immediate to the White House. Drafted by Coon and Fuller; cleared in S/AS, PM/NPP, and S/S–O, and by Benson, Guhin, Van Doren, Gallucci, and Saunders; approved by Newsom.
  2. In telegram 10202 from Islamabad, October 19, 1978, Hummel explained his plan to let the Pakistanis know that the United States was in possession of information regarding Pakistan’s covert nuclear program and suggested the wording that he would use, subject to Departmental approval. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number])
  3. In telegram 11830 from Islamabad, December 1, 1978, Hummel reported his November 30 conversation with Yaqub Khan, during which he said that the United States “and some other countries also, are perturbed over private reports we have received that GOP is actively engaged in research and development of atomic weapons. I said that I hoped GOP would realize that consequences for Pakistan could be severe, in terms of very adverse reactions by a number of countries, if such a course is pursued.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P850103–2272)
  4. In telegram 12681 from Islamabad, December 24, 1978, Hummel suggested how best to approach the Pakistanis about U.S. intelligence regarding the covert Pakistani nuclear program. Hummel argued against a démarche, favoring “a gradual process of introducing appropriate Pak officials to the realities and consequences of outside knowledge of what they’re up to. We don’t want any abrupt confrontation, at least at this stage, and we don’t want to hear a lot of defensive untruths.” Hummel also suggested that simultaneous approaches to Pakistan by other countries would be helpful. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P850103–2274)