324. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1

1. Pakistan Nuclear Intentions: We face, in Pakistan, a potentially serious conflict between our objective of non-proliferation and that of strengthening Pakistan in the current West Asian context.

General Zia has backed off from his agreement to allow a US team to inspect Pakistan’s nuclear installations, contending that India has not had to submit to such inspections.2 Warren, who will be in Pakistan tomorrow, will take a very firm line with Zia, noting we have information that Pakistan is developing a nuclear explosives capability and, if it continues, we will have no choice but to cut off assistance under the Symington/Glenn amendments. If Zia still refuses to allow the team visit, Warren will propose a visit from Tom Pickering to discuss the nuclear issue and to encourage the GOP to reconsider its decision on the team.3

While keeping the pressure on Pakistan, we will also informally explore, with John Glenn, the possibility of modifying the Glenn/Symington amendments to give the Administration greater flexibility in dealing with this problem. We have kept John, who has been understanding, generally briefed on the issue, and Dave Newsom will give him an update, and raise the modification possibility, in the next several days.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Pakistan.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, Plains File, Subject File, Box 39, State Department Evening Reports, 2/79. Secret. Carter initialed at the top of the memorandum.
  2. See Document 323.
  3. For an account of Christopher’s March 1 meeting with Zia, see Document 325.