June 3: US ambassador to India, Keating suggested Kissinger that military assistance to Pakistan was out of the question since they were still killing in East Pakistan and when refugees were still pouring into India. Kissinger informed him that the President would uphold the “One Time Exception” of arms sales to Pakistan.
Nixon: Look, even apart from the Chinese thing, I wouldn’t do that to help the Indians, the Indians are no goddamn good. Now Keating, like every Ambassador who goes over there, goes over there and gets sucked in. He now thinks the—
Kissinger: Those sons-of-bitches, who never have lifted a finger for us, why should we get involved in the morass of East Pakistan? All the more so, I quite agree with the point, if East Pakistan becomes independent, it is going to become a cesspool. It’s going be 100 million people, they have the lowest standard of living in Asia—
Kissinger: No resources. They’re going to become a ripe field for Communist infiltration. And then they’re going to bring pressure on India because of West Bengal. So that the Indians in their usual idiotic way are playing for little stakes, unless they have in the back of their minds that they could turn East Pakistan into a sort of protectorate that they could control from Calcutta. That they may have in the back of their mind.”
June 11: Lunch Conversation Between Indian Ambassador Jha and Mr. Kissinger -The purpose of the conversation was to prepare for the meeting of Foreign Minister Singh and also to prevent Indian military action against Pakistan while the Chinese channel was being maintained.
The number of refugees is now 5.4 million and that rate of flow is increasing. This should be evidence enough that no matter what noises President Yahya may make about restoration of normalcy, he has not yet done anything to effectively impede reign of terror and brutality of Pakistan army, the root cause of the refugee exodus. I most strongly recommend that the time is overdue for us to utilize all leverage available to pressure the GOP into halting without further delay the terror and repression by the army in the east wing.
June 13: Genocide in Bangladesh: – Anthony Mascarenhas, former Assistant Editor, Morning News, Karachi (published in Sunday Times, London):
He was 24 years old, a slight man surrounded by soldiers. He was trembling, because he was about to be shot.
“Normally we would have killed him as he ran,” I was informed chattily by Major Rathore, the G-2 Ops. of the 9th Division, as we stood on the outskirts of a tiny village near Mudafarganj, about 20 miles south of Comilla. “But we are checking him out for your sake. You are new here and I see you have a squeamish stomach.”
“Why kill him?” I asked with mounting concern.
“Because he might be a Hindu or he might be a rebel, perhaps a student or an Awami Leaguer. They know we are sorting them out and they betray themselves by running.”
“But why are you killing them? And why pick on the Hindus?” I persisted.
“Must I remind you,” Rathore said severely, “how they have tried to destroy Pakistan? Now under the cover of the fighting we have an excellent opportunity of finishing them off.”
“Of course,” he added hastily, “we are only killing the Hindu men. We are soldiers, not cowards like the rebels. They kill our women and children.”
The pogrom’s victims are not only the Hindus of East Bengal-who constitute about 10 per cent of the 75 million population-but also many thousands of Bengali Muslims.”
“In the context of briefing Nixon in advance of his meeting with the Indian Foreign Minister, Keating painted a grim picture of the situation in East Pakistan. He suggested that Nixon could put pressure on Pakistan to stop what he described as genocide in East Pakistan by withholding economic assistance. Keating pointed to the flood of five million refugees into India and said that the problem was growing at a rate of 150,000 a day. The strain on India was tremendous, and Keating said that the situation was further inflamed by what he described as a deliberate policy by Pakistan to drive out or kill the Hindus in East Pakistan. His assessment of the Indian response to the problem was that India wanted the killing stopped and a climate created in East Pakistan which would allow the refugees to return to their homes. In his view, India had adopted a moderate position and was seeking a political solution to the building crisis. Keating did not believe a political settlement would emerge until Yahya Kahn’s government was prepared to deal with the Awami League leaders who had been outlawed.” (Summary)
June 16: President Nixon met at the White House with Indian Foreign Minister Swaran Singh. Ambassadors Jha and Keating were also present, as were Henry Kissinger and Joseph Sisco. Nixon suggested quiet diplomacy by offering aid for the refugee instead of putting pressure on Yahya (Details).
“It is most unfortunate that this humanitarian question should be cynically turned into political propaganda by India, and that the Indian Government should use the problem of the displaced persons, as an instrument of pressure on Pakistan to impose a political government of Indian choice in East Pakistan. No government could yield to such blackmail.”
The situation is far from normal. The general sense of fear and lack of confidence on the part of most of the population.
“We have received through international air mail a letter mailed from Berlin without return address which purported to ask for recognition of the ‘People’s Republic of Bangladesh’. It would be inappropriate for us to take any action with respect to it since we consider the territory of East Pakistan to be part of the State of Pakistan.”
June 25: Memorandum from the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon:
“On June 22 The New York Times reported that two Pakistani freighters were preparing to sail from New York with cargos of military equipment for Pakistan. Ambassador Jha called on Under Secretary Irwin on the same day to warn that if the report were true, the shipment of arms to Pakistan would have an unfortunate impact upon relations between the United States and India.”
June 26: East Pakistan Refugees: Discussions with Sadruddin of UNHCR who had pro Pakistan views.
June 28: Letter from Pakistani President Yahya to US President Nixon: Yahya was troubled by media reports of Western governments (like UK) enforcing aid embargo on Pakistan to pressure a political settlement. All these developments have led to a strong and widespread public reaction in Pakistan.
He requested Nixon to “prevent the present ambiguity and misunderstanding from becoming a source of further strains in Pakistan’s relations with the Western world.”
Yahya’s public address to the nation:
Pakistan’s new political leaders would not include any representatives of the outlawed Awami League of East Pakistan under that party label. While reiterating the illegal status of the League, Yahya announced that Awami League members-elect of the national and provincial assemblies who had not disqualified themselves by secessionist activities would be eligible to participate in those bodies. Those Awami Leaguers who had disqualified themselves would be replaced through by-elections to take place this fall.
Banning Awami League made political accommodation impossible. The disqualification of many of the 440 Awami League members-elect and its probable unacceptability to most of the others means that most of those seats would have to be filled through by-elections in East Pakistan.
US president Nixon refused a proposal for arms embargo on Pakistan.
Telegram from the embassy in Pakistan to the US Department of State regarding the subject of East Pakistan Refugees: Special Assistant Kellogg’s Discussion with Pres. Yahya:
“Yahya launched into bitter attack on PM Gandhi and her government. He referred to statements in which Mrs. Gandhi reported to have said that refugees can’t go back. ‘Indian Government says they won’t let them go back.’ Some of the few refugees who have trickled back, he said, show wounds and say they were beaten up on main roads in India leading back to Pakistan. Kellogg interjected that none of Indian officials with whom he had spoken had indicated anything other than that India wanted refugees to return to East Pakistan as soon as possible. Kellogg noted enormous economic, religious, political and social pressures on India resulting from refugee influx, and GOI estimated that $400 million would be required to care for refugees over six-month period.
Kellogg repeated that none of Indian officials with whom he had spoken had said they wanted refugees to remain; nor had any referred to desire to see independent East Pakistan; “Bangla Desh” was never once mentioned to him. Meanwhile, if persons were continuing to leave East Pakistan and not returning in any appreciable numbers, Kellogg said, it would appear that they continued to be motivated by fear which caused them to flee in first place.”
June 29: US Dept. of State Report: Scenario for action in Indo-Pakistan crisis (pdf file)
Telephone conversation between the President’s Assistant for National Security
Affairs (Kissinger) and the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South
Asian Affairs (Sisco).