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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 30, 1956


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    The report claimed that the two main themes of Pakistani diplomatic activities are 1/Winning the support of foreign leaders for its position on the Kashmir issue and 2/Breaking away from its isolated position and resolving its financial difficulties. Pakistani diplomatic stance toward China, the Soviet Union, the United States, Great Britain, France and the Arab League was examined.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, 'The Main Themes of Pakistan’s Diplomatic Activities'," June 30, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-0779-04, 14-17. Obtained by Sulmaan Khan and translated by Anna Beth Keim
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Copy to: Zhang, Zhang [Wenji], Ji [Pengfei], Peng, He, Liu, Qiao, Chen, General Office, Soviet and European Affairs Department, Asian Affairs Department, European and African Affairs Department, American and Oceanian Affairs Department, Department of International Affairs, Information Department, Personnel Office, Protocol Department, Consular Affairs Department, General Affairs Department, Research Office, Treaty Committee, Party Committee, [Meng] Yongqian

From the Desk of the Ambassador to Pakistan

Priority: Urgent

Received: 7 149

30 June 1956

Already Copied To: Chairman, [Liu] Shaoqi, [Zhou] Enlai, Zhu De, Chen Yun, [Peng] Dehuai, [Deng] Xiaoping, Chen Yi, [Xi] Zhongxun, [Yang] Shangkun, Hu Qiaomu, [Wang] Jiaxiang, [Li] Kenong, Lu Dingyi, Propaganda Department [of the CPC Central Committee], International Department [of the CPC Central Committee], Investigation Department [of the CPC Central Committee], Military Intelligence, Deng Tuo, Yang Gang, [Wu] Lengxi, Steering Committee, [Li] Enqiu, Foreign Trade

The Main Themes of Pakistan’s Current Diplomatic Activities

Foreign Ministry, Investigation Department:

The main themes in Pakistan’s current diplomatic activities are the following two issues:

(1) Winning the support of more foreign leaders for its position on the Kashmir issue;

(2) Breaking away from its isolated position and resolving its financial difficulties. Based on these two goals—as well as the influence of the people’s calls for the Pakistani government to adopt neutral policies, and of the overall international situation—the following situations have emerged in Pakistan’s foreign diplomatic activities:

a. Placing the utmost emphasis on friendship with China. On the 25th, in London, Ali said: Pakistan’s relationship with “the great neighboring state of China” is “most friendly.” Ever since Ali postponed his visit to China, Pakistan’s president, prime minister and foreign minister have all, without exception, brought up the issue of Ali’s visit to China every time [they] touch on foreign policy issues in [their] speeches. Over the past month, Ali has spoken publicly four times, the foreign minister twice, and the president once, all of them emphasizing that the delay is due to illness and that there will be a visit to China “this autumn” or “in September or October.” All those who have recently visited China have spoken at length publicly about Sino-Pakistani friendship and [their] wonderful impressions of China; [we] have yet to discover anyone saying something negative (the newspaper version of a Pakistani religious delegation leader’s speech was not completely consistent with the original speech). The Pakistani government has taken no concrete action to prevent the delegations China has invited from taking a supportive attitude. The slanderous remarks about China in official newspapers have almost completely stopped, and have been replaced with friendly ones. Pakistan has also been relatively enthusiastic about developing trade between the two nations. Pakistan’s unsolicited proposal, on 9 May, that it would welcome Chinese trade delegations to Pakistan, is just one example. The number of solo meetings that our ambassador and charge d’affaires had with the Pakistani president and prime minister in May and June is unprecedented. The various leaders of landlord and capitalist political parties, and giants in industry and commerce, all emphasize when [we] meet that China’s progress is amazing, that it is the strongest nation in Asia, and that Chinese and Pakistanis should be friendlier. Embassy employees also receive an enthusiastic reception from local governments when they travel. Recently Ali, at a [British] Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference, gave strong support for China’s legal status in the United Nations. This implies that in future United Nations votes, Pakistan will change its former attitude and vote to support us.

b. Further improvement in relations with the Soviet Union and other fraternal nations. On the 22nd, Pakistan appointed its ambassador to Italy, Hussein, as the ambassador to the Soviet Union (Pakistan has not sent an ambassador to the Soviet Union since 1952). After 1952 there were no trade agreements between Pakistan and the Soviet Union, but a new, one-year Pakistani-Soviet trade agreement was already signed as of the 27th, following three weeks of discussion. Pakistani industrial and commercial circles have reacted extremely enthusiastically to this agreement. The chairman of the FPCCI [Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry] stated: “We should obtain assistance from every nation in the world, as long as it does not come with any conditions attached.” A Karachi Times editorial stated: “[We] hope that this agreement can smooth the way for future close cooperation in all aspects between the Soviet Union and Pakistan, and also that it can smooth the way for eliminating those misunderstandings that hinder the relationship.” The Pakistani government and all circles attach particular importance to the agreement’s stipulation that payments be made in rupees. The day after the agreement was signed, Pakistan’s Batela Company placed an order for 80 tons of steel from the Soviets. On the issue of economic aid, the Soviet Union expressed willingness to have discussions should Pakistan raise [the issue], but Pakistan worries this would mean losing American aid [and] the loss would outweigh the gain, [so] it has never raised [the issue]. Although Pakistan has agreed to the Soviet Union’s proposed technological aid, it is still on a very small scale. Since this spring, the Soviet Union has proposed inviting Pakistani parliamentary delegations, municipal council delegations, labor union delegations, science delegations, etc., to visit the Soviet Union, but to this day Pakistan has yet to give an answer. On the advice of the Soviet embassy, we have sounded out Pakistani religious organizations about inviting Soviet religious delegations to visit Pakistan, but their unofficial answers were: the Sino-Pakistani relationship is somewhat different from the Soviet-Pakistani relationship, “The Soviet Union is not a neutral country,” “The Soviet Union has declared that it supports India on the Kashmir issue,” “Pakistan’s understanding of the Soviet Union is not as deep as its understanding it of China,” etc. Although Pakistan has many concerns about relations with the Soviet Union, and dissatisfaction with it, there is currently a growing trend toward improvement. Reflecting this situation, Ali said on the 15th that there have been “welcome improvements” in the Pakistani-Soviet relationship and indicates still further improvement in Pakistani-Soviet relations. According to business officials in the Pakistani government, Pakistan has welcomed recent visits by Czech and Hungarian trade delegations; The Dawn has also revealed that Ali will demand the cancellation of “trade restrictions on Communist countries” at the British Commonwealth meeting, but [Pakistan] still appears to be stalling on the issue of establishing diplomatic relations with Poland and Hungary. It seems that [Pakistan] will only play these two cards this winter or next spring at the earliest.

c. On one hand conveying to the United States that the Baghdad Pact and Southeast Asia Treaty “are one of the best ways of preserving peace, [and] we are willing to comply with the [corresponding] duties” (Mirza’s talk on the 25th, similar in content to Ali’s talk in London the same day), fantasizing that the United States can give Pakistan more aid and change its stance of not actively supporting Pakistan on the Kashmir issue; on the other hand, inciting Pakistani government newspapers and commentators to issue critical remarks about the United States and even sending the United States official letters demanding that it clarify Eisenhower’s talks on neutralism. The reaction to the United States’ recently giving Pakistan 40 Peidao [sic] has also been extremely cool and indifferent. Pakistan hopes to use this Janus-faced approach to change the United States’ stance toward Pakistan, and in particular harbors even greater illusions about the Republican Party staying in power after the election and strengthening its support for Pakistan.

d. [Pakistan] reproaches Britain as being partial toward India and failing to uphold justice on the Kashmir issue, and hopes that Britain will change its stance; [Pakistan] also hopes that Britain can give it a relatively large amount of economic aid. It has taken a supportive stance toward Britain’s plans to turn the British Commonwealth into a third force between the two major blocs. Mirza’s remarks on the 25th, including, “It is good to be a neutral nation,” whether the Commonwealth could become a model for harmonious cooperation between nations of different races and religions, and, “The Commonwealth should perform the miracle of eliminating the obstacles between the world’s two opposing camps,” reflected this stance of the Pakistani authorities.

e. With regard to France, Pakistan on the one hand supports Algeria’s independence movement; on the other hand, it plans to mediate in the Franco-Algerian relationship so that by making certain concessions to France it gains French support on the Kashmir issue. This was the main purpose of the Pakistani foreign minister’s recent visit to France and Ali’s visit to France in July.

f. With regard to the Arab League, Pakistan remains conflicted. It plans to improve relations with the Arab League, but due to illusions about Britain and America it lacks the resolve to distance itself from the Baghdad Pact. But the latter is incompatible [with the former]. It has been let out that this problem will be discussed at meeting of Pakistani and European diplomatic personnel in Switzerland in July, with plans to replace a large number of the Middle East diplomatic personnel. But it is obvious that this problem cannot be resolved simply by replacing diplomatic personnel. Some domestic and foreign issues faced by Pakistan’s ruling circle have determined its current policy of not pulling out of the military bloc while also gradually drawing closer to and emphasizing friendship with socialist bloc nations. As its illusions about the United States are gradually destroyed, Pakistan will take a more distant stance toward the military bloc.

[Chinese] Embassy in Pakistan

30 June 1956

Telegram received on the 3rd, 11:10 a.m. Printed on the 5th, 10:35 a.m.