fifty years ago July 2, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (July 2, 1971): Nixon aide to visit India, Islamabad

Washington, July 1: President Nixon’s foreign policy advisor, Mr. Henry Kissinger, who will be visiting Delhi and Islamabad shortly, in the course of a much broader and separate assignment dealing with Vietnam, is understood to have undertaken this side-trip to gauge the reaction of the two countries to the stance the U.S. has taken on East Bengal so far. The visit was arranged on the U.S.’s initiative and sources here said that Mr. Kissinger rather than Secretary of State Rogers was chosen for the purpose because President Nixon wanted to give the mission a White House rather than a State Department stamp. Sources here cautioned against reading too much into Mr. Kissinger’s trip to India — they suggested that his mission was primarily connected with the Vietnam war and discussions in that regard in Saigon. The sources added that while in Delhi, Mr. Kissinger will in all probability try to cool the tempers there — tempers which have been frayed considerably by the continued supply of American war material to the Pakistan army. Mr. Kissinger would in this connection urge India to continue to follow a policy of “restraint”. In Islamabad, Mr. Kissinger, the sources said, would once again try to nudge Yahya Khan to move a “little more rapidly” towards a restoration of normalcy in East Bengal.

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