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Kissinger warned of another Indo-Pak war in mid-70s

May 17, 2012 13:28 IST

The pro-Pakistan tilt of the United States administration continued well into mid-70s, with the then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger expressing concern over Russia's arms sale to New Delhi warning that this could trigger another Indian attack on Pakistan.

The continued Pakistani slant in the then US administration has come to light after the State Department de-classified diplomatic conversations between the American and Russian leadership of those years.

At a meeting in Vienna in 1975 with his Russian counterpart Andrei Gromyko, Kissinger raised doubts over the arm supplies by Moscow to New Delhi and threatened that the US would not take "lightly" another Indian attack on Pakistan.

"There is one point I raised at dinner, that is, our view of Indian intentions, especially since India is buying a lot of Soviet arms. I just hope you keep an eye on it. Because so far, we have sold nothing to Pakistan. We have lifted the embargo but sold nothing," Kissinger told Gromyko.

Gromyko responded by saying that India's behavior gives Russia no concern.

"If there were another Indian attack, it is something we would not take lightly," Kissinger said.

"We, generally speaking, are behaving very modestly regarding arms supplies to India. Maybe the information you have is exaggerated. We have absolutely no information that would cause us any concern regarding Indian intentions."

"There would be no sense for us to ignore any danger there because we are very concerned with the situation there, if there were any. And we say this to India," Gromyko said.

According to the voluminous document running into 1181 pages, during another meeting in Washington on September 21, 1974, Kissinger is quoted as saying that the Indian nuclear tests early that year had "military implications".

He said this in a meeting with the Gromyko, and the then US President, Gerald Ford, among others.

"The line between weapons and peaceful uses is vague. The Indian explosion obviously has military implication. The Japanese have a big nuclear programme but have not done any explosion yet. If they moved this way, they would go like India and could be a big power very quickly," Kissinger said.

Zaituna, a woman from Kalaroos in Kupwara district of north Kashmir, has filed a petition before the high court claiming that the slain man dubbed as Hizbul Mujahideen militant Mateen Chacha was her son Abdullah Bhat.

As per the Army stand, a militant disguised as beggar opened indiscriminate firing on Singh and his entourage at Janglat Mandi in Anantnag district town of south Kashmir on March 1, 2001. The troops fired back in self-defence resulting in the death of the assailant who was identified by police as Mateen Chacha, a resident of Pakistan.

One Army officer, an army jawan and two civilians were also killed in the incident, in which Gen Singh who was then commanding 1 sector Rashtriya Rifles in south Kashmir was injured and flown to Delhi.

A PIL was also filed in the Supreme Court last month challenging the appointment of Gen Singh as the next Army

Chief, citing the 2001 fake encounter case among other issues. It was, however, dismissed by the apex court.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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