‘Russian arms could have led to Indo-Pak war’
The pro-Pakistan tilt of the US administration continued well into mid-70s, with the then secretary of state Henry Kissinger expressing concern over Russia`s arms sale to New Delhi.
Washington: The pro-Pakistan tilt of the US 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 behaviour 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.