1957: US Mission at UN Cables Washington

“Menon (India) talked again this morning about Kashmir, maintaining, as he has previously, (that) India’s weak position in (the) UN was due to poor handling of (the) case by his predecessors, and that his long speech in (the) SC (was) necessary to restate India’s case on (the) proper basis. He said (that) Indians had become involved in talk about secondary details instead of concentrating on (the) issue of aggression and (the) fact that once having acceded there was no provision for secession of Kashmir from India.
Menon said there was (a) danger of some type of “fedayeen” attacks by Pakistanis along (the) Kashmir border. India could not safely allow these attacks to penetrate sufficiently deep to demonstrate their aggressive character before launching military resistance. They would have to resist immediately any military moves by Pakistanis. This might result in Pakistani claims of Indian attacks against Pakistan, and he hoped we would not be fooled. Menon said that if there were any aggression against India by Pakistan and he had anything to do with it, India would take over Pakistan. They would do this in spite of American planes in Pakistan. He said Indian ground forces could easily defeat Pakistani troops, who, he thought, lacked (the) will to fight.
He said (that) India should take both East Bengal and West Pakistan. He stressed (that) most of Pakistan’s foreign exchange earnings came from East Bengal, and implied that their loss would prevent Pakistan from acquiring outside military supplies. He also noted that (the) East Bengal economic situation was very difficult and that India had had to donate relief supplies for East Bengal on two or three occasions.
He reiterated that he did not mean that we had supplied arms to Pakistan for use against India, but added that when you give a child a knife it is not for (the) purpose of sticking someone, but it might be hard to prevent him from doing so. He added that even if (the) US opposed Pakistani military aggression and was willing to go to war, any action US might take would probably be too late to help India.
Menon also referred again to (the) strategic importance (of) Kashmir in relation to (the) Russian and Chinese borders and to Indian doubts (whether) Pakistan would be strong enough hold Kashmir.

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