Nixon Presidential Materials

July 01 1971

Letter From President Nixon to Indian Prime Minister Gandhi

Foreign Relations of the United States
Volume X1
South Asia Crisis, 1971

By Richard Nixon

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With regard to the need for actions which will make possible a reversal of the refugee flow, we have continued to emphasize that a return to peace and security in East Pakistan and a viable political settlement are crucial to restoration of a more stable situation in South Asia. Dr. Kissinger will also be talking to President Yahya about this subject and will be delivering a personal message from me. I think there has been some forward movement in this regard over the past several weeks, but there is a need for more.

It is hoped that the recent difficulties over the delivery of arms ordered by Pakistan prior to March 25 will not prevent us from working together to achieve the objectives of peace and prosperity in South Asia, which are in the United States’ interest as well as in India’s. I understand the nature of your Government’s concern. You can appreciate the essentially restrictive nature of the interim actions we have taken since the civil strife began in East Pakistan. The United States must maintain a constructive relationship with Pakistan so that we may retain some influence in working with them toward important decisions to be made in that country, as we have in the past.

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