Washington Post

June 29 1971

Kennedy, U.S. Aide Clash On Pakistan

By Lewis M. Simons

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The United States has not halted shipment of all military weapons to Pakistan because this would turn the regime of President Yahya Khan to "other areas of supply," a senior State Department official said yesterday.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Van Pollen told a Senate subcommittee hearing on refugee problems in Pakistan and India that an outright embargo on arms shipments would be interpreted by Pakistan as "a sanction and intrusion into internal problems."

In response to sharp questioning by subcommittee chairman Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Van Hollen said such an embargo would undermine U.S. efforts to persuade the Pakistani government to establish favorable conditions for the return to East Pakistan of a reported six million refugees now in India.

Showing impatience with his witness, Kennedy shot back, "The reason for our supplying arms is that if we don't, China or Russia will and we want to keep our leverage. Well, where is our leverage now?"

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