58. Telegram 122987 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan1 2


  • CENTO: Conversation Between Asst. Secy. Sisco and Pakistan Amb.


  • State 121833

1. During Sisco-Khan meeting June 19 (mainly concerning Pak–BD issue, reported septel) Sisco raised subject of CENTO. He observed that just-completed CENTO meeting had gone well in that serious and genuine exchange of views occurred. Sisco stated that USG understands GOP reservations about the value of CENTO for Pakistan, stemming from feeling that Pakistan somewhat isolated within organization and that CENTO unable to help Pakistan in terms of its most pressing security problem, i.e. its relationship with India. Regional organizations like CENTO cannot solve “intra-regional disputes, “however. Sisco urged GOP to consider taking a more active role in CENTO, in order to be more influential within the organization and to make the organization itself more effective. Sisco referred to Secretary Rogers’ pitch along same lines to Aziz Ahmed during CENTO meeting.

2. Amb. Khan asked how GOP would place itself more in forefront regionally. Sisco replied that level of representation at CENTO meetings should be kept high and that GOP should take active part in nudging organization to meet its desires. Khan Observed that without an active role by the USG power of the regional members of CENTO is not great. Sisco responded that given the present disposition in the US the only hope for organizations such as CENTO to be effective in the future is for regional members to display enthusiasm for them. Khan said that there is balance to be sought between unrealistically high expectations from organization and half-hearted token participation. Sisco agreed.

3. We are repeating to you in septel report on CENTO meeting.

4. Points you might emphasize to Aziz Ahmed are:

A) That we believe CENTO is now more important for political and psychological reasons to Pakistan than it has ever been.

B) We do not believe it in CENTO interest to become involved in regional disputes.

C) If Paks have any specific ideas how to strengthen CENTO, we willing to consider them.

D) We welcome more emphasis being given by CENTO to threat of subversion.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential. It was drafted on June 22 by Lesser; cleared in NEA/PAB and NEA/RA; and approved by Sisco.
  2. In a conversation with Pakistan Ambassador Sultan M. Khan on June 19, Assistant Secretary Sisco responded to Pakistani criticisms regarding CENTO’s value as a force for regional stability and asserted that CENTO was an asset for Pakistan over and above its necessarily limited role in supporting Pakistan versus India.