Nixon Presidential Materials

May 21 1971


Memorandum of Conversation between Kissinger, Jha and Hoskinson

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

By Samuel Hoskinson

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Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 596, Country Files, Middle East, India, Vol. III, Sept 70–30 June 71. Secret; Nodis. Sent for information. The meeting was held in Kissinger’s office at the White House. The time of the meeting is from Kissinger’s appointment book. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule) Kissinger approved the memorandum as accurate on May 21 and instructed Hoskinson not to distribute it to the Department of State. (Memorandum from Hoskinson to Kissinger; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 596, Country Files, Middle East, India, Vol. III, Sept 70–30 June 71)

Washington, May 21, 1971, 12:30–1:05 p.m.

PARTICIPANTS

Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

L.K. Jha, Ambassador of India

Samuel M. Hoskinson, NSC Staff

After the initial exchange of pleasantries, Ambassador Jha began to explain the refugee situation in India. Jha explained that it was not simply a question of money and relief, although this was of course important. The big problem, he said, is that India cannot absorb this many people and they must find a way to get them back into East Pakistan. Jha explained that “tensions are high” both as far as the political situation in India was concerned and in terms of social problems. He went on to explain that a high percentage of the refugees are now Hindus and that there were communal conflicts between the refugees and the local population. He pointed out that this was a particularly serious problem in the Indian state of West Bengal. Ambassador Jha then summed up the situation by calling it “very explosive.” He pointed out that it was all in the letter(2) that the Prime Minister had sent to the President.


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