1971 Bangladesh (East Pakistan) War
Last President of a United Pakistan Yahya Khan with President Richard Nixon of USA
The advice that Kissinger gave President Nixon, and Nixon's support for the Pakistani administration of Yahya Khan during the 1971 Bangladesh War, did nothing to discourage the Pakistani Army and local allies from committing atrocities in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Kissinger and Nixon were well briefed on the atrocities as U.S. diplomats in the South Asia were reporting regularly to the State Department about them in unequivocal language.
On December 16, 2002, the George Washington University’s National Security Archives published a collection of American declassified documents, mostly consisting of communications between US officials working in embassies and USIS centers in Dhaka and in India, and officials in Washington DCGandhi, Sajit (ed.), The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971: National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79. These documents show that US officials working in diplomatic institutions within Bangladesh used the terms ‘selective genocide’Blood, Archer, Transcript of Selective Genocide Telex, Department of State, United States and ‘genocide’ (Blood telegram) to describe events they had knowledge of at the time. They also show that President Nixon, advised by Henry Kissinger, decided to downplay this secret internal advise, because he wanted to protect the interests of Pakistan as he was apprehensive of India's friendship with the USSR, and he was seeking a closer relationship with China who supported PakistanMemorandam for the Record(PDF) August 11 1971.
In June 2005 the U.S. state department declassified documents concerning the visit of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to the White House. Included in the documents was a transcript of a conversation between Kissinger and President Nixon on the morning of November 5, 1971: Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972 150. Conversation Among President Nixon, the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), and the President’s Chief of Staff (Haldeman), Washington November 5, 1971, 8:15-9:00 a.m.
Nixon: "We really slobbered over that old witch"
Kissinger: "They are the most goddamn aggressive people around."
Nixon: "The Indians?"
Kissinger: "The Indians are bastards anyway. They are starting a war there. While she was a bitch, we got what we wanted too. She will not be able to go home and say that the United States didn't give her a warm reception and therefore in despair she's got to go to war."
Kissinger has since expressed his regret over the comments saying, "I regret that these words were used. I have extremely high regard for Mrs. Gandhi as a statesman. This was somebody letting off steam at the end of a meeting in which both President Nixon and I were emphasizing that we had gone out of our way to treat Mrs. Gandhi very cordially." On Indo-American relations Kissinger has also added that "I'm known as a strong advocate and one of the originators of close relations with China. I believe that today I am also a strong advocate of close relations with India." The newly released documents also show that Kissinger pushed for a Chinese military build up along the Indian border as the Americans feared an Indian invasion into West Pakistan. The American request for Chinese involvement in the war was, however, declined. Debasish Roy Chowdhury 'Indians are bastards anyway' in the Asia Times June 23, 2005Kissinger regrets India comments BBC 1 July, 2005