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Pak told US of 'Soviet-Indian designs'

Former US security advisor reveals that former Pak president had once expressed deep concern over 'Soviet-Indian designs', but no proof was found.

world Updated: Dec 26, 2007 01:45 IST

Former Pakistan President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had once expressed "deep concern" to the US over what he called a grand design by the erstwhile Soviet Union and India for the "dismemberment" of his country, but the CIA had found no evidence to that effect.

Former US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger revealed this in a classified memo to then President Richard Nixon, which has now been released along with others as part of documents on US diplomacy in South Asia from 1973 to 1976.

"President Bhutto recently wrote to express his deep concern over what he sees as evidence of Soviet-Indian design on the integrity of Pakistan," Kissinger told the President in a White House Memo dated March 7, 1973.

Bhuttto's most immediate cause for concern was the seizure of Soviet-made light arms at the Iraqi embassy in Islamabad, the US official wrote adding, "He believes that the Soviets were behind this clandestine arms shipment and that it was intended for dissident elements in the frontier provinces of Pakistan whose ultimate aim, in collusion with the Indians and Afghans, in his view is final dismemberment of Pakistan."

The administration immediately asked the CIA to review its evidence on this subject, which reported that "they have no evidence of a recent increase in Soviet-supported subversive activity in Pakistan."

The CIA had also said while the Soviets have tried to develop influence among dissident elements apparently for future use, there was no evidence of a more active effort now such as supplying arms to dissidents.

"The day after Bhutto wrote, Pakistani government itself, for lack of evidence, moved back from its assertion that the Iraqi arms were destined for frontier areas," he noted.