Indira's attempts to eliminate Pak armour in 1971 was on CIA radar

In recently declassified documents, it has been revealed that the United States was apprehensive about the India-Bangladesh war, and had even put out a strategy in place.

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"(Former prime minister) Indira Gandhi attempts to eliminate Pakistan's armour and air force capabilities," Central Intelligence Agency director Richard Holmes had said at a meeting in the aftermath of the operation that created Bangladesh. Holmes is quoted in a document of the CIA - one of the thousands that were declassified recently.

Former prime minister Indira Gandhi

The US was concerned about India's offensive in the aftermath of the operation that created Bangladesh in 1971. The then president of the United States of America, Richard Nixon had warned India that he would cut off economic aid in case of a war in East Pakistan. The US was however clueless on how to do so.

The papers say that the US thought Indira would order an attack on West Pakistan to capture Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. The CIA papers say that the US was preparing a strategy should India use hit army power of then West Pakistan.

Several meetings were held in the US. The then national security advisor of US, Henry Kissinger had discussed the various possibilities due to poor India-Pakistan ties. During one of the meetings some officials had however felt that the chance of India launching an attack on West Pakistan was remote.

In another meeting the CIA's director Holmes had said, "It is reported that prior to terminating the present hostilities, Gandhi intends to attempt to eliminate Pakistan's armour and air force capabilities."

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