“The United States would promptly and effectively come to the assistance of Pakistan if it were subjected to armed aggression. A threat to the territorial integrity or political independence of the members (of CENTO) would be viewed by the United States with utmost gravity.”

–James Langley – April 15, 1959

The crucial interest of the newly independent country, Pakistan, was to safeguard its borders from any sort of military intervention. Partition had granted it only a share of 1/4th of the total assets of the subcontinent which was not sufficient to protect its territory, with ammunition reserves capable of lasting only one week. Hence, Pakistan looked for global military alliances. The Bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed in 1959 with the US which stated that Pakistan’s independence and territorial integrity would be preserved by the United States. Article II of the agreement also mentioned that it would assist the country in its economic development. Economic assistance was provided, albeit less, but US completely failed to commit to the agreement when Pakistan developed friendly relations with China. It did not support Pakistan in wars of 1965 and 1971 with India and, like always, tried hard to defend its position. It pointed towards one of the clauses of the declaration and said that it was effective only in the case of an intervention by a communist country. However, earlier on April15 the same year, a formal note by the US ambassador, James Langley, to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Manzur Qadir, had stated that it would promptly come to assist Pakistan just in case of an “armed aggression”. Later, reports from US suggested that this statement was not binding as it lacked ratification from the Congress and hence, US withdrew its military support for Pakistan.