Relations between Pakistan and the GDR until 1973

This is a translated version of the 2019 MIDA Archival Reflexicon entry “Die Beziehungen zwischen Pakistan und der DDR bis 1973”. The text was translated by Rekha Rajan.

While the relations of the two German states with India have already been the subject of several publications, their engagement with the second-largest nation of the subcontinent has been completely ignored by historians so far. Until it officially recognised the German Democratic Republic (GDR) on 8 October 1972, India, as one of the most important non-aligned nations, was indeed one of the main addressees of the Federal Republic of Germany’s (FRG) Hallstein-Doctrine, and could always be assured of equal attention from both the internationally competing German states.

This applied to a lesser extent to Pakistan, which was politically and economically not so significant internationally, especially since as India’s arch-enemy, it had committed itself early on and unequivocally to the US-led alliance system by becoming a member of the international defence alliances CENTO and SEATO. For the GDR, Pakistan must have appeared to be a “lost cause” to some extent, where it was hardly worthwhile to fight for recognition. In its dealings with India, and later with Bangladesh, which had become independent from Pakistan, the GDR tried to win support with this fact. Only a week before Pakistan also recognised the GDR, on 15 November 1972, the then external affairs minister of the GDR, Otto Winzer, reiterated in a conversation with his counterpart from Bangladesh, Abdus Samad Azad, that Pakistan’s attempts to establish contacts with the GDR had always been rejected. However, contacts with Pakistan went back much further than the chief diplomat of the GDR was willing to admit at the time, and the GDR had certainly played an active role in this.



Access Statistic

Last 12 Month:


Use and reproduction: