Newly released transcripts of White House tapes and declassified documents show that former President Nixon referred privately to Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as an "old witch".

Mr. Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger met in the Oval Office on the morning of November 5, 1971, to discuss Mr. Nixon's conversation with the visiting Mrs. Gandhi the day before.

Mr. Nixon's remarks came as the two men speculated about Mrs. Gandhi's motives during the White House meeting, and discussed India's intentions in the looming conflict with neighboring Pakistan, which eventually created Bangladesh. Mr. Kissinger told the president that the Indians were "bastards" anyway and that they are starting a war there.

Mrs. Gandhi had urged the president to press the Pakistani government to stop its alleged atrocities in east Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh, so that India could repatriate some 10 million refugees to Pakistan. Later, she told reporters she had to go to war with Pakistan because Washington did not help her in resolving the refugee problem.

Some information for this report provided by AP.