Modi should appoint a person for back channel talks: Kasuri

Stressing that Pervez Musharraf's "four-point formula" on Kashmir was still "relevant", former Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should appoint a close confidant for back channel talks with his country.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 19, 2014, 20:34 PM IST

New Delhi: Stressing that Pervez Musharraf's "four-point formula" on Kashmir was still "relevant", former Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should appoint a close confidant for back channel talks with his country.

He said Pakistan and India were very close to a framework agreement on the Kashmir issue through back-channel talks during Musharraf and the UPA government's tenure.

This, he said, can be put to use by the new regimes in both the countries.

"It does not matter what name you give it, what points come first or who it is named after, the four-point formula is still relevant today," he said.

Emphasizing on need for talks, Kasuri said he "strongly feels that Modi should appoint someone who enjoys his confidence, someone who is close to him, as the person for back-channel talks with Pakistan".

The former minister, who was one of those in direct knowledge of the back-channel talks during Musharraf and Singh's tenure and claims to have seen the "drafts", is in India for a Track II dialogue.

His book "Neither hawk, nor dove" is set to be launched in January next year in which he talks extensively on this formula and the back channel parleys.

Kasuri said the book narrates "what we agreed on, what led to it, what pressures were there on us, what were we facing, what were we being told (interlocutors)".

"It went on for three years," he said, talking about the four-point agenda.

He said only the then Pakistan President and Army chief Musharraf, Vice Army chief and ISI head besides the Foreign Secretary and himself were in the know of the framework.

"Manmohan Singh was equally secretive. No one wanted a negative spin," he told reporters here.

The "four-point formula", which, Kasuri said, both sides had agreed to, included gradual demilitarisation along the Line of Control, giving maximum self governance to the two halves of Kashmir, making LoC irrelevant by opening as many routes along the border as possible and working on an over-watch mechanism.