The Musharraf Formula (Back channel Formula) and the Resolution of the Kashmir Conflict

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Dr.Saeed Ahmed Rid

Abstract

The Musharraf formula refers to the resolution formula of the Kashmir conflict which was reportedly agreed upon during the one-to-one backchannel dialogue between Mr. Tariq Aziz, the former civil servant and close aide of the then President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf and Mr.Satinder Lambah, a special envoy of the Prime Minister of India. We now know some of the details of this formula from the article of the American journalist, Steve Coll which he had published in New Yorker in March 2009 and the book of Mr.Khursheed Mahmud Kasuri, Neither a Hawk, Now a Dove which was published in 2015. Prior to this Mr.Musharraf and Mr.Kasuri had already claimed in their TV interviews and press talks that by March 2007 India and Pakistan were very close to resolving the Kashmir conflict. This paper takes the details of that non-paper agreement and tries to study what exactly that agreement holds for the future resolution of the Kashmir conflict. The basic understanding is whenever the Pakistani and the Indian governments will take up the negotiations on the Kashmir conflict in future, this agreement is bound to come up in the talks as a starting reference point. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully look at this agreement and discuss what it entails for the resolution of the Kashmir conflict.

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