Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. Milton The freedom struggle of Kashmiris against the barbarity of the Indian occupation forces seems to have entered into a decisive stage. However, the international community, which should have played a significant role in resolving the Kashmir dispute, has yet not responded. In any case, we as a nation should raise our voice against the atrocities that are being committed by the Indian troops on hapless people in the occupied valley. In the last two months, nearly 100 innocent people have been killed in cold blood by the Indian forces, including women and children. The present situation in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) is so grim that even the Indian government has panicked. Instead of moving towards a rational solution for the Kashmir issue, it is trying to devise a new strategy in order to keep the people of Kashmir under Indian subjugation. In this context, the Government of Pakistan has reacted very slowly to the current situation. Therefore, its failure to forcefully present the Kashmir issue before the international community must be strongly condemned. Although it is a fact that the federal government is besieged by several issues like the war against terrorism, unprecedented floods, as well as its legal battles, yet this should not be an excuse to ignore the calls of the Kashmiri people, who are fighting not only for their survival, but are also trying to bring the worlds attention to the ongoing slaughter of innocent people in the occupied valley. In other words, while Kashmir burns and the atrocities of the Indian army intensify, it is unfortunate that the Pakistan government has not done enough to highlight the Kashmir issue in international forums, reveal the plight of the Kashmiri people and thus expose the real face of Indian democracy. The West has equally failed to respond to the situation, except for issuing a few cosmetic statements to ruffle feathers when aggression and violence by India is so openly visible. By and large, its response to the crisis has not been in accordance with what the situation demands. For weeks, the occupied territory was put under curfew and the people were not allowed to go out even to buy food or seek medical assistance. Under such circumstances, the puppet government in IHK has been trying its best to strike a deal with the Kashmiri leaders, which is meant solely to buy time for the Indian government. One can easily judge the intensity of the conflict, when the puppet Chief Minister of Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, demanded the Indian government to repeal the notorious Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA). That allowed its military to commit the worst kind of human right violations in history and then get away with it. Though this did not happen, the Indian Prime Minister cobbled together a tested team of politicians and sent them to the occupied territory in an effort to engage all those, who are demanding the right of self-determination for Kashmiris, in a dialogue so that they could tide over the present crisis that threatens to envelope other areas where the people for years have been demanding an end to the Indian hegemony. Furthermore, the Indian leadership has tried to pre-empt any move by the Pakistani government for the occupied territory, especially by stating that it is willing to engage in a dialogue with Pakistan on all issues, including Kashmir. But, at the same time, there is frenzy in the Indian media - mostly state-sponsored - which tries to create an impression that eventually it will be the Indians who will set the agenda for the peace talks. That the Indian government will not bow down to Pakistans new strategy in IHK. Several Indian leaders have recently levelled wild accusations against Pakistan for fomenting trouble in occupied Kashmir. They have also tried to mislead the world by calling for an end to what they have termed as Pakistani support for mob violence in IHK. Thus, one expects that Pakistan should at least pursue a more aggressive diplomatic policy and raise the current human rights abuses by the Indian forces at all forums, including the United Nations so that the international community is made to take concrete steps to resolve the Kashmir dispute. That will eventually alleviate the sufferings of the Kashmiri people at the hands of the Indian forces. It is time that the Government of Pakistan should make it clear to the Indian administration that any meaningful dialogue on IHK can only take place in an environment that is free from violence. And to achieve this, it is extremely important that India withdraws all its so-called 'security forces from the occupied territory. More so, the federal government must insist that a timeframe should be announced by the Indian leadership after which the Kashmiris will be allowed to vote and exercise their right to self-determination, according to the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council. It may also be feasible, if the Government of Pakistan takes up the matter with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on the current developments in IHK to activate the Islamic countries, so that at least moral and diplomatic pressure is exerted on the Indians. It will indeed make India recognise that the issue of occupied Jammu and Kashmir cannot be resolved by brute force, and that the legitimate aspirations of the Kashmiris must be respected. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: zarnatta@hotmail.com