The Indians are at it once again, busy selling a lie to the world with so nauseously familiar, that it is a cost to their own credibility. This was reflected for the umpteenth time in the General Assembly session where the Indian External Affairs Minister repeated the same old mantra that Kashmir was its integral part. Isn’t it a paradox that India has been asking others to believe that a territory is its integral part, at the very same forum that it has unequivocally called Kashmir a disputed state and the UN Security Council passed resolutions for a free and fair plebiscite. While the Indian Minister was making this statement, the people of the Valley whom he was trumpeting as its integral part were staging a protest demonstration outside. Concurrently, in a pleasant departure from keeping quiet at international and bilateral get-togethers, Pakistan has of late been saying more, a change that seems to have struck a raw nerve in New Delhi. There are President Zardari as well Foreign Minister Hina Khar’s statements of support to the people’s cause for liberation from India that will provide fillip to the ongoing struggle.

And if India maintains Kashmir as its integral part, there is little justification for Pakistan to stretch a hand of friendship towards India by giving it an MFN status and other privileges. Kashmir, our jugular vein, must be freed from its hold to let us breathe freely.