Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Muhammad, talking to reporters after a speech at The Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Friday, has said that a third party, the UN, should intervene to resolve the conflict. While displeasing Indian opinion by mentioning the Kashmir issue, which India wants brushed under the carpet, he did not please Pakistan either. He did not convey its principled stand that India should obey the UN Resolutions, and hold a plebiscite under UN supervision to determine the opinion of the people of Kashmir, on whether they wished to join India or Pakistan. Dr Mahathir should be proposing that India should be held to the commitments it had made to the international community, and for the implementation of existing UN Security Council Resolutions rather than for a fresh intervention. The international community should refuse to be taken in by Indian blandishments and specious arguments that the Kashmir issue cannot be solved according to the UN resolutions, which India had accepted. It is only Indian insincerity which has allowed it to resile from them, an insincerity which the comity of nations winks at. While Dr Mahathir was addressing the Leadership Summit, Pakistan was deciding to go to the International Court of Justice against Indias violation of the Indus Basin Waters Treaty by its construction of the Nimoo-Bazgo hydro-electric project. This is part of the Indian plan, which it is busy implementing, to transform Pakistan into a desert by damming up the waters it is forbidden from doing, under the treaty. The international community needs to realise that the water dispute between India and Pakistan is an integral part of the Kashmir dispute. There is a growing fear within the international community that both are nuclear-armed, and are on the verge of water shortage. Before a conflict breaks out, it should be realised that the solving of the Kashmir issue is a necessary precondition to peace between the two South Asian neighbours. Not only must the government pursue the case at the ICJ vigorously once it is instituted, but it must not allow any misplaced desire to achieve peace with India to lead it to cede it anything in the vital matter of water. It must also launch a diplomatic offensive to ensure that the Kashmir dispute, with all its ramifications, is thoroughly understood by the international community, which has so far only heard the Indian version, which is not only self-serving, but also serves to frustrate the will of that very comity of nations to which it is peddled.