RICHARD Holbrooke has, in a recent interview, once again reiterated the periodic US statement on the need for a lowering of tensions between Pakistan and India and for seeking a resolution of the Kashmir dispute. According to Holbrooke Pakistan has made it clear to the US that unless Kashmir is resolved, the "war on terror" cannot be won. The US also fears that if Pakistan-India tensions continue Pakistan will reduce its efforts in the war on terror and may even withdraw from it altogether. Worse still, a new conflict could commence in the region. Apparently, President Obama has decided to adopt "covert diplomacy" - presumably similar to our own "backdoor" diplomacy - with Hillary Clinton as spearheading it. This is all very well but we have been hearing such declaratory statements coming from Washington since Obama took office. In fact, even earlier he had focused on Kashmir and suggested he appoint a special envoy for the issue, but the Indians pressured him into giving up on that thought. That is where the problem lies in terms of US pushing its ally India into moving away from its hostile Pakistan policies. Post-9/11 India has contravened the Indus Waters Treaty with impunity and has chosen to target Pakistan at every opportunity, as well as aiding and abetting low intensity conflict within NWFP, FATA and Balochistan. Now there is concrete proof that Indian weapons are reaching the TTP in South Waziristan. All the US seems capable of doing is to make the regular statement on the need for Pakistan and India to dialogue and resolve their conflicts, especially Kashmir. But these words are ringing hollow and have little worth when the US is not prepared to move and translate its words into action. After all, there is a dialogue process framework that the US can push India into restarting. Of course, the dialogue itself will only be meaningful if it moves towards conflict resolution rather than simply conflict management. Even more relevant is the fact that for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute the blueprint already exists in the form of UN Security Council resolutions calling for a plebiscite whereby the Kashmiris can exercise their right of self-determination. This principle has been enshrined in the UN Charter as well as in the specific UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir. So there is no reason to first seek a conflict resolution model. Pakistan, which is a party to the dispute, has also declared that it will concede to the wishes of the Kashmiri people when they are allowed their right of self determination. So the US, which has effectively been in control of the UNSC post the Soviet demise, can bring into play the path to resolution of the Kashmir dispute which will establish peace and security in the region. After all, that is surely what the international community would want in this nuclearised region.