While it is no small comfort to know that Pakistan continues to consider its principled stand on the Kashmir dispute as the only viable solution that can ensure durable peace in the subcontinent, it is strange that it should, at the same time, be ready to accept a verdict given by the US, Russia and China, if they could play an intermediary role. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam A. Khan, who made a statement to the effect at his weekly briefing to the media at Islamabad on Friday, somehow did not realise the inherent fallacy in this option. At this point in time it is impossible to expect either Washington or Moscow to support Pakistan. The US is more likely to continue to invest in its relations with India, with the long-term view to contain a rising China. The Russians, will not forget the Indians hastily joining the American camp soon after the Soviet Union disintegrated and Russia lost its lustre as a superpower, it still will not be likely to favour Pakistan over it and risk distancing itself from India to such an extent. This favouring of Pakistan’s stance from Russia is even less likely on an issue like Kashmir on which India has staked its prestige, especially as Pakistan has been a strong supporter of the independence of Chechnya. With Beijing we have a special relationship and it has continued to back our rightful cause on Kashmir, to our everlasting gratitude.Another unbelievably optimistic view that the spokesman expressed was that India was willing to resolve the issue, as well as the feeling that both Islamabad and New Delhi were in a position to settle it on their own. The Indian delegates at the UN General Assembly session left no one in doubt as to their feelings on the issue. And the fate of bilateral talks, whether we call them composite dialogue or by any other name, has been no secret; in all cases, Pakistan finally succumbed to India’s wishes culminating in the according of the MFN to New Delhi without compelling it to make, as a quid pro quo, the slightest progress on Kashmir. The reality is that it has refused to take up the matter with Pakistan.The only course that would be acceptable to the people of Kashmir and of Pakistan would be a UN-supervised free and fair plebiscite to elicit the wishes of the local population whether they want to join Pakistan or India. Islamabad should proactively pursue the case at all international forums, highlighting the sufferings of Kashmiris held against their wishes by India in violation of international law and forcefully plead their cause. If the UN has become ineffective in resolving the dispute it should not mean we leave an issue that constitutes our jugular vein at the mercy of those from whom justice is not expected.