All Parties Hurriyet Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani has said that the apparent lack of interest shown by the Pakistan government in the Kashmir cause has given India a free hand to increase its brutality in the Valley. He was talking to Nawa-i-Waqt in a telephonic interview from his Srinagar residence on Tuesday. This is not the first time Mr Geelani has expressed this concern, and the government should note that its own tactic, of giving India what it wants, down to talking only about those issues which are of interest to it, have failed to show the desired results of an improvement of relations with India. Even the very act of talking to our hostile neighbour has not received as much positive traction and positive approval and acknowledgement  as it should have. Instead of dismissing Mr Geelani’s consternation out of hand, the government must view it as a warning that patience with it may be wearing thin among the Kashmiri people, who have been depending on Pakistani diplomatic and moral support for their freedom struggle. The Kashmiri people have made clear by their decades-long struggle that they will not accept the jackboot of Indian occupation, and want the exercise of their inherent right of self-determination, as promised by the international community, including India, in the UNSC resolutions on the subject, through a UN-supervised plebiscite on whether they want to join India or Pakistan.

Another important question raised by Mr Geelani was when he said that India looked favourably at the problems Pakistan was facing in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi, as it saw them as distracting attention from the Kashmir issue.

Though the government should consult Mr Geelani on what its policy should be, it really does not need to, because it is self-evident that it should not try any longer to appease India, but should support the Kashmir liberation struggle in an effective way, giving unreserved moral and diplomatic support. This must include making India talk about the Kashmir issue, something it is trying not to do at the moment. Pakistan must make the international community aware of the need to make India fulfill its commitments.