Indian high-handedness in occupied Kashmir has again crossed all bounds of civility and brought the long-pending Kashmir issue to limelight once more. Atrocities being committed by the Indian forces in the valley have taken a heavy toll on the lives of the innocent Kashmiris who are demanding freedom from the clutches of India once and for all. 

While India continues its barbarism in held Kashmir and its heartless forces blatantly and aggressively try to silence the voices raised by the Kashmiri people, the world’s conscience vis-a’-vis this grave issue seems to be in deep slumber. 

The ploy that India has always taken and continues to take regarding the Kashmir problem is that it should be resolved through bilateral negotiations. This, in fact, is a posture that the world powers that matter have also been pursuing since the past almost decades. Time has proved that resolution of the Kashmir problem through bilateral negotiations has bitterly failed. Pursuing this failed strategy any further would only augment India’s hold on the occupied territory and lead to commitment of increased brutalities by the Indian forces against the freedom seekers in that region. 

The world community must genuinely appreciate this truth and strongly emphasise on a resolution of the Kashmir issue by holding a plebiscite in occupied Kashmir under the supervision of the United Nations (UN). If the world powers could recognise the quarter of a century-long struggle of the East Timorese, and the UN could successfully transform East Timor as an independent sovereign state in May 2002, why cannot the world recognise the seven decade-long freedom struggle of the Kashmiris who continue to sacrifice their lives for attaining freedom from the occupiers of their beloved homeland even today? Doesn’t this reflect double standards of the powers that matter and the world body? The people of Kashmir are anxiously looking forward to the UN to hold a plebiscite in held Kashmir and hand over occupied Kashmir to the Kashmiris as it handed over East Timor to the East Timorese in the presence of world leaders from 92 nations in 2002. 

M. FAZAL ELAHI,  

Islamabad, September 1.