As Pakistan and India prepare for a showdown over Kashmir at the UNGA, heavily armed suspected militants killed 17 Indian soldiers in a pre-dawn raid Sunday on an army base in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK), a regrettable attack that is sure to increase the tension multifold between the two countries. The backlash has already begun, seeing that the Indian side has a knack for behaving as the judge and jury and condemning without the slightest proof of guilt. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’ in an anti-Pakistan rant on Sunday, just hours after the unfortunate attack on the army base, 100 kilometres west of the region’s main city of Srinagar. “Pakistan is a terrorist state and should be identified and isolated as such,” Rajnath tweeted, a stance Ms. Swaraj is sure to play on repeat at the UNGA.

Regardless of this untimely attack, Pakistan is prepared to highlight the current situation in India-held Kashmir at the UN General Assembly, but the accusations will make the task harder. IHK is in the grip of deadly unrest that has lasted for more than two months. Protesting residents are clashing almost daily with security forces and Delhi is showing no signs of backing down from this violent strategy. The Modi government has made it clear that it will take back control of the streets from the ‘stone-pelting youth’. A security official is reported to have said, “Sooner or later, we will have to retake control in South Kashmir. The longer we wait, the more emboldened the protesters become, the more force will be required to deal with them.” If Delhi is hell bent on continuing the atrocities in IHK, then it must bear the brunt of the backlash that it will face from the people of Kashmir, who are only asking for their right to self-determination.

On the other hand, the United States has made it clear that it will not back either side and will continue to be a silent spectator to this injustice that the Kashmir people continue to face on a daily basis. State Department Spokesman John Kirby, when asked to define the US policy on Kashmir, had the following statement to say, “Nothing is changed about our view that we want to see India and Pakistan work this out bilaterally.” Expecting more from the US is perhaps a folly. Either way, Pakistan will continue to be a voice for the Kashmiri people as Kashmir braces itself for another crackdown from the Modi government. One can only hope that the international community will listen to their plea before it is too late.