Inayatullah On August 15, 2010, IHK Chief Minister Omar Abdullah quipped: Hurling a shoe is better than hurling a stone. Omar tried to make light of a telltale incident which demonstrated that even the police is losing confidence in his government. All that PM Manmohan Singh could offer in his Independence Day speech was some sort of autonomy. The current rebellion of the Kashmiri youth is totally indigenous. The way it has been met by the brutal Indian security forces is a sad reflection on Indias claims of democracy and fair play. Malini Parthasarathy writing in The Hindu of August 19 has rightly observed: Indias more than 60-year painstaking quest to retain the picturesque state within its union has collapsed.The reconciliatory process was clearly in shreds and the situation had spun out of control. Officials and politicians in Srinagar and New Delhi were evidently overwhelmed by the vehemence and intensity of the anger that was spilling out on the streets. According to Kashmir Information Network (KIN), It [Kashmir] was a paradise on earthbut the paradise has been turned into hell. An authentic voice from Kashmir, Greater Kashmir, an English daily that is printed from Srinagar, has on its front page posed the question in its issue of August 19: Who will and who can come to our rescue? To quote: Summer 2010 is repeating the same agony. Kashmiris are dying in every corner of the valley. Here every issue is settled with stick and bullet.We get bullet for every cry we raise.Whether it is killing that fuels protest against the killing or there is a killing to curb protest; at the end what we lose is life. If the situation continues to be like that, tomorrow we may see only the aged and fragile, crowd of widows and orphans. This mayhem makes us cry. We cry out of pain, cry to protest, cry for help, cry to get noticed, but no one listens.We feel elated to hear someone uttering a word of concern about our suffering. We feel this is going to win the battle for us.Who will rescue us in crisis? Before we discuss Pakistans role and responsibility in the current context, one needs to highlight the fact that after a long time the international community has started taking a serious notice of the worsening situation in Kashmir. After years of neglect BBC has started showing pictures of Indian troops and police atrocities on the unarmed Kashmiri youth. Mention may here be made of a Memo From Srinagar by Lydia Polgreen under the title Protests in Kashmir - The Question India Cant Answer, published in various prestigious newspapers, including the New York Times. An excerpt, here, will be in order: as the past two months have shownnearly 60 civilians have died in angry protests against Indias military presence there, and the cry for self-rule seems to grow stronger with each new body interred in this citys growing Martyrs Graveyard. 'India has tried brute military force, Indian-style democracy and pork-barrel spending. Nothing has worked.The trouble, analysts and historians say, is that Indias claim on Kashmir is hardly ironclad. This is a genuinely international dispute, said Ramachandra Guha, a historian whose book, India After Gandhi, details the messy process by which Kashmir became part of India after partition in 1947. 'India has a case for its position, but it is not foolproofa series of stolen elections and broken promises planted the seed of rebellion. During the insurgency 60,000 people died. Today, the goal is freedom, independence, says Mehbooba Mufti, a leader of Kashmirs main opposition political party. The (UN-mandated) plebiscite never took place and now an unsettled quasi border called the Line of Control divides Kashmir. Indias first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was of Kashmiri origin and badly wanted Kashmir to remain with India, yet, he wrote to the maharajah: However much we may want this, it cannot be done ultimately except through the goodwill of the mass of the population. (He reiterated this idea a number of times and then suddenly on flimsy grounds he unhesitatingly broke his pledge with the result that India now utterly refuses to honour the commitments made solemnly to the international community). In recent comments on Kashmir, Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh has avoided referring to the protesters as agents of Pakistan. But that is not enough. There is a growing realisation in India that the policy of naked of force followed so far has failed and the legitimate demands of the Kashmiris need to be seriously addressed. An article appearing in the Gulf News written by Al Maeena, a Saudi columnist, alludes to this change in sections of Indian opinion. He refers to veteran journalist Vir Sanghvi who wrote in the Hindustan Times: So here is my question: Why are we still hanging on to Kashmir, if the Kashmiris dont want to have anything to do with us? There is also a reference to a Hindustan Times survey which reveals that 87 percent Kashmiris want Azadi. With India failing to cope with the revolt of the unarmed youth, with the world taking serious notice of Indias brutal conduct - point blank killings of peaceful protestors, with the international media highlighting the Indian atrocities and flagrant violation of human rights as documented by neutral prestigious international organisations like the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Pakistan cannot afford to let go this opportunity to play its rightful role as the internationally acknowledged party to the dispute duly recognised by the United Nations. Pakistan must eschew any militant intervention but provide maximum political and diplomatic support to the brave Kashmiris in their peaceful struggle for survival and freedom. The Foreign Office must bestir itself and launch a worldwide campaign to sensitise the international community by mobilising its missions abroad, as well as international media with vigour and imagination. Merely issuing lukewarm statements, off and on, for Kashmiris right to self-determination is neither here nor there. The writer is a political and international relations analyst. Email: