WASHINGTON - A prominent Kashmiri leader Monday urged the Obama Administration to lead the effort to achieve a fair and lasting settlement of the Indo-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir, saying the appointment of a US envoy on the issue would help the process. In a statement, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director of the Washington-based Kashmiri American Council, said that now is the time that President Barack Obama tells Indian Prime Minister Monmohan Singh, who is here on a four-day visit, that the past sixty years history bears testimony that arm-twisting methods have not helped in containing or defeating the political dissent in occupied Kashmir. This simplistic strategy has proven dangerously counterproductive and augmented regional instability. Kashmiri and Sikh Americans have announced plans to stage demonstrations in front of the White House where the Indian leader will hold talks with President Barack Obama today (Tuesday). Both communities have accused India of repression in Indian occupied Kashmir and Punjab, respectively. By promoting an acceptable settlement of the Kashmir dispute, Dr Fai said the United States can strengthen the principles of a just world order and earn the gratitude of generations in Kashmir, in Pakistan and even in India itself. Dr Fai underscored that the importance of the peace initiatives between India and Pakistan, particularly when considering the link between stability and American socio-economic and geopolitical interests in the region. Sadly, the potential for violence is ever-present which could catapult South Asia towards uncontrollable destabilisation. The extremist elements in the region have hijacked what is essentially a political issue and have used it as a convenient alibi for realizing their sinister agenda, he said. This fringe element has mastered the art of brining the two neighbours to the brink of war. At present, the unpredictability of the Afghan rebellion and its ever widening encroachment on governmental control directly threatens both regional and international stability. Nothing would be as catastrophic of Pakistan collapsing under the weight of militant tyranny, he added. The United States paved the way for freedom around the world and it can help the people of Kashmir achieve peace, freedom and self-determination. Indeed, the appointment of a special envoy on Kashmir would hasten the progress of peace and reconciliation in the region, particularly India, Pakistan, Kashmir and Afghanistan, Dr Fai said in conclusion.