After the two-day International Nuclear Summit in The Hague, the bilateral stance on Kashmir between the United States and Pakistan is more or less the same: the conflict has to be resolved. Premier Nawaz Sharif asserted that Pakistan has tried on numerous occasions to bring India to the table for a thorough and forthright talk on Kashmir only to be met with a terse response or plain silence. US Secretary of State John Kerry commended Pakistan’s efforts on national security and claimed that it was ‘satisfied’ with the government’s performance on curtailing terrorism within the country. Furthermore, both countries vowed to collaborate more efforts in addressing regional stability with Kashmir on the east and Afghanistan on the west of the borders.

The interesting aspect of the talk was revealed when the Premier suggested for third-party intervention in the case of Kashmir. He maintained that the issue of Kashmir’s empowerment can only be achieved through joint-endeavors not only limited to India and Pakistan. The intention, based in helping the oppressed out, is appreciated and well-taken by those in Kashmir but it is far from a clean and transparent process. For starters, the potential third-party that may intervene is the United States. Given America’s historical record of hijacking indigenous struggles – be it Middle Eastern countries or those in Africa and South America, our very own neighborhood as well – for its own jingoistic and corporate interests, it would be a grave error to solicit an Empire’s advice on a battle already so bloodied and battered.

Kashmir’s case is ever more conflicted. With an estimated one million Indian troops in the region, the life of the average Kashmiri is deeply entrenched in state-sanctioned brutality. The onus to relieve the plight of Kashmiri citizens should be placed primarily on India as it controls in the influx of military forces within the region. Pakistan’s policy should remain sincere to the political and social exigencies of the common masses in Kashmir. For this reason, third-party intervention can be more harmful than it is harmless; it carries with it its own strategic agendas that can be increasingly contrary to the collective goals of those on ground. In this regard, humanitarian intervention must be viewed critically. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to listen to the Kashmiri first and foremost. Talking on behalf of a people or, worse, over them rarely solves their predicament.