THE nation may not dispute Mian Nawaz Sharif's commitment to the Kashmir cause, but would definitely like to know some of the details of his plan that, he says, could have resolved the lingering dispute in accordance with UN Resolutions, had General Musharraf not come in the way and toppled his government in October 1999. AJK President Raja Muhammad Zulqarnain, who called on the PML(N) Quaid in Lahore on Sunday, must have been pleased to hear from him that his party would continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiris living across the Line of Control at every forum. But the hospitality given to him at the Raiwind Estate might have restrained him from asking his host to elaborate his claim in the backdrop of the softening of his stance towards India. This became evident when he suggested in an interview with an Indian television channel, soon after the assumption of power by the present regime, that Islamabad should unilaterally abolish the mandatory visa requirement for Indians who wanted to visit Pakistan, whether New Delhi reciprocated the gesture or not. This change of heart comes at a time when the Indian government is also trying to deprive Pakistan of its due share of water in violation of the Indus Waters Treaty. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently inaugurated the Baglihar Dam in complete disregard of repeated calls by Pakistan for international inspection of the project. At the same time, hostilities against the Kashmiri Muslims show no sign of ending. Dr Singh will have few takers for his view that Kashmir is essentially an administrative issue and the opening of trade across the LoC will lead to its resolution. The statement coincided with the Indian Election Commission's announcement of the schedule for staggered elections for the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly commencing from November 17. The EC itself was bitterly divided over whether the polls should be held at a time when resentment was running deep among the Muslim population against the allotment of state land to the Hindu Shrine Board that had left State CM Ghulam Nabi Azad with little choice but to resign. Mian Nawaz needs to carefully examine his thoughts about improving ties with India, lest he should be seen as pursuing General Musharraf's policy of offering CBMs to India without asking it to reciprocate. The fact that the composite dialogue has largely remained fruitless since its initiation nearly five years ago, and not resolved any contentious issue, calls for reverting to Pakistan's stated stance of seeking the resolution of the core dispute in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiris.