Could there be a greater indictment of Indian government’s make-believe of the Occupied Valley as its integral part that one of its own prominent political figures, Simranjit Singh President of the Shiromani Akali Dal while talking about the aspirations of Kashmiris in Srinagar on Tuesday likened New Delhi to an ostrich with its head in the sand. For the ongoing struggle for the assertion of right of self-determination, he used the word ‘occupation force’ for the state army which he stated was engaged in perpetuating terrorism just like it once did to crush dissent in Punjab.

What this clearly shows is that now with every hour, day and week, the realisation among the conscientious class of Indian civilians, intellectuals and politicians that what their country is doing has neither moral nor legal grounds is sinking in. When Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy remarked that, India needs freedom from Kashmir as much as Kashmir needs freedom from India it offered the world a proof of who is right and who is wrong. These are the voices of its own people that should be heeded.

There was also something substantial in the statement of Mr Singh that Islamabad should pay attention to; he rightly said that the dialogue process is a sham, a reason why it has repeatedly ended in a fiasco and is invariably headed for a blind alley. Obviously when the core issue does not figure anywhere on the agenda, and the people sitting across the conference table are least interested in discussing it, what else can be expected of the talks.

A timely solution of the conflict would benefit India as well and that is why its citizens who can see the injustice are calling for an end to occupation in greater numbers now. The prospect of peace from its early settlement is something to look forward to rather than continuing to bear the fallout prevailing bad blood is inflicting. And above all else, the Kashmiris’ birthright to live their lives freely and without the horror of Indian state terrorism must be granted to them.