It is interesting to observe that the conflict over the ownership of Kashmir is expanding. In this conflict, the Kashmiri youth has taken the lead and assumed the responsibility of carrying forth the struggle to its logical conclusion. At the same time, the Kashmiri leaders and veterans of the first generation struggle are extending full support to the youngsters. The entire Indian Held Kashmir is in a state of defiance and with the death toll exceeding 100, the struggle seems to have entered in an irreversible phase. Moreover, the Secretary Generals of the UN and OIC have expressed their concern over the brutalities being committed by the Indian security apparatus in Kashmir. Unable to sustain a protracted state of denial, India has, in a way, acknowledged the disputed status of the territory. Recently, Indian Prime Minister Manm-ohan Singh held an All Party Conference (APC) in New Delhi, which decided to send a 37-member delegation to occupied Kashmir to talk to the local politicians and business groups in an effort to ease tensions. Though the conference was a lacklustre, it has kick-started a fresh political initiative by the Indian bipartisan political leadership. While, at the same time, the erratic statement of the Indian Foreign Minister in New York has demonstrated India's Machiavellian approach to the issue. The Indian initiative may, however, be a non-starter due to the condition that talks should be held within the framework of the Indian constitution, whereas the first assertion of the Kashmiri leadership is that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory; and that India has made several promises at the international level, which ought to be fulfilled. To coincide with the arrival of the Indian fact-finding mission in Srinagar, identical resolutions were adopted unanimously by the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan, condemning "state terrorism" in the region and reaffirming Pakistan's "diplomatic, political and moral support" for Kashmiris in their struggle. The resolution expressed "grave concern on the situation in occupied Kashmir", condemned "India's state terrorism" and demanded that India "stop murder and plunder", withdraw troops from the "state/urban population, cancel black laws, lift curfew, end media blackout, release Kashmiri leaders and thousands of imprisoned youth, refrain from obstructing the performance of religious duties and locking mosques and allow international human rights organisations to come to occupied Kashmir." It emphasised that Kashmiris were engaged in a "peaceful struggle for their right of self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Charter, UN resolutions, the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and resolutions of the Non-Aligned Movement as their basic right." It appealed to world nations "not to remain silent spectators of the Kashmir situation and compel India to stop injustice and repression on Kash-miris and resolve the Kashmir issue, and take practical steps for the implementation of (relevant) UN Security Council resolutions." Kashmiris' response towards the Indian parliamentary delegation clearly indicates a huge trust deficit between New Delhi and the freedom fighters. The mainstream leaders in IHK decided to abstain from directly interacting with the parliamentary delegation because they are now wary of such visits, as these represent only an effort at short-term crisis management and that there is neither any clear commitment towards effective resolution of the issue, nor any path-finding effort for addressing the aspirations and interests of the IHK masses. However, a memorandum was addresses by the IHK political leadership to the visiting delegation, recommending a negotiation-based plan of action for resolving the dispute. The Kashmiri leadership is right in following this approach because they have repeatedly seen in the past that it is only when a major crisis erupts that visible efforts are made by India to engage and understand the peoples' aspirations; and as soon as the crisis subsides, inherent political complacency and negligence is restored. The IHK leaders have made it a point not to ask for unilateral political concessions, rather they are pursuing for a joint commitment to a meaningful process that guarantees results. They are of the opinion that this is possible only if serious efforts are made to create a conducive environment for dialogue by removing of harsh and repressive measures, like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA), which are used to suppress aspirations and fundamental democratic rights of the Kashmiris. In this context, its leadership has suggested that resolution of the dispute should be in accordance with the aspirations of the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir. That should become a 'Common Minimum Programme' shared by all political parties in India and Pakistan, so that such a process is transparent and is designed to deliver a negotiated solution to the Kashmir issue, which is mutually worked towards by, and is acceptable to, all parties concerned. Making a fresh demand for a result-oriented dialogue, the moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) have demanded setting up of Kashmir committees in India and Pakistan to find an everlasting solution to the issue. "We look forward to entering into a dialogue based on shared commitments....Let the Government of India establish and empower an official body, a Kashmir Committee, consisting of senior representatives of major political parties to develop and enter into a process of engagement with representatives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir....We believe that a similar Kashmir Committee, bringing together all political forces, should also be established in Pakistan. We will suggest to political parties in Pakistan that this be done," the Chairman of APHC Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik said in a joint memorandum. The memorandum further said: "This (setting up of Kashmir committees) will ensure that all major political forces in India and Pakistan are on board with the peace process and it will help institutionalise and sustain the process to resolve the Kashmir problem. "On our part we are ready and willing to engage and sustain a meaningful and irreversible process of dialogue designed to avoid the failures of the past and to jointly develop and implement a solution to the Kashmir dispute that is acceptable to all sides - India, Pakistan and above all the people of the state," the memorandum said. It is the unwavering determination of the people of Kashmir that has sustained the freedom struggle against the barbarity of India and its occupation forces in the face of the placatory silence of the international community. For example, President Obama conveniently skipped the issue during his recent address to the UNGA. It is disappointing to see what has become of 'candidate Obama', who was an ardent supporter of the cause of Kashmiris. It is the UN Secretary General's legal obligation to stand for Kashmiris against the Indian homicide in occupied Kashmir, since the Kashmir dispute is on the agenda of UN Security Council. Moreover, being a depository of all resolutions on the Kashmir dispute, UN is the rightful sponsor for undertaking a concerted campaign to throw up a viable solution to the dispute. It is time for the UN to own the conflict, dust off archives and jumpstart the process. Let's go beyond rhetoric The writer is a retired air commodore of Pakistan Air Force. Email:khalid3408@gmail.com