If New Delhi had assumed that the Kashmiri intifada had died down in any way, it must have been thoroughly disappointed on seeing angry protestors throng the streets in response to the Indian President Pranab Mukharjee’s visit to the Valley. With the President’s presence roundly disapproved as an anathema, the Indian leadership should come out of the illusion they are having about succeeding in “winning over” the locals. The wishful thinking is, however, evident in Indian Foreign Secretary’s address to the UN where he repeated the same old mantra that Kashmir was India’s integral part, a position he affirmed it would hold on to for all time.

It is to live in a world of make-believe to think that the people of Kashmir would give up after sacrificing so much and when they are resolutely determined to achieve their right of self-determination, an inalienable right granted by the UN. As the situation is growing tense by the hour, and as the issue is gaining more international audience, questions are being asked about the methods New Delhi has adopted, a chilling one being the extrajudicial killings and then dumping the bodies in mass graves. The Indians will have a hard time explaining how these people met their tragic end, an atrocity that flies in the face of President Mukherjee’s talk against the use of force. Sincerity demands that arrangements are made for a UN sponsored plebiscite to let the people decide their fate in a free and fair atmosphere.