President Erdogan of Turkey spoke to both President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan over the Eid holidays. This traditional exchange of greetings was more than just expressing goodwill and went beyond a simple gesture of friendship, as evidenced by the conversation between Turkey’s head of state and our own leaders.

One of the most notable points of the conversation was discussing the plight of oppressed Muslims, particularly in Palestine and Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). This past year, we have seen the rights of Kashmiris subverted like never before, due to the Modi regime’s calculated attempt to suppress the indigenous freedom movement.

But another marked change is the fact that the international community is finally opening its eyes to see that Palestine does not bleed alone; the Indian state wants to execute the Israeli policy in Kashmir as well. Turn back the clock by as little as three years and we would be hard-pressed to hear even our staunchest allies constantly speak out against the oppression of Kashmiris in IOK.

And yet today, the situation is constantly evolving. Even some of India’s closest allies have been unable to turn a blind eye to the Kashmir issue. President Erdogan of Turkey has been one of the first to get behind the government’s move to make Kashmir a cornerstone of our foreign policy. For this, the foreign office and the ruling party must take credit.

IOK will have spent an entire year under lockdown on August 5, with entire communities under curfew without the provision of basic services such as access to the internet. For too long, our inadequate attempts and the lack of any external support for the Kashmiris meant that the issue lay forgotten, but the tide is slowly turning. The façade of a democracy that looks after its people is slowly disintegrating. Pakistan must ensure that we keep pushing until the world can see the Indian state for what it truly is—a fascist government that does not believe in protecting the rights of minorities.