If Nelson Mandela were among us today, he would have added Kashmiris’ struggle against India to the speech he made in Pretoria in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Mandela’s edited text would read, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of Palestinians ‘and Kashmiris.’” It is welcome to note that Pakistan’s new envoy to the United Nations (UN), Munir Akram, has made advancing the legitimate struggle of the people of Indian held Kashmir for liberation his chief mission.

But the task before Pakistan’s Ambassador is a daunting one. The issue is far more complicated than Israel-Palestine conflict. Mr Munir Akram and his team at the UN will face many challenges in this task. However, as he said that opportunities always accompany challenges, one can hope that he will leave no stone unturned to advance the Kashmir cause.

Nevertheless, the situation is changing swiftly. Islamabad’s envoy to the UN must realise that time is of the essence. If Islamabad’s team fails to utilise the time and exploit the dramatic own goal made by Modi’s government, Kashmir cause can suffer serious defeats. Pakistan’s Ambassador needs to keep in mind that after the high point of the UN session, the international attention on Kashmir has fallen off. India’s belligerence is not subsiding any time soon as is evident from the recent bifurcation of the region. Despite the initial uproar against India’s lockdown of the valley, it’s the fourth month that India is not allowing normalcy in the lives of Kashmiris.

We need to do more. Pakistan should revamp its diplomatic strategy. At the current rate, the world will soon forget Kashmir. The first thing that Pakistan’s envoy must understand and reverse the Western politicians and media silence who have succumbed to the efficient campaign by India’s painting of Kashmiri struggle as Pakistan supported terrorism. The next step, while advancing the Kashmir cause globally, should be the creation of consensus among the members of the UN that India is the violator of the UN recommendations in the case of Kashmir. There is no shortage of evidence that shows India’s illegal occupation of the vale.

Moreover, Pakistan also needs to convince the international community to see the Kashmiri struggle against Indian occupation as a right that international law bestows upon all people that live under colonial or apartheid regimes. This way, Pakistan can challenge the immense human suffering of Kashmir that occupies such an imperceptible place in world’s moral imagination.