The highlight of Pakistan’s extensive diplomatic push in the United States – a speech in front of the international community in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) – was a stark contrast between the two men who represent and embody their nations during this time of crisis. With the Indian Prime Minister and the Pakistani Prime Minister speaking on the same day at the forum, this session was the most visible stage where the burning issue of Kashmir was to be discussed. Over the course of the two speeches what was said, and more importantly what remained unsaid, should prove to be a decisive indictment of the Indian government’s policies in the Kashmir valley.

It is unthinkable, that with two countries having come back from the brink of all out open war not too long ago, Prime Minister Modi would chose to omit any mention of Kashmir or the tension between India and Pakistan. Consequently, Modi’s silence speaks louder than any explanation for the annexation of Kashmir and the imprisonment of its people under a brutal military occupation could have. Just like Kashmiri voices, the Modi led Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) would rather brush aside genuine concerns and stifle debate by brushing it under the rug instead of convincing the people and the world that its actions are justified. His avoidance of the issue betrays cowardice, and a tacit admission that India is indeed flagrantly in the wrong.

Contrast this with Imran Khan’s speech. With both government’s having ample opportunity to present their cases, the Pakistani Prime Minister made sure that he took as much time as was required to instil the injustice being done in Kashmir and the urgency with which the world has to treat it in the conscience of the listeners. World leaders and the global community were empathetically told about Indian atrocities and the racial supremacist ideology that is behind it. India’s insistence on avoiding dialogue and its subversive activities in Balochistan were meticulously laid bare. The sincerity of his sentiments will be noticed worldwide, as will be the calculated obfuscation of his Indian counterpart.

While the focus of Imran Khan’s speech was Kashmir it was welcome to see that the Prime Minister also took time to address other issues that beset Pakistan and many parts of the world jointly – climate change, Islamophobia and money laundering. The more the world talks about them the better.

In the end, the Prime Minister and the government, especially the Foreign Office, must never forget that an impactful speech will not be enough on its own to bring change – it can be initiator of dialogue not the conclusion. Our government must continue to engage the international community actively to follow up and achieve actual.