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Kartarpur Corridor

The opening of Kartarpur Corridor is a landmark initiative, which has been taken primarily to facilitate Sikh community of India to visit Gurdawara on this side of the international border. The demand for opening of Corridor was first raised in mid 90s but despite repeated pleas and protests by Sikh community this demand, for many obvious reasons, remained unmet for past several years. However, Pakistan has always been open to the idea while India was reluctant to fulfill this Sikh community’s longstanding desire. Now that Indian government had endorsed Pakistan’s proposal to develop the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district up to the Gurdwara in Pakistan, it is yet to see as to what extent this initiative will help to break the existing logjam in relations between the two neighbours that as a matter of the fact has been a chronic problem for at least past couple of years. Since the opening of corridor is also seen as a major breakthrough towards normalization of relations between the two countries but onus of responsibility to foster better relations solely lies with the leadership across the border. Particularly, the Indian leadership needs to realize the fact that they can not live in a state of perpetual hostility with its neighbour. For both the nations an uninterrupted and uninterruptible bilateral engagement is required to overcome the differences to embark on a irreversible trajectory of cooperative relationship. It is imperative that both the governments should come forward with a positive state of mind, revive all diplomatic channels of communication and resume the stalled dialogue process to settle all bilateral issues including the issue of Kashmir that continues to bedevil bilateral ties between the two states. No doubt peace building process is a critical phase especially when it comes to dealing with conflicts but one thing is very clear that lasting peace in the region is impossible unless Kashmir dispute is resolved. This is the lesson that India needs to learn from the history. Pertinently, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had compared the Kartarpur border corridor with the Berlin Wall. “Had anyone ever thought that the Berlin Wall would fall? May be with the blessings of Guru Nanak Devji, this Kartarpur corridor will not just remain a corridor, but act as a bridge between the people of the two countries,” PM Modi had said at a function to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev at New Delhi. Regardless of Mr. Modi’s contentions on the subject one may ask him why his government has turned a blind eye towards the LoC, which has been acting as a real Berlin Wall. The LoC has not only divided families but stalled all forms of communications between people of the two parts of Kashmir. Although many CBMs have been put in place during the recent past to enhance peace to people contacts but still a lot more is needed to be done to simplify the traveling process and procedures. Hope that in the back drop of opening of Kartarpur corridor the governments of the two countries will work towards opening of more crossing points to facilitate travel and expand interactions across the LoC.

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