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A win win situation for all

Posted in View Point

Published on November 17, 2019 with No Comments

“Karatarpur Corridor does come as a Win Win situation for all, hopefully it would better relationships between the two nations. Leaders who could not see eye to eye are now sitting together for a cause.”

The 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak (1469-1539) kicked off on November 9, three days before the actual day of the Gurpurab, with a high-level Indian delegation consisting of 500-odd handpicked who’s who traversing the Kartarpur Corridor. Among them were former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, key members of the Union Cabinet, Punjab Chief minister  Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet colleagues, and members of the Badal family. One who stole the limelight was the former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had a special invitation from Pakistani Prime minister Imran Khan. The idea to open the corridor was first came to light when Navjot Singh Sidhu during the swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan’s had hugged Pakistan’s Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. Sidhu faced backlash and was labeled “anti national” by right wing groups holding alliance with ruling BJP. However, within a short whole both nations got together and building infrastructure, started holding regular talks though differing on more issue than agreeing on. The work on the corridor continued despite the scrapping by India of Article 370 and the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.  Throughout, Pakistan kept on raking up Kashmir issue at United Nations.  Pakistan used drones to drop weapons in Punjab, however it continued the work on the corridor. Same was with India, it didn’t agree to holding talks on Kashmir however, delegations for the Kartarpur corridor kept their talks on. Perhaps both the sides could see some strategic benefit and that too in long terms.

Both India and Pakistan understand Pakistan has a number of  gurdwaras marking Guru Nanak’s life, but two are important pilgrim centres. At Nankana Sahib near Lahore, Guru Nanak was born, and at Panja Sahib, Hasanabdal, a rock exists with his claimed palm print, from which flows spring water. But Kartarpur is where he spent the last 18 years of his earthly journey, preaching and living by his code of worship and a life of giving and sharing. Both nations also understand, that Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, has followers in Hinduism and even in Islam. Guru Granth Sahib contains four shabads and 112 shaloks of Baba Farid. The Granth Sahib has hymns of six gurus and 36 mystic saints, including those from lower castes and Islam. And hence considering these feelings of those who are Nanak Panthis –(followers of Guru Nanak), the Kartarpur Corridor can be a bridge for better India-Pakistan relations. However,  Pakistan should be firm enough not to allow the separatist Khalistani elements to politicize the events there.  Chief Minister of Punjab Capt.  Amarinder Singh is in a precarious situation. He has to keep both the Sikhs and the Hindus pleased, as both form his vote bank. Capt has been berating Pakistan every time media in India has approached him, in order to his Hindu vote bank intact. At the same time, Capt.  has been vary of

Navjot Singh Sidhu, who finds himself isolated in the Congress. However, his popularity among the Punjabis has grown manifold, as they know and appreciate that the very fact that he has been a key person in getting the corridor opened.

Both Pakistan and India had to play their cards well.  Once the initiative was taken by Pakistan, it was difficult for the Indian government to take any step back. Also, not to forget that the ruling party in India BJP is actively trying to woo the Sikhs as it improves upon their image internationally for treating minorities with ease. For Pakistan, the Corridor has created an image in the international platform that is “India positive”. Of course it would lead to increase in tourism and earnings for Pakistan, and it would add to his popularity. Karatarpur Corridor does come as a Win Win situation for all, hopefully it would better relationships between the two nations. Leaders who could not see eye to eye are now sitting together for a cause.

 

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