How significant will Manmohan Singh’s Kartarpur visit be?




pk%2Fstory%2F2071527%2F1-indian-ex-pm-manmohan-singh-accepts-invitation-attend-kartarpur-opening-ceremony%2F The Kartarpur corridor connects Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartapur, Pakistan, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur, India

However, it is has not been confirmed whether Singh will attend the inauguration ceremony of the corridor, which will take place two days after the birthday celebrations

Regardless, this visit will be emblematic of that which unites people on both sides of the border rather than that which separates us

The significance of the Kartarpur corridor is that the aspirations of the masses to claim the common heritage of the subcontinent is forcing regimes on both sides of the border to respond

In that sense, the invitation, and Singh’s visit, are landmark developments which give a sense of hope in these dark times

When Pakistan announced the construction of the corridor in November last year, it was hailed as the first significant gesture of friendship towards India from Pakistan’s newly elected government, led by Imran Khan

However, much has changed in the subcontinent since then

Imran nurtured hope that a Narendra Modi re-election would be great news for the region and that the Hindu nationalist leader would take the initiative in order to normalise relations between the two nations

But that was not to be

True to his character, the Indian prime minister acted in a manner which catered to the demands of his constituency, and the decision to abrogate the autonomous status of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) was taken to consolidate the agenda of the Hindu nationalist party

Any layman can understand that the problem in Kashmir can only be handled by engaging in talks with the people of Kashmir and Pakistan

New Delhi’s revocation of Article 370 only shrinks the political space for diplomatic manoeuvring in the subcontinent

Moreover, the very fact that Pakistan chose not to invite Modi for this historic inauguration shows the deep chill that has overpowered the relationship between these two South Asian nations

 The rhetoric of peace and friendship, which had been a prominent part of Imran’s vernacular ever since he assumed office, has now disappeared

His passion for peace has taken a backseat as a result of the emerging geopolitical reality in South Asia

On the other hand, Modi has never been known as a messiah of peace

Indians who understand his politics knew that a man who won the elections by inflaming a nationalist passion after the Balakot strike would never tread upon the path which leads to peace and reconciliation

Similarly, the Indian media is doing its best to ensure that it fans the flames of hostility and continues the usual game of one-upmanship, thus breeding a constant environment of suspicion and mistrust

Therefore, in this time of vitriol and finger-pointing, the Kartarpur corridor and Singh’s imminent visit come as a pleasant surprise, representing a promise of a better future in the subcontinent

Singh’s visit would be the first high level engagement between the two nations at a time when New Delhi and Islamabad don’t see eye to eye

As a result, the Kartarpur corridor may prove to be not just a religious corridor, but a corridor for peace in the region – if India and Pakistan want it

Date:06-Oct-2019 Reference:View Original Link