Kartarpur opening



Pakistan has shown a tremendous amount of maturity over the last couple of weeks vis-à-vis India. The latter took a unilateral move and deprived the state of Jammu and Kashmir of its unique status through a constitutional amendment. It also imposed curfew in the restive state which has entered in the fifth week. And continues to violate the Line of Control. Pakistan in return reacted only in defence as far as the LoC is concerned. It has embarked on a diplomatic offensive to aware the world of India’s undemocratic move in the disputed Kashmir valley. And it has continued to hold dialogue with India at the state level for opening of Kartarpur Corridor.

After February Balakot incident, India has been reluctant in pursuing the talks. However now the talks have entered the final stage and Pakistan has every intention to open the corridor before the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in November this year.

The proposal is to allow some 5,000 pilgrims every day from the Indian side without any visa. The entry shall be open to people of all faiths. The Sikh community in particular seems happy with the move as they shall have unhindered access to one of their holiest sites which happens to be just a few kilometers inside of Pakistan territory.

Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts seem to be bearing fruit although a little belatedly. The foreign ministers of KSA and UAE visited Pakistan and heard Pakistan’s side of the story.  Just yesterday the US urged the Indian government to lift curfew from the state. The European Union held a robust discussion on the issue.

Common sense also tells that Indian will not be able to continue with its repressive measures for long. And once the curfew is lifted, the people will come out against the injustice and repression.

India should respond positively to the Pakistan’s gesture. The cabinet the other day also allowed the import of essential medicines from India. The air traffic ban is also on hold. It is hoped that Islamabad shall also consider the resumption of train and bus services in order to facilitate the visits of families that are settled across the border.

Pakistan while open to holding dialogue is clear in its stance on supporting the just struggle of Kashmiri people. The prime minister and the chief of army staff on the occasion of Defence day visited the families affected by Indian firing along LoC and vowed to continue to support the Kashmir cause. India should be well advised to pay heed to the PM’s suggestion to put up a fight together to end poverty, illiteracy and hunger.