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Kartarpur Corridor — An Offshoot Of Bajwa Doctrine

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New Delhi, after the opening of the Corridor, has to reconsider its policy of non-engagement with Islamabad, because the Kartarpur corridor has leveraged Pakistan’s position in the region.

The Kartarpur Corridor is in itself has a potential to re-shape the fragile ties between Pakistan and India. The inaugural ceremony would be one of the few such events after partition that the sub-continent is going to witness. After fighting three battles with arch rival India, it seems that the establishment has designed some futuristic plans to give a shot to peace through such means. It won’t be wrong to say that Kartarpur Corridor is an off shoot of the Bajwa Doctrine.

Though the move that is being translated into reality was proposed by Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, when Navjot Singh Sidhu, after attending swearing in of the cricketer turned politican Imran Khan, said that the COAS had informed him about opening up Dera Baba Nanak (Kartarpur Corridor) on Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. The move was welcomed by Sikhs across the world, but the Indian government did not approve the idea.

The idea dates back 1999, when the Late Indian Prime Minister Attal Vajpayee Ji had proposed building the Corridor when he made his ‘bus diplomacy’ to Lahore. But it couldn’t be materialized at that time and the rest is history now.

But on November 28 last year, we finally saw the light of the day, when PM Imran Khan along with COAS General Qamar Bajwa, laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur Corridor.

Let us take a look at what this new project offers.

It involves a road link for the Sikh pilgrims to visit the Gurudwara, located on the bank of River Ravi just 4 kilometres way from the International Border. That 4 Km road connects Dera Baba Nanak from Gurdaspur to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur. It has always been an important place of worship for the Sikhs as Guru Nanak Dev, their main Guru, spent 18 years of his life here. It was first established by the first Sikh Guru in 1522.

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Now the Gen. Bajwa has played a very vital card to meet the demands of the Sikh community around the world. It will have off shoots for the foreign policy in near future.

The Bajwa Doctrine: Its Offshoots

That unique idea envisaged by the Incumbent Army Chief is banking upon the strategic realism with pragmatic approach to bring peace and prosperity in the region.

Since taking over the command of the Pakistan Army, he has been making efforts catering two fronts; one is to improve foreign relations with the neighbors and near neighboring countries, while the second objective is the establishment of durable peace by wiping out terrorism and extremism in the country.

Peace and stability has come at a cost and we’ve paid the price of terrorism as 70,000 of our countrymen lost their lives. Now Pakistan, has been pursuing a policy of peace not only with the West but also with its neighbors, Iran, Afghanistan and India.

And this is where the game diplomacy comes into play, when India pursues a hostile approach to reciprocal Pakistan’s efforts to normalize ties with it. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Modi has not been forthcoming, since taking charge of the office, a reality elite admits.

FATF Blacklisting and India: Never ending Diplomatic games

India had tried hard to put Pakistan on the Black list by accusing it of sponsoring terrorism in the region. But Pakistan managed to get four month’s time to take the measures required to curb terror financing and money laundering by February 2020.

So, despite efforts of normalization but with zero response from India, the military establishment is committed to peace and keeps rolling the ball.

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What holds for the future?

New Delhi, after the opening of the Corridor, has to reconsider its policy of non-engagement with Islamabad, because the Kartarpur corridor has leveraged Pakistan’s position in the region. Now the Sikh card has fully been translated into action, and it shall compel India to re consider its designs for Pakistan to offer something on the table.

The lifting of curfew in occupied J&K would be one of the signals that could be read well by the forces to be in Pakistan to de-escalate the tensions. Now, the big question is what Kartarpur holds for the future, is a simple calculus; if you want to fight, we’ll fight, but if you want talk, we shall. We must not forget about the late 1980’s insurgency that was originated in the Indian Punjab known as Khalistan Movement that later developed into a secessionist movement which had changed the contours of Indian foreign policy forever for Sikhs.

So, the two sides need to adopt a more flexible approach and engage themselves in talks, and that shouldn’t be restricted to terrorism alone, and the Kartarpur Corridor, provides us an opportunity for the resumption of talks between the two nuclear powers in the sub-continent. Lastly, now it’s time for the political leadership to call the shots and bring peace for which the offshoots of the Bajwa Doctrine have started blossoming!

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