Katarpur corridor: A road to peace between India and Pakistan?

PM Imran Inaugurated Ground-breaking of Kartarpur corridor

PM Imran Inaugurated Ground-breaking of Kartarpur corridor

"There is too much bitterness and mistrust even now, but it is an important step because unless you start with a low-hanging fruit, a corridor of four kilometers (which) took 70 years - benefitting the average Sikh pilgrim who has nothing to do with the larger issues concerning both countries - so it's a helpful step and will show the enormous potential that exists in building people to people contact", Rajdeep Sardesai, a notable Indian news anchor and author, told Arab News.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday pitched for "strong and civilised" relationship with India but asserted that they have "one issue, which is Kashmir", receiving a sharp reaction from India which regretted that he used the "pious occasion" of foundation stone-laying for Kartarpur Sahib corridor to make "unwarranted reference" to its integral and inalienable part.

Pakistan's limitless capacity for treacherous behavior is matched only by India's bottomless ability to get surprised by it. India's outrage at being blindsided by Imran Khan and Pakistan army chief General Qamar Bajwa during the groundbreaking ceremony for Kartarpur Sahib corridor is in equal parts sad and amusing. Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur, who also attended the ceremony, took a swipe at Mr Sidhu on his bonhomie with the Pakistani prime minister.

Khan assured Sikh visitors from India that they will find their worship place and surrounding complex a completely developed structure equipped with all facilities and comforts when they visit Pakistan for the 550th birthday celebration of the Sikh guru.

"Imran delivered a googly and India sent two ministers to Pakistan", he said, using a cricketing term.

In a post captioned "With sedu pa g", Sidhu is seen standing beside Chawla, who is one of the prominent voices seeking a separate homeland for the Sikh community.

It was established by the Sikh Guru in 1522. He can come and contest elections here in Pakistan, he'll win.

"But that does not mean that bilateral talks will start only on this", she said, adding terror and talks can not go together.

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While mocking the Congress leader and Punjab Cabinet Minister, Badal stated that Sidhu has become a Pakistani agent and Congress president Rahul Gandhi should clear his stand on the issue.

"I am happy when something is grounded in positive hope".

At the same time, he said that Pakistan was willing to wait for New Delhi to be ready to engage, hinting that electoral politics was behind Indian government's lukewarm response. - AFP Prime Minister Imran Khan performs the groundbreaking of the Kartarpur corridor alongside Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Indian Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Badal and Puri. The new government in Pakistan did set out all courtesies for the visiting Indian delegation and there was a possibility that the corridor would take shape even though details of the travel and stay of pilgrims could require more attention.

Politicians on both sides have hailed the decision as an impetus for peace between the two countries that have fought several wars in their seventy-year existence.

In a statement, the State Department said that "we encourage steps that build confidence and foster dialogue between the two countries".

"Tensions with India are not hidden from anyone but our approach is people-centric and we need peace for people to prosper". In the last few years, violence, including cross border shelling from both sides, has intensified in the disputed Kashmir region that both sides claim.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal rejected the charges.

The fenced crossing dubbed a "corridor of peace" will link Indian border city Dera Baba Nanak, to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak in Pakistani Punjab.

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