Politicization of Kartarpur Initiative by Indian Media
India has made a history of undermining every peace initiative proposed by Pakistan to ease the bilateral tension between two neighboring states. Be it a peace corridor or bilateral talks, India has always critically censured every Pakistan proposed effort. India, while hatching conspiracies and waging a covert hybrid war against Pakistan, has relentlessly blamed Pakistan every now and then just to mask her actual saffron face. This time again, Pakistan initiative of Kartarpur corridor has received a cold response from the BJP regime. Thus, despite Pakistan’s amicable posture, India maintains her historic intransigent approach.
Instead of applauding Pakistan’s effort of forging ties, Indian Minister not only declined the invitation but stated with a cold tone that this corridor doesn’t serve as a foundation stone towards bilateral talks.
Kartarpur initiative is actually construction of a 4.7km corridor between two Sikh’s shrines. Theroad would be constructed to connect Dera Baba Nanak Sahib -located in Punjab, India- with Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur -in Punjab, Pakistan. Owing to the 18 year stay of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev and being his final resting place, Gurdawara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur holds an immense importance for Sikhs. This corridor would be completed in 2019 and would be open for Sikh pilgrims on Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. This corridor not only allows Sikh pilgrims to visit their religious site but also gives them a visa free access. It had been proposed many a time by Pakistan government, however, it was finally approved by the Indian government on 22nd Nov, 2018. On 28th Nov 2018, Imran Khan –Pakistan Prime Minister- laid the foundation stone of this corridor in Narowal District, Pakistan. Pakistan government invited; Sushma Sawraj, India’s External Affairs Minister;Amrinder Singh, Chief Minister Punjab; Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab Provincial Minister; and the media delegation from India to the ground breaking ceremony in Pakistan. However, India’s External Affairs Minister and the Punjab Chief Minister declined the Pakistan’s invitation and abstained from attending the peace initiative proposed by Pakistan.
“We are convinced that those seeking to sow negativity around this initiative for partisan purposes or due to their known anti-Pakistan proclivities will not succeed in their designs.” (Dr. Faisal Muhammad –FO Spokesman)
Instead of applauding Pakistan’s effort of forging ties, Indian Minister not only declined the invitation but stated with a cold tone that this corridor doesn’t serve as a foundation stone towards bilateral talks. Moreover, she also tweeted, “Let me explain to you that we were not trapped by your ‘googlies’. Our two Sikh ministers went to Kartarpur Sahib to offer prayers in the holy gurudwara.” New Delhi has not only turned down all the proposals for bilateral talks but also has responded negatively over the long standing issue of SAARC summit which is still in limbo-owing to obstinacy of only one state. Furthermore, politicization of this religious initiative by the Indian media has also added insult to the Pakistan’s injuries. In response to Indian media’s propaganda against Kartarpur initiative, Dr. Faisal Muhammad -FO Spokesman- stated,“We are convinced that those seeking to sow negativity around this initiative for partisan purposes or due to their known anti-Pakistan proclivities will not succeed in their designs. The Government of Pakistan will continue to do what is right for advancing this noble initiative. We also look forward to working out necessary details and modalities with the Indian side concerning the passage through the Corridor.”
New Delhi must understand that its concerns can only be addressed by a healthy dialogue, for dialogue is a pre-requisite for any issue to be solved diplomatically, or else there seems no solution to Pakistan-India diplomatic stalemate.
This episode of Indian bashing of Pakistan has not been happening for the first time. From SAARC summit cancellation in 2016 to the cancellation of foreign Ministers dialogue at the sidelines of UNGA, and from propaganda against Kartarpur initiative to putting an end to the SAARC summit of 2019, India has persistently undermined every Pakistan proposed diplomatic effort welcoming peace.In spite of India’s enmity, Pakistan has pursued and still pursues the quest for regional and bilateral peace. It is time for India to shun her long maintained non-diplomatic approach of blaming others, while not doing anything at her own part. India shall respond positively to the Pakistan’s peaceful diplomatic vision. New Delhi must understand that its concerns can only be addressed by a healthy dialogue, for dialogue is a pre-requisite for any issue to be solved diplomatically, or else there seems no solution to Pakistan-India diplomatic stalemate.