Don’t undermine Kartarpur spirit

GREAT expectations were pinned with the opening of Kartarpur Corridor – the step which was also seen with great interest the world over. The initiative taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan was dubbed as the one which will serve the purpose of promoting people-to-people contacts and reducing tension between Pakistan and India. However, within a few days, both the Indian media and its leaders have started creating uncertainty and doubts about the prospects of this initiative. This has once again exposed the Indian anti-Pakistan posture.
As the speeches delivered at the groundbreaking of Kartarpur Corridor come under severe criticism in the Indian media, the Foreign Office on Saturday expressed its disappointment at the relentless negative propaganda campaign affirming that it will not be deterred by unwarranted criticism from across the border. Indeed the initiative was taken in deference to the longstanding demand of Sikh community and our authorities should move forward for early completion of the Corridor to foil the designs of those spreading and sowing negativity. It is not the first time that the Indian media is resorting to such sort of tactics and spitting venom against Pakistan. Over the years it has been seen that a large section of Indian media tries to undermine any positive initiative that could bring the two countries closer to each other. The way Navjot Singh Sidhu was severely criticized by the Indian media after his embrace with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on the occasion of oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan is known to everybody. In fact the Indian media challenged the loyalty of their own national over this act which is really deplorable. Then the Indian leaders and the military are also adding fire to the fuel generated by their media. The other day the Indian Army Chief once again threatened to launch attacks across the border. Then the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tried to create controversy on the “Googly” remarks made by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi vis-à-vis Kartarpur Corridor. Whilst it is for the Foreign Minister to clarify his statement but we understand that he used the cricket analogy just to emphasize that such important was the initiative of PM Imran Khan that Indian government was left with no option but to respond positively and also send the ministers to attend the ground-breaking ceremony in Pakistan. These remarks have nothing to do with the Sikh community as the people and leadership of Pakistan give great respect to them and their religious sites and the gesture of the opening of the Corridor is a clear proof of it. In fact the Indian leadership is fearful of the goodwill generated by this initiative for Pakistan amongst the Sikh community across the world and now they are regrettably trying to undermine the initiative under one pretext or another. Pakistan has always shown positivity to improve relations with India and as pointed out by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his recent interaction with the Indian media, the other side will have also to reciprocate to move forward to address longstanding issues. Instead of hurting Kartarpur Spirit, more such initiatives of people-to-people contacts need to be taken to build bridges and remove misunderstanding between the two countries. Whilst Pakistan is open, India also needs to come out of its intransigence and anti-Pakistan posture to build a peaceful neighbourhood.

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