Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor, strengthening the Muslim-Sikh relationship in the region. Given the tensions with India, this corridor with the Sikh population gives Pakistan a diplomatic edge and establishes Pakistan’s wishes to establish peace in the region. PM Khan used the shuttle to arrive at Kartarpur and displayed pride at his government for being able to manage the development of the corridor in a short span of time. Pakistan Sikh Council (PSC) Patron-in-Chief Sardar Ramesh Singh Khalsa said the Kartarpur Corridor’s opening on Saturday was in line with Sikhism founder Guru Nanak’s teachings of inclusion, peace, and interfaith harmony and that he was speechless after seeing “tears of joy in the eyes of his Sikh brethren.

This development comes right before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, on November 12. This will prompt several from the Indian side of the border to travel to Pakistan every year. The facilities that have been developed for the Sikh population have been enshrined in the principles of plurality and equality, in order to ensure that they feel right at home. The Pakistani Sikh community is now pressurising the Indian government to open gates for them in Dera Baba Nanak Gurudwara in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab. No population should be deprived of their holy sites due to tensions between nations. The Sikh population can play an important role between India and Pakistan - pushing the former to engage in dialogue, a tactic Pakistan has been willing to participate in for long.

Former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu credited Pakistan for the successful peace initiative and maintained, “the Kartarpur Spirit can make pilgrims of us all, venturing out on a journey that breaks the barriers of history and opens the borders of the heart and the mind. The support of famous figures can help push for peace between the two nations and develop trust in each other - something which has been lacking in the last 71 years.

This is a victory for the Pakistani side and it is important to build on this development. Pakistan in the last few years has been continuously pushing for better relations despite India’s aggressive and anti-Pakistan stance. It is important for the neighbouring countries to develop stable ties that can help the region grow economically and restore years old ties.