Kartarpur Transit Talks: Why are Punjabis so important to Narendra Modi and Imran Khan?
Authorities in India and Pakistan have held a formal meeting on Wednesday at Attari Wagah Border to open Kartarpur Sahib, the religious place of Sikh community in Pakistan.
In this meeting, the Pakistani authorities have set some conditions for visiting Kartarpur Sahib.
These terms include a service fee of about US $ 15 for visitors from India, while Kartarpur Sahib includes a deadline for maximum stay of visitors.
However, the Indian authorities have raised every objection to these conditions.
In a message posted on Twitter by the Chief Minister of Indian Punjab, Arminder Singh, the social networking site has termed the terms as shameful, saying that they are against the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
He said such a demand would hinder the construction of the Kartarpur road.
According to the details given by the Indian authorities, all visitors who will visit Kartarpur Sahib will have maximum duration of stay from dawn till dusk.
Indian authorities, however, opposed the condition, saying it was against the spirit of the Kartarpur agreement.
The recent meeting between Indian and Pakistani authorities could not be agreed.
Will these objections cause a problem?
After Indian authorities raised objections to Pakistani conditions, the question arose whether they would affect the bilateral talks in this regard. The simple answer is that this issue is important for both countries.
And that is why even after these objections, there is no fear that the dialogue will be disrupted. If you look at Pakistan’s point of view, Pakistan too will not turn its back on this ongoing dialogue.
And India’s endeavor will be that no such situation arises.
The people of Punjab and their sentiments are very important for the authorities in both countries. The Sikh community in Pakistan is very important for Imran Khan’s government in Pakistan.
That is why even though tensions between the two countries are at their peak, the problem will not be overlooked. Because the governments of the two countries cannot afford to offend their own Sikh community.
Why is Punjabi so important to Imran Khan?
This problem has become of great importance for Imran Khan’s government in Pakistan as the Pakistani economy is at a very low level right now.
And in such an economic situation, Imran’s government is of the view that the opening of Kartarpur Sahib to visitors will start the movement of Sikh community living in the US, Canada and Australia.
The Pakistani government also thinks that if this happens, Kartarpur Sahib could be transformed into an international Sikh tourism destination.
At the same time, Kartarpur Sahib is of utmost importance to people living in India. And when the issue is resolved, they will definitely want to come here.
In the same situation, there will be opportunities for the Government of Pakistan to utilize Kartarpur Sahib for the betterment of its economy.
Authorities in Pakistan would also like to have a soft spot for Pakistan in the Sikh community of India so that Pakistani intelligence agency ISI can benefit from it in the future.
These are the reasons why Kartarpur is also very important for Pakistan.
Why is Punjabi important to Prime Minister Modi?
After the end of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian government, relations between India and Pakistan have grown bitter.
The question arises as to why the Indian government is continuing to discuss the issue of Kartarpur Sahib with Pakistan in this environment of bitterness.
To know the answer to this question, we need to take a look at the history of Indian Punjab.
Indian Punjab has faced an era of extremism in the past, with considerable bloodshed and the atmosphere being tense.
Pakistan supported extremism in Indian Punjab while the Indian government had considerable difficulties in solving problems in Punjab.
In such a situation, India would never want to raise any issue that could lead to such an attempt to persuade the settlers of Indian Punjab from Pakistan again.
Especially when the situation is already worsening in Indian-administered Kashmir, Indian authorities do not want to face any such situation in the state of Punjab.
The situation is likely to worsen in India-administered Kashmir in the next few days.
The Indian government is of the impression that there is only one Sikh community in India that is fully supporting the Indian government.
The Indian government will never want a situation arising on the issue of Kartarpur that the Sikh people are angry with.
Because if all the religious groups living in India are against the government then it would not be good for the identity of the Indian government.
When will Kartarpur’s problem be solved?
Hopefully these issues will be resolved soon.
Because no one in India and Pakistan would want to be blamed for stopping the dialogue in this regard as this issue is very important for both countries.
And in such a situation, the problem is expected to be resolved soon.
(This analysis was written based on a conversation with the representative BBC Anant Prakash)