Swapping of Kartarpur Sahib with Pakistan a la Bangla Desh

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (Secretary IPC)

Two momentous events – the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor and Ayodhya verdict – happened last week, incidentally on the same day i.e. 9th of November. The Kartarpur Corridor will connect two important Shrines – Derababa Nanak Saheb, which is located in India and Gurdwara Darbar Saheb, which is situated across the border in Pakistan. The distance between the two is less than three miles. The Ayodhya issue has put the curtain down on a dispute which has been lingering and festering between Hindus and Muslims for the last nearly five hundred years. But the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Indian side and welcoming of the pilgrims by the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at Derababa Nanak Saheb (now also known as Kartarpur Saheb) Gurdwara was no less a historic event, except the disgusting speech of the comedian Navjot Singh Siddhu at Kartrpur.

Shri Modi compared the opening of the corridor with that of the falling of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which united the east and west Germany. If he was hinting that India and Pakistan will again get united, then it is certainly a matter of great joy for the fourth or fifth generation of Indians and Pakistanis born after the partition of the country in1947. However, the unity of India and Pakistan appears to be wishful thinking at present. There are more chances of Pakistan getting split into four or five parts because of its own internal bickering than Pakistan getting united with India. This unity of India and Pakistan presently looks unthinkable.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is credited to have solved the India and Bangladesh boundary problem in 2015 by exchanging enclaves. There were some 102 enclaves, some of which were as tiny as two to three acres; and they were transferred to Bangladesh and 21 from Bangladesh were given to India. Swapping of enclaves solved the boundary problem between India and Bangladesh, which were situated along the borders of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya.

Why should the Government of India not make an initiative to swap such important places, which are situated in Pakistan adjoining to the Indian boundary to make them the part of India? In lieu of that India can cede the equal area of land to Pakistan as it would permanently solve the thorny problems of both countries.

Had it been done at the time of partition itself then there would not have been such an inordinately long wait for Kartapur Sahib. In fact it has now become all the more necessary, in view of the blackmailing tactics of Pakistan, which were seen even before the opening of the corridor.

It was even reported that Pakistan was going to charge 20$ per person which comes to nearly Rs. 1450/- at the current rate of Rupee-Dollar exchange. Moreover, Kartarpur Gurudwara and its adjoining areas can be used by Pakistan for instigating the anti-Indian forces by turning it into a sanctuary for the terrorists. There are already some reports which suggest that the anti-Indian Sikhs living in Canada, Germany, England, Netherlands and the United States of America are trying to make the Kartarpur Saheb a springboard to spread anti-India hatred campaign. One shudders to imagine the horror of terrorism in Punjab, out of which nightmare India came out in the early 80s to early 90s.

There is no denying that the terrorism in Punjab was sponsored by Pakistan as it has been giving oxygen to terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir especially from the time of that monster military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq. In the valley of Kashmir, Pakistan trained terrorists’ infiltrators have caused huge damage to the country.

Therefore, it will be in the best interests of the country if Kartarpur Saheb becomes the inseparable part of the country. India had suffered a lot due to the insanity of Redcliffe, who drew the line of partition between India and Pakistan. It is said that he used to take the pencil in his hand only when he was fully drunk and inebriated before drawing the boundary line. As a result of it, half of several villages fell into the Indian side of the boundary and the other half had gone to the Pakistan side. In some of the books, many examples have been given when half of a drinking water well was kept in India and the other half was in Pakistan.

The saddest part of it was that the power-hungry politicians and bureaucrats from both sides could not point out this dementia of that idiot called Redcliff, which brought a mountain of problems for the coming generations of peoples of both the sides. Nevertheless, it is better late than never, and even if at this point of time it can be done, it will bring immeasurable relief to both the countries. Now when Narendra Modi is at the helm of affairs in India, one can have the sanguine hope that he can translate the dream into a reality.

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