In yet another gesture of promoting peace and stability, Pakistan has extended an invitation to India’s former Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor. The decision of the incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is a wise one to invite the former Indian PM as representative of the Sick community. This year marks the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. What occasion can be more apposite than this one to bridge the vast chasms between the people of the two countries?

With the latest decision of the government of Pakistan to invite Manmohan for the inaugural ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, the world can see Islamabad’s commitment to bring stability and peace to the region. Moreover, it is welcome to see that the incumbent Pakistani government is not fusing religion and politics after the Indian decision of annulling Article 370 of the constitution. Islamabad’s commitment to facilitate the Sikh community of India shows that Pakistan prefers harmony and co-existence to conflict and instability.

But will Manmohan Singh accept Pakistan’s invitation? It seems that he has not made up his mind on the issue. Is the economist PM still busy doing political calculus regarding attending the ceremony? If he turns down Pakistan’s invitation, it will be unfortunate. Turning down the invite will mean that even Indian National Congress (INC) and its leaders do not want to participate in events and ceremonies that can prove instrumental in bringing stability in the region in the long run. Will this mean that INC is morphing into a secular replica of the ruling party that is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)?

Whether Manmohan Singh accepts or rejects the invite, one thing is clear: Pakistan is sincere in its efforts to bring the two sides closer. Nevertheless, Chief Minister (CM) of the Indian Punjab, Amarinder Singh’s announcement to lead an all-party delegation to the final resting abode of Guru Nanak is a ray of hope. The statement of Mr Amarinder Singh means that there are still some politicians in India who appreciate Islamabad positive steps.

Furthermore, the presence of some of the most revered sites of Sikh religion in Pakistan provides the state with an opportunity to present Pakistan’s soft image globally. In the present situation when the two sides are at loggerheads with each other, the corridor can bring a thaw in India Pakistan bilateral relations. Should that not happen, even then Pakistan must always try to separately pursue friendly ties with Indian Punjab and the Sikh community. And Kartarpur should be the major push towards that goal.