While the Prime Minister may be beset by a simmering opposition revolt at home and embroiled in one parliamentary crisis after the next, his forays into foreign policy have been nothing short of a string of spectacular successes. From acting as an interlocutor between Iran and Saudi Arabia to forcefully denouncing Indian actions in Kashmir at the United Nations, Imran Khan’s international statesmanship has been very effective. With the recent opening of the Kartarpur Corridor and the bonanza of goodwill that it has bought, the Prime Minister can add another notch to his diplomatic belt.

Pakistan’s efforts to make the Kartarpur Corridor a reality and the diligence and affection with which it went about renovating the sacred gurdwara has not gone unnoticed. Sikh devotees that attended the opening heaped generous praise on the Pakistani Prime Minister and the Sikh dignitaries in attendance — including former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, actor Sunny Deol and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu — all welcomed this initiative for peace. Perhaps even more visceral was the contact between the visiting Sikhs and the Pakistanis who welcomed them; it was Punjab reuniting, and the emotions of oneness and brotherhood – shared in the common language of Punjabi – have done more to keep the dream of peace alive than any national pronouncement could have had.

The pronouncement were not lacking however. The Prime Minister took active part in the opening to the Corridor and devoted his speech to preaching a message of peace and calling for the end of the Kashmiri lockdown. Even on the day when Indian courts ordered the destruction of the Babri Masjid, Imran Khan chose to focus on the hope of a peaceful future.

It is hoped that initiative like this can show Indian leaders what is possible if both nations bury the hatchet – which is only possible when Kashmir is allowed to determine its own fate.