Pursuant to the efforts of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, which may be loosely named as part of ‘Bajwa Doctrine’, Pakistan has taken few gigantic moves on its eastern as well as western borders. Firstly, towards the sun rising, Pakistan has taken initiative by way of laying foundations of Kartarpur corridor and secondly towards sun setting, it is reverted back by USA to help her ‘negotiate’ talks with the Afghan Taliban.

On its ever sizzling eastern borders, it is obviously meant to pacify the circumstances by facilitating entry of the Sikh community from across the borders from India to pay homage to Guru Nanak’ s birthplace and holy Shrine at Kartarpur instead of Wagah borders to Nankana and then to Kartarpur. It, in other words, prima facie, means stretching the borders for Sikh community from India four kilometers inside the soil of Pakistan which may be a strategic retreat, successful or otherwise from Pakistan’s point of view which only the time will prove.

Conversely, initiatives are being taken in general as well as in particular on western borders. Pakistan first made inroads by constructing its bases around Zero Point near Kandhar but subsequently took a strategic retreat to cure any violation of the tri-party agreement between Afghanistan, NATO and Pakistan which restrains the parties from raising any such military installations within an area of four kilometers around Zero Point. In particular, recently Pakistan took a strong stance in US-Pak relations demanding US to recognise its services in equal in the joint venture against terrorism.

Being more vital, lets us discuss the eastern corridors first. If gauged in scientific terms, it may remain merely as an observation, experiment, deduction, theory or may assume the form of a law subject to its authenticity, success or failure. It will become, perhaps, a law from intelligence, security and diplomacy point of view for Pakistani political, intelligence, military and diplomatic leadership to follow in future if its undercurrent objective, if any, are achieved with the passage of time. Or it will remain a hypothesis to die out its own death, if its objectives are not met. From philosophical angle, it may be constituted as thesis from Pakistan’s point of view in favour of minorities much expected from State of Pakistan but anti-thesis from Indian point of view. As synthesis, in return Pakistan would expect from India in the similar terms for Muslim minorities there, especially visiting Muslim holy shrines of Hazrat Nizam-ud-Din Auliya and Khawaja Mueen-ud-Din Chishti (RA) situated at Delhi and Ajmer respectively which as of today reflect deplorable conditions for the Muslim pilgrims making visits there.

Hitherto, the Sikhs from across the Indian Punjab and those settled in Canada and erstwhile, used to transport and align to a point inside the Indian borders three kilometers away from the aforesaid Kartarpur Gurdawara. At this point, the Sikh pilgrims would re-align up a post raised at a substantial height where a telescope is placed focusing the Gurdwara in hand. The pilgrims would sight their holy place therefrom through the said telescope and perform their religious obligations and would quench their religious satisfaction. This point is called Darshan or Sight Point.

In the first instance, Pakistan might be propelling a goodwill gesture towards the Hindu state, nay for the Sikh Punjab, but, somehow, it calls for a deep under-current spill over for Pakistan which needs to be well countered by its relevant counter-departments. Pakistan’s foreign office may justify itself to rejoice at length the favourable comments of the Indian media which regards the move a Pakistani diplomatic achievement which rendered India a complete failure but still it cannot be forgotten that every action has a reaction equal but opposite in direction. One may go for a while with the critics that Kartarpur Corridor might in itself be a reaction of any action by Indian inroads and claims in Gilgit-Biltistan and Baluchistan but it still may bounce back as a higher cyclic counter move against much beyond Khalistan. This time after-shocks are spelt to be travelling to Kashmir much beyond Indian expectation or apprehension of Khalistan whereby the Sikhs are seen to be leaning more towards adjacent Kashmir than perhaps towards Greater Punjab, which too has not been ruled out absolutely so far.

A school of thought comprising political thinkers believes that the geographic boundaries of a state are not absolute and hence permanent. They are subjected to changes and alterations and hence keep on moving to modify, dismantle and create new states or provinces from within the states depending upon time, ethnicity, ideologies, special socio-political, socio-economic, regional and international circumstances and rivalries. The creation of Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, North and South Koreas, break up of Soviet Union, Sudan, separation and amalgamation of Wall of Berlin and amalgamation and separation of United Kingdom from European Union are few examples which stand in support of the theory. The theory is equally applicable on all states irrespective of region or religion warranting them to be extra careful in such adventures.

Beyond Darshan Point, non-acceptability and traditional rivalry stands as essence of relations whereas across the Zero Point there, the essence of non-trust or mistrust prevails whether it is either Afghan or US governments or even the Taliban. Recent talks at UAE instead of at Qatar are a gesture to accredit Pakistan for the talks and exclusion of Afghan government therefrom is to win Taliban’s trust. The exclusion, however, has to be reconciled to secure durable peace. What is required on the Pakistan sides is not merely the courage, independence or wisdom but a blend of all wherein Pakistan has been desperately in want of. Courage and independence of mind has been a hallmark of the rightly guided Caliphs of early Islamic empire. But at some incidence where the forces under Umer bin Khatab (RA), the second Caliph were loosing, one companion of the Prophet is reported to have been visited by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his dream directing him to convey to the Caliph to resort to wisdom and hence strategy in his moves which accordingly was adopted leading to ultimate success.

Pakistan, perhaps, may resort to patience on its losses at every walk of life including APS incident at the hands of terrorists from the western borders.

Pakistan may also forgive and forget in the largest political interests the atrocities committed by the Sikhs on the Muslim families migrating to Pakistan on the eve of partition of Punjab in 1947 and revive the ‘jatt’ caste and blood relations on both sides of the Pakistani and Indian Punjab. This coupled with the background of the Khalisa and other cessation movements in the 80’s, may become an eyesore to India. This is why, perhaps, reportedly, India is planning or has re-activated its Khalistan Desk with its spy agencies which was closed in the early 90’s, so as to counter any revival of the said movement arising out of interfaith-harmony recitals by Pakistan in favour of minorities within and without the country, especially the Sikhs coupled with the apprehended financial support by way of donations from wealthy Canadian Sikhs.

Admittedly, Pakistan has become more conscious of the maxim most befitted to the foreign policy that there is no foe no friend but interest. Come two steps ahead to be reciprocated by four but expect boulders in response to the stones. What is good for the goose is also good for the geese. Dialogue and backdoor diplomacy is welcome but not at the cost of our principles and rights as we are entitled to, especially, the Kashmir, the water and independence on both points. We can die to live with honour for our generations but not to live with disgrace by surrendering our established rights.

 

He is a lawyer and a socio-political analyst.