There are countless avenues for India and Pakistan to enhance their bilateral relations and promote peace within the region. The government in New Delhi endorsing the Pakistani proposition to open Kartarpur corridor is one among many such steps that can end the hostility between the two nuclear neighbours.

The action taken will allow Sikh devotees to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of the spiritual leader of the Sikh community, Baba Guru Nanak. The decision of both sides to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims to visit the final resting place of their spiritual leader is the finest sign of cultural diplomacy.

The cross-border movements of Sikh pilgrims will not only serve the purpose of a peace-building measure, but it will also let people know about each other. Moreover, it is a chance for Pakistan to cash on occasion and take utmost care of and show the Sikh devotees, who will attend the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, its exceptional hospitality. Opportunities like the one in hand come rarely. Pakistan’s government need to gain maximum benefits from such a chance. If Islamabad and New Delhi conclude the event with success, it can open other avenues of cooperation between the two sides.

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan in his inaugural address had already stated it categorically that his government would try to enhance bilateral cooperation with India. The notification of the Pakistani authorities to their Indian counterparts of opening the Kartarpur corridor is a testimony to Pakistan’s sincere efforts in developing friendly relations with India. Pakistan has realised that the hostility between the two sides has hampered the much-needed human development in both countries. Modi’s government also needs to understand that a race in human development will befit both sides, not the arms race.

Pakistan’s move can be seen as winning the hearts and minds of a significant population of India. The tweet of Indian politician Navjot Singh Sidhu calling Imran Khan “a gem” is a reflection of the sentiments of millions of Sikhs. The step initiated by Pakistan and reciprocated by India is a step forward in the right direction.

The decision made will for sure build bridges that are needed to overcome hatred and animosity against each other. Both states require admitting the fact that not hostility but cooperation will change the fate of millions of people in the two countries. The hope is that the two sides will find attraction to the voice of reason, peace and tranquillity in future as well.