Imran Khan, the Prime Minister (PM) of Pakistan in his very first speech had said that his government would strive for establishing friendly relations with India. The groundbreaking of Kartarpur that two Indian Ministers along with Navjot Singh Sidhu attended shows Pakistan’s sincerity in search for close ties with India.

Navjot Singh Sidhu is excited that the step will prove instrumental in bringing two nations together. He gives credit to Pakistan for taking such a significant initiative. Undoubtedly, the corridor enabling Sikh devotees to attend the birth anniversary of their spiritual leader Baba Guru Nanak will serve the purpose of cultural exchanges. These exchanges, in turn, will help in countering the constructed perceptions of animosity between the two sides.

Pakistan understands well that the arms race between the two sides come at a cost. The cost that the two nuclear neighbours pay for maintaining a balance of power in the region has negatively affected human development in both countries. It is about time for both countries to bring a shift in their policy towards each other. Instead of an arms race, both sides need to focus on winning the race of human development. More spending on human development will have a positive impact on the whole region.

Imran’s groundbreaking of the corridor can be seen as a radical form of investment in human development. The decision of Pakistan to facilitate the Sikh community is a successful attempt to win the hearts and minds of the 120 million Sikhs across the world, as Mr Sidhu argues. The corridor that will be completed by next year will for sure construct bridges that are needed to overcome hatred and animosity against each other.

However, it is also true that the bilateral ties between Islamabad and New Delhi are neither limited to the corridor, nor contingent upon it. The passage is just one small step among many others that are already taken by both sides in the hope that such measures will bring an end to the hostilities between the two countries. Other issues still complicate the relations between the two nations, Kashmir being the most pressing one. Modi’s decision not to attend SAARC summit shows that New Delhi does not want to participate in any gathering that will expose its empty allegations against Pakistan whom it calls a supporter of terrorism.

The sudden and unfortunate change of heart by Modi is understandable. He has his eyes on the upcoming elections. Unable to deliver on his promises in this term, he once again wants to rely on anti-Pakistan rhetoric to win elections. However, with such an imprudent electoral policy he will lose not only at home but also abroad.