Same page, but a mere footnote


(from right to left) Indian union minister Hardeep S. Puri, Indain state Punjab’s tourism minister Navjot Singh Siddhu, Indian union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had gathered on Pakistani side of the border the groundbreaking of the Kartarpur corridor by Khan. PHOTO/Associate Press of Pakistan/Dawn

two Sikh holy places
the distance is just four kilometers
but it took decades to traverse this
because midway was the dividing line
between arch enemies Pakistan and India

at the foundation stone ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor
former cricketer/current Prime Minister Imran Khan
was flying high and rightly so …
his friend Sindhu former cricketer/Indian politician bestowed
great praise
and Indian minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal was emotionally moved too

it was sad that Kaur had no woman counterpart from Pakistan
as Khan’s wife covers her face and shunned the event
although Imran has a 21-member cabinet with three women
whom he could have asked to accompany Harsimrat Kaur
she was the lone woman minister among all male ministers

Khan spoke too
too long … he spoke
he couldn’t resist the politics
but the message was a call for friendship with India

he said everyone in Pakistan is on one page
him, all political parties, all institutions
want improving relations and trade with India

here he was quite off the mark
everyone may be on the same page …

but the military has the supreme place on this page
the heading and the paragraphs
and the mere footnote on the page
is the civilian government and others

history shows former government of Nawaz Sharif
trying hard for better relations with India
but failed every attempt it made
as the army opposed his efforts friendship with India

Khan has promised to do more
offered to provide facilities to Sikh pilgrims
next year is 550th birth anniversary
of the founder of Sikh religion – Guru Nanak

the sikhs have long lamented the tragic situation
while most of the Sikh population resides in India
many important Sikh religious places are unreachable
as they are situated in Pakistan

construction of the 4 kilometers corridor is a good start
let’s hope for many more corridors
and hope each corridor extends
to the extreme corners of both nations

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

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