"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 3 2020

Title ROAD TO KARTARPUR: FAITH-BASED DIPLOMACY IN INDIA-PAKISTAN RELATIONS
DOI 10.31857/S032150750008723-7
Аuthor

Anna V. BOCHKOVSKAYA, PhD (History), Associate Professor, Department of South Asian History, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Abstract:

   The article discusses history and the potential of the Kartarpur pilgrimage corridor recently established at the India-Pakistan border. The passage has given Indian Sikh pilgrims an opportunity to access the Pakistan-based historical Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara located in close vicinity of the border line.

    The gurdwara premises became part of Pakistan during the 1947 Partition of India; consequently, visiting Kartarpur Sahib became virtually impossible for the Indians. After the 2018 victory of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, the breakthrough in Kartarpur corridor negotiations resulted in the fast-track building of corridor infrastructure from both sides followed by the corridor inauguration on November 9, 2019, on the eve of Guru Nanak’s 550th Prakash Gurpurab (birthday).

    Ideologically, the Kartarpur corridor project is most feasible for both sides owing to the egalitarian nature of Guru Nanak’s teaching and his “neutral” – neither Hindu nor Muslim – religious affiliation. Consequently, it would be quite difficult to fault the faith-based diplomacy proponents of being “pro-Pakistani” or “pro-Indian” when promoting transborder religious and cultural contacts in this locality. The project is also economically advantageous for both sides as it can boost up tourist sector in Pakistan and substantially contribute to the economic development of India’s Gurdaspur district and the Punjab state in general. From this perspective, the Kartarpur corridor is a pragmatic project, which favors the faith-based diplomacy theory. Unfortunately, due to most complicated relations between the two countries, the future of the Kartarpur corridor remains vague.

Keywords: India, Pakistan, Punjab, Sikhism, Guru Nanak, border, faith-based diplomacy
Pages 20-25