Does opening of Kartarpur Corridor pose a security risk? Defence expert explains
New Delhi, Nov 28: The recent developments over the Kartarpur Corridor have been positive. For once India and Pakistan have agreed on some issue and the best part is that it is about giving unhindered access to holy place where a nobel soul, Guru Nanak ji, spent last years of his life.
Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine, in India. Both countries have now agreed to give visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims. While the gesture by the administrations of both the countries is being appreciated, there also lurks security concerns.
Punjab has witnessed secessionist violence in the 70s and the 80s. The issue was somehow brought under control and there has been peace in the region in the past few decades. But, some reports now suggest that Pakistan has been trying to fuel unrest in Punjab.
We spoke to Defence and strategy matters expert Colonel Jaibans Singh about this issue and he said that Pakistan would want to take advantage of anything that can cause trouble in India. But, he said, that Indian Sikhs cannot be indoctrinated as "people of Punjab are well aware of the evil machinations of Pakistan."
"No it does not pose any security risk. There is no risk of India Sikhs being indoctrinated into the path of terrorism just becasue the corridor is open. They (Indian Sikhs) are not fools. There is no risk of them getting influence by referendum 2020 ideology," Col Singh told OneIndia.
Some reports say that the secessionist movement is again gaining some traction. The worry for the agencies is that the ISI would try and propagate among the pilgrims the need for a pro Khalistan movement. The ISI would also look to evoke sentiments, the agencies believe. The agencies also feel that the ISI and its agents would go all out to whip up passions. This becomes necessary for both the ISI and pro-Khalistan groups as the movement has failed to generate any great mass support.
When asked whether Pakistan wants insurgency in Punjab to rear its ugly head again, Col Singh said, "Yes ... Pakistan would definitely want to back anything that can cause trouble in india. Whether it is in Punjab or in north east or in Kashmir or in naxal areas. They willl try to tie up with anybody so that India stays on the boil somewhere or the other. So the thing of wanting insurgency to raise its head again (in Punjab) is very much on the Pakistani agenda. They would do anything in their power to ensure it."
"But it is not happening because people of Punjab are well aware of the evil machinations of Pakistan and they are not likely to fall prey to these kind of things," he added.
While on one hand, the ISI could build a terror infrastructure, they realise that no movement would take off as desired unless and until there is mass support and sympathy among the people. In this context, all efforts would be made to utilise the pilgrimage to Pakistan, an Intelligence Bureau officer informed OneIndia.