Modi's ‘Berlin Wall’ remark: Indication of peace with Pak ahead of LS polls?
New Delhi, Nov 24: The Indian government gave the nod to set up a corridor to connect Kartarpur Sahib pilgrimage site in Pakistan was followed on Friday, November 23, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remark that like the fall of the Berlin Wall that had divided Germany into two parts, the corridor could also see people coming together. Modi said this on the occasion of Guru Nanak birth anniversary in New Delhi.
The go-ahead to the corridor to benefit the pilgrims from the Indian side to reach Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur where the Sikh guru lived the last 18 years of his life is significant ahead of the Lok Sabha election in 2019. It is important to note that the PM's remark came hours after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) accused Pakistan of harassing Indian diplomats and stop them from reaching out to Indian pilgrims visiting gurdwaras Nankana Sahib and Sacha Sauda Sahib on its soil.
One would think it was unusual that Modi spoke more in the language of peace even after the ministry brought the charges against Pakistan and at a time when the relations between the two nuclear-powered neighbours are at a low. But it is not actually unusual for Modi's time to seek a renewal of his mandate is not too far and it would not be wrong to expect him to take the route of peace and soft talk now.
'Berlin Wall' analogy just days ahead of 26/11 anniversary?
Modi's "Berlin Wall" analogy came up in the wake of the MEA's accusing Pakistan of playing a role in pro-Khalistan terror and also just a few days ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 26/11 attacks. For those seeking to maintain a hot stance on Pakistan, this would sound disappointing but Modi was right in his way of handling the realpolitik.
Modi bridged gap with China in Wuhan this year
Every statesman or political leader tries to give peace and conciliation a chance ahead of a crucial test, more specifically the test of elections. Modi has been seen making amends to his government's stance vis-à-vis China earlier this year after last year's potentially hazardous face-off at Doklam. Modi even went to China to meet its president, Xi Jinping, over an informal meeting in Wuhan where the two sides spoke over a slew of confidence-building measures. He also praised India's ties with China at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June which was appreciated by the Chinese side.
The peace initiative had ended with Pathankot attacks; a renewed stance in same Punjab?
It might be not too easy for Modi to go with such a pro-peace agenda with Pakistan given the two countries' ever-boiling relations, but his "Berlin Wall" remark creates a moment of renewed hope on peace with Pakistan, something which has gone to the backseat since Modi paid a surprise visit to Lahore to meet the then Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The terror attack in Pathankot in Punjab in early 2016 had ended all of Modi's peace initiative with the neighbouring country and it never got a chance again to return to prominence.
Almost three years since then, did Modi indicate at a thaw in the ties though the setting up of the corridor in the same state of Punjab?