Topic– India and its bilateral relations
4) Given the structural problems in the Indo-Pakistan relationship, no corridor cutting through the Radcliffe Line seems to have the potential to ensure better relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Critically examine. (250 words)
Why this question
Opening of the Kartarpur corridor has been seen as a harbinger of better relations between India and Pakistan. However, the presence of several structural problems between India and Pakistan mean that the corridor might turn out to be another false start. Hence this question would help you assess the transformative potential of Kartarpur corridor for India Pakistan relations.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to explain about the corridor and examine how far the corridor would help in improving ties between India and Pakistan. Since critically is suffixed in the directive word, we need to highlight both the potential and limitation of the corridor in alleviating the structural issues between India and Pakistan.
Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain about Kartarpur corridor.
- Highlight the transformative potential of the corridor – negative dynamic between the governments must be separated from the need to build bridges between the two peoples. “Religious diplomacy” — or using faith to bring people and nations together — has been very much part of Modi’s foreign policy in his outreach to the neighbouring countries in the Subcontinent and beyond. It was also framed as a priority in the joint statement issued after his talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at Ufa in July 2015.
- Highlight the limitations – several false starts in the past, framing rules for visa free travel , opening of Kartarpur corridor is not a window of opportunity for meaningful resumption of stalled peace process and change in India’s Pakistan policy; the Indian exercise seems designed to appease domestic audiences, primarily in the Sikh-dominated Punjab.
Conclusion – give a fair and balanced opinion on the potential of the corridor and suggest way forward.