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IMTD’s work on the Peace Corridor (Kartarpur Marg)

I spotted a great article in the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy‘s latest e-newsletter that I thought I’d share here on the blog.¬† IMTD’s executive Director, Ambassador John McDonald, is a former NCDD Board member, and has been doing groundbreaking work in the field of peacebuilding for decades. For the last two years, IMTD has been working towards the creation of a Peace Corridor (Kartarpur Marg) along the Punjab-Punjab border in order to link two holy shrines. (click “more” for full article)


The Peace Corridor  (Kartarpur Marg)

by Aneesha Kumar

On Thursday, September 22, 2011 IMTD organized an event in Punjab, India in order to mark the death anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. The primary purpose of the event was to raise awareness for the Peace Corridor, Kartarpur Marg, through presentations and speeches. Our chief guest was a Member of Parliament from the Gurdaspur district of Punjab. There were several local leaders present who supported the cause. Moreover, flyers summarizing the project were translated in local languages and distributed to the press and attendees. The event concluded with a Peace March to the India-Pakistan border, where a raised platform called the “Shaktisthal” provides a clear view of Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The event was attended by approximately 200 people, many of whom traveled from different cities and surrounding states.

For the last two years, IMTD has been working towards the creation of a Peace Corridor (Kartarpur Marg) along the Punjab-Punjab border in order to link two holy shrines. The two Gurdwaras, one located in Pakistan, Kartarpur Sahib, and another situated in India, Dera Baba Nanak, are only 5km apart but have not been easily accessible to the Sikh community since the partition of 1947. Kartarpur Sahib is one of the most revered Gurdwaras as it houses the remains of the shroud that covered Guru Nanak Dev’s body after he left this world. This project will bring together Sikhs from both sides of the border, especially those who have been severely impacted by the on-going conflicts and disturbances between India and Pakistan, to build lines of communication and lessen tensions between these nuclear rivals.

Beyond the barb wire border
The goal of the Kartarpur Peace Zone is to promote increased confidence-building measures for peace and security between India and Pakistan in Punjab province. Additionally, IMTD aspires to facilitate intercommunication among people at multiple levels of society in both India and Pakistan. For example, interaction at the grassroots level can foster a sense of brotherhood and strengthen civil society; concurrently, cooperation among businessmen can result in sharing of entrepreneurial ideas and activities for the future. In sum, the Kartarpur Peace Zone can serve numerous purposes for the progress and prosperity for both countries and its citizens.

More on “Bridging the Sikh Divide” here.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher is the Founding Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). Sandy has an M.A. in International Management from SIT Graduate Institute, and also serves as a Research Deputy for the Kettering Foundation. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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