Para diplomacy and Karatarpur Sahib

Para diplomacy and Karatarpur Sahib

Context: Proposals to engage Pakistan for “Kartarpur Sahib”bring to the fore the idea of ‘Para-diplomacy’.

About Paradiplomacy:

Paradiplomacy involves formal interactions between entities below the federal level — provincial and local governments — in pursuit of shared national goals.

Paradiplomacy, conducted in tandem with the central government, can often produce openings that cannot be generated between the national governments’ congealed positions.

India’s complications in para diplomacy

West Bengal had, in fact, complicated Delhi’s engagement with Dhaka.
Similarly, Tamil Nadu governments have often exercised their veto over Delhi’s ties with Sri Lanka.

Paradiplomacy opportunities on the Pakistan border

The state and Centre have to work for “exchange of territory” with Pakistan in return for Kartarpur Sahib. Reopening the Attari and Hussainiwala borders with Pakistan for trade and tourism. Special economic zone along the entire Punjab border seems to be a possible idea to work with.

Difficulties in para diplomacy with Pakistan

Past baggage: It is hard to change the territorial status quo along the Radcliffe Line with a history of distrust and bloodshed.
Pakistan Army’s resistance to economic cooperation: The Pakistan Army is not inclined to resume trade with India.Refer to India-Pak trade to know more about halting of Indo-Pak trade.

Way forward

India’s neighbourhood policy must work with the interests of the people in the border provinces. A consensus between the centre and the regional parties in the border provinces on developing a productive relationship with the neighbours is a must.


Connection Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Narowal (Pakistan) with Dera Baba Nanak shrine
in Gurdaspur (India)
Purpose Commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev
Significance of Village
Located on the west bank of the River Ravi; Guru Nanak Dev spent the last
18 years of his life here
Location - Darbar Sahib
Narowal, Pakistan
Location - Dera Baba Nanak
Gurdaspur, Punjab, India


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