The recent opening of the Kartarpur corridor in Punjab and the release of a Canadian parliamentary report on the security breach during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s India visit are important developments. They present a good opportunity for New Delhi to step up cooperation with Ottawa on countering terrorism and violent extremism
Border regions and communities, some of them far from the heartland, constitute India’s first line of defence, a critical link in its national security. India’s 15,000-km borders touch seven neighbouring countries: Afghanistan (abutting Gilgit), Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar. Border regions have their own local dynamics, often shaped by subnational and religious identities that do not necessarily align neatly with political borders. Some also serve as flourishing corridors for illegal smuggling of goods and humans. Technology plays an important role in better protecting borders, but in some cases it has made borders obsolete. Despite their importance, border regions do not receive the full attention of the Indian mainstream, except when border tensions arise.
Radical Sikh elements within the Indian diaspora have found the permissive political climate in Canada, North America and Europe conducive to building a support base in their respective countries, while donations from gurdwaras abroad and social media propaganda have fuelled separatist efforts in Punjab. India may have to step with care, containing the hostile propaganda, yet not appearing too stern in its response