Indian politician and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu is to Imran Khan what Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal was to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Both have been playing the role of mediators between the two estranged cousins — Pakistan and India.Jindal helped Nawaz Sharif in softening the hawkish Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the difference here is that when Jindal arranged the meeting between Modi and Nawaz Sharif, all hell broke loose in the media prompted by the establishment. This time around, when Sidhu came to the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he was welcomed by the establishment with open arms, which was indeed a more sensible stance. The quick progress on the opening of the Kartarpur Gurdwara clearly shows the goodwill that is enjoyed by Imran Khan with the milt-establishment. More than once, he has himself taken credit for the harmonious relationship with the establishment, which was conspicuous by the open support given to him by them even before he won the elections.When Imran Khan says that he is on the same page with the establishment on the issues of foreign policy and national security, he is referring to the page written by the milt-establishment. Both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, when they were in power, wanted to open the Kartarpur border for the Sikh pilgrims, but they were not permitted by our establishment. What could be the reasons for this change of heart?One obvious reason could be that the establishment did not trust Benazir Bhutto, who had prevailed to stop support to Khalistan’s separatist movement. Even to this day, when I approach this subject with some retired uniformed officers, they lose their temper and start abusing BB for that change of policy on Khalistan. The Khalistan movement leaders who live in Canada also blame Benazir for sabotaging their separatist movement. Some opposition leaders are apprehensive that the Kartarpur initiative may once again create problems for the Sikhs, who are targeted for having sympathies with the Khalistan Movement.In the case of Nawaz Sharif, his initiative to invite Indian BJP Prime Minister AtalBihari Vajpayee in 1999 and later Modi to the wedding of his granddaughter to Pakistan didn’t go well with the establishment. They sabotaged the goodwill created by Vajpayee’s visit by undertaking the Kargil adventure and the Modi visit by the attack on Pathankot military establishment. Another reason for opening the Kartarpur border for the Sikh yatrees is that at present it is being said that both governments are considering allowing crossing of the border to the Sikh devotees for a limited time and access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur only.This initiative of the Imran government has gone well with the about 21 million Sikh population and also with other secular forces of India. This Darbar has immense importance in the Sikh history because their Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, had established his first commune in 1504 in this place, which is located on the bank of the River Ravi. The inspiration of visiting Pakistan on a permit instead of the cumbersome visa regime between the two countries has perhaps been taken by our policy makers from the movement allowed by General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf between the two Kashmirs.Another major reason could be that the Pakistani establishment has been trying to impress upon India that they want peaceful relations on the eastern border because they are preoccupied on the western borders with the Pakistani-Taliban. But the kind of hostile relationship between the two countries and the terrorist attacks in Indian-held Kashmir are not convincing for the Indian establishment which does not want to give any respite.India stands that Pakistan should first stop cross border terrorism before starting any meaningful dialogue.Indian politician and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu is to Imran Khan what Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal was to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Both have been playing the role of mediators between the two estranged cousins — Pakistan and IndiaOn the part of Pakistan, they blame India of supporting the Pakistani-Taliban with the help of Afghan intelligence and the Baloch separatist movement. To show it to the world, they have captured the trophy of a RAW operator, Kulbhushan Jadhav, who as claimed by the Pakistani government was arrested in Balochistan on charges of supporting Baloch terrorism and spying for India. The Indians claim that he was abducted from Chabahar and was not arrested in Pakistan.It is difficult to believe by any rational person because everybody knows that the Baloch separatist movement is supported by the Indian intelligence agency, RAW. It is India’s tit for tat to get even with Pakistan for extending support to Kashmiri separatists. Unfortunately, the states are heartless and play the dirty game of stoking the fire in what is conceived to be the enemy country. Such support to militants does not solve the issues but only make them more complex and give the respective states’ a justification to use state terrorism to quash separatist movements.While the civilised countries like the UK and Canada hold referendums giving an option to the people whether they want to be part of their country, India and Pakistan are using military might against the separatist movements at the cost of internationally-acknowledged human rights violations.But all said and done, the opening of Kartarpur border for Sikh pilgrims is the single most important achievement of Prime Minister Imran Khan during the first 100 days. He has reiterated several times after becoming the PM that Pakistan wants peace with India and wants to resolve the outstanding issues, including Kashmir. He has even assured that one step of India towards peace would be met by Pakistan taking two steps forward. But Imran knows that it would be difficult to bring India to the negotiation table before the 2019 elections in India. Unfortunately, Modi believes that an anti-Pakistan mantra can help him win the elections. This is in sharp contrast to the situation in Pakistan where India is not discussed during the election campaign.At one occasion PM Khan said that the point of differences with India can be resolved on a piecemeal basis indicating that he and the Pakistani establishment would be willing to take President Musharraf’s approach to resolve the tenacious issues between the two countries. Musharraf’s foreign minister has written a thick book maintaining that Pakistan and India had come close to resolving their issues before Musharraf was destabilised by the restoration of the judges movement and India’s government decided to wait and see. Perhaps, it would be a good idea to pick up the thread from where India and Pakistan left it during the Musharraf period.The writer is the author of What’s wrong with Pakistan? And can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished in Daily Times, December 12th 2018.