Islamabad: Pakistan government has given its nod to the opening of a corridor for Indian pilgrims to visit the ancient Sharda Peeth temple in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, meeting a long-standing demand of Kashmiri Pandits, according to media reports here.
Express Tribune and Express News quoted ministry of foreign affairs sources to report this.
Government sources in New Delhi said India had made this request several times as part of the Composite Dialogue between India and Pakistan. The proposal was made keeping in mind the wishes and the religious sentiments of the people.
This report comes close on the heels of Pakistan agreeing to open a corridor for the Sikh pilgrimage centre Kartarpur Gurdwara in Pakistan’s Narowal district that connects with Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district.
“After Kartarpur, a piece of big news is in the offing for Hindus. Some of the government officials will visit the area and will later submit a report to the prime minister,” said sources at the ministry of foreign affairs.
Indian and Pakistan are working on modalities regarding the Kartarpur corridor.
The Express Tribune quoted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member of the National Assembly (MNA) Ramesh Kumar: “Pakistan has decided to open the Sharda temple. I am going to visit the place in a couple of days. I will also send a report in this regard to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Work on the project will start from the current year after which Hindus in Pakistan will also be able to visit the site.”
Sharda Temple is an almost 5,000 years old ancient Hindu temple.It was established in 237 BC during the reign of King Ashoka.
Kashmiri Pandits have been for several years demanding the opening of the pilgrimage route to the Sharda Temple.