Welcoming the opening of Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking opening of road to Sharda Peeth, a Hindu shrine in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
“Sharda Peeth in Pak administered Kashmir is an outstanding relic of Kashmir’s glowing history. Though it generally connects the people here with their cultural and intellectual roots, for the Kashmiri Pandits it is an important place of pilgrimage which has frequented by them till Independence,” Mufti wrote in her letter. “Their urge to open it to pilgrimage has been projected ever since reopening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road. Kartarpur has encouraged the Pandit community to see a possibility of pilgrimage to Shardapeeth in the same spirit and our belief is strengthened by the reported offer of Pakistan Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan to allow it along with pilgrimage to Katas Raj,” she added.
Mufti has welcomed the opening of Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims. “I heartily greet you on the opening of Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims’ visit to holy places in that country,” she said. “It is my fervent hope and prayer that it turns out to be a new leaf in the painful history of relationship between our country and Pakistan and it proves to be the first step towards rediscovering avenues of peace and prosperity in our region.”
The former CM, in her letter, said that the new corridor has presented a window of opportunity. “Our party has always considered people to people contact between the two countries as an important confidence building measure and we have repeatedly been advocating reopening of traditional routes connecting our country through Jammu and Kashmir with the world around us. The initiatives taken by the Government of India under your distinguished predecessors in office have resulted in opening of Muzaffarabad and Rawlakote routes. Though their full potential is yet to be realised, the opening of Kartarpur has presented us with another window of opportunity,” she said.