The movement for the opening of Sharda Peeth, an ancient Hindu temple, whose doors have been closed to Indian Hindus by the Pakistani government since the Indo-Pak split, intensified after the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor. Sharda Peeth is 10 km inside PoK from the LoC and there are already demands to provide pilgrimage access to the ancient temple.
Earlier in 2018, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had convinced Indian journalists of the opening of the Sharda Peeth after the inauguration of the Kartapur corridor but never kept his promises.
To keep the movement alive, the Save Sharda Committee Kashmir (SSCK) not only raised this issue on various platforms in India but also raised the same issue with the United Nations (UN).
Stating that he is one of the affected people who are far away from his homeland, SSCK president Ravinder Pandita said their fight is for the re-opening of Sharda Peeth, which is in the Neelum district of Kashmir-occupied Pakistan.
“It is divided Kashmir that has left our most important religious site abandoned for the last 70 years. Our saint Swami Nand Lal was the last person to sit on this chair until 1948, ”said Ravinder Pandita.
Pandita, who had visited Gurdwara Darbar Sahib some time ago, Kartarpur Sahib said that she not only visited the Sikh temple to pay homage but also to see how the Kartarpur corridor model works and how to help promote people to people contact and how the Kartarpur corridor model works. . the same model can be replicated for Sharda Peeth.
He made it clear that the opening of Sharda Peeth would not burden any government. “The two governments have spent very large amounts of funds to build the Kartarpur corridor on both sides of the international border but there is no need to build large infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir for the opening of the Sharda Peeth corridor because there are already two buses. services between Poonch to Rawalakot and Srinagar to Muzaffarabad.
“All they have to do is make amendments to the trans-LoC permit by allowing Hindus to make the pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth,” he said.
Indian Hindus have demanded an amendment in the LoC permit rules to include the annual Sharda pilgrimage which the Pakistani government has rejected. “We have also recently submitted a memorandum with Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs and asked him to deal with this matter with Pakistan”, notified Ravinder Pandita, a founding member of the Save Sharda Committee Kashmir (SSCK).
In particular, LoC crossings were issued to residents of Jammu and Kashmir who had divided families in LoC to meet them or to run business and until 1948 religious services were carried out at Sharda Peeth but after raids the Swami Nand Lal tribe who used to run the temple migrated to Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pandita said she had also written to the Secretary-General, the United Nations, informing her about the Sharda Peeth issue and expressing hope that the day would soon come when Hindus from India can perform religious services at Sharda Peeth without difficulty.