Imran Khan Renews Pandit Hopes For Sharda Peeth Pilgrimage

SRINAGAR: After opening the Kartarpur border crossing for the reunion of the divided Sikh families of Punjab and for the pilgrimage, Pakistan Prime Minister has indicated opening two more route and one is in Kashmir: the route to Sharda Peeth.

“We can consider other proposals including opening up travel for the Sharada Peeth in Kashmir, Katasraj and other Hindu shrines too,” The Hindu newspaper tweeted, quoting the Pakistan Prime minister saying.

Ruins of Sharda Peeth shrine in Neelum Valley of PaK.

The tweets are apparently part of an interview with Khan that the newspaper will be publishing.

Khan Sharda Peeth indication came within a day after PDP president and former Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti south its reopening. “It is quite amusing how some tv channels are trying to distort a gesture like Kartarpur into some kind of conspiracy to create Khalistan . One fails to understand why allowing people pilgrimage to Guru Nanak Dev ji’s birth place would assume such undertones,” Ms Mufti had tweeted the other day. Kartarpur can be a new beginning of reconciliation between the two neighbours. We cannot change our borders but let us make them irrelevant by facilitating trade & encouraging people to people contact. This will usher in peace & progress for both India & Pakistan.”

Sharda Peth has been quite a sentimental issue with the Kashmiri Pandits. They have been seeking permission to visit the historic site for decades now. It is located in the Neelum Valley on the other side of the Karnah belt (Kupwara).

With Khan indicating that there is a possibility of reopening this pilgrim trek, the Kashmiri Pandits will be happy. But nobody knows will it happen.

“For #Pakistan, #Kashmir is an issue, especially when we see daily pictures of violence on social media. We want to resolve this, everything can be resolved,” Khan was quoted saying by The Hindu. “PM @narendramodi is the elected leader of India. We had a very constructive conversation on the phone, but with all that has followed, I don’t know what will happen (about future dialogue).” In yet another statement, Khan has said: “In the past there was some solution discussed during Musharraf’s time, I don’t know if that can work. But we will only know if we talk.”

“I tried to reach out to India from the very first day of my term. But I got a bad response when the meeting at the UN was cancelled. We decided that we could wait for a response until elections in India,” the newspaper further quoting Khan saying. “There is a consensus in Pakistan for peace, don’t think of it as desperation for peace.”

Tweets by the newspaper suggest that Khan has said that “grand gestures” are possible but there has to be response from India. “It is not in Pakistan’s interest that our soil be used for terrorism against others. I can’t be held responsible for the past, hold me to account if I break my promises,” Khan was quoted saying in another tweet.

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