Pakistan has reportedly agreed to open Sharda Temple corridor in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) for Hindu pilgrims, particularly in the neighbouring country.
The development comes after the ground-breaking of Kartarpur Corridor – a project to connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal with Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur
According to media reports, the foreign affairs ministry said New Delhi had already sent a proposal to open the Sharda Temple corridor.
“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,” reports quoted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying.
“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,” ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member of the National Assembly (MNA) Dr Ramesh Kumar told media.
Former occupied Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Twitter, “Not too long ago I had written to PM (Narendra Modi) imploring GoI to reopen Sharda Peeth, a temple across LoC for Kash Pandits. An initiative like this at a time when Indo- Pak tensions are at an all-time high could help navigate the current impasse.”
Sharda Temple is one of the most ancient temples of Hindus. This temple is about 5,000 years old which was established in 237 BC during the reign of Maharaja Ashoka. Close to the temple, there is a pond called ‘Madomati’ – its water is as sacred to the community members as the water of Katasraj temple.
Last year, PM Imran Khan had performed ground-breaking of four kilometres-long Kartarpur Corridor in Narowal. The ceremony was followed by religious rituals of the Sikh community. The corridor will facilitate the Sikh pilgrims visiting their most sacred sites in Pakistan.