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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Jan 13, 2018, 12:09 AM; last updated: Jan 13, 2018, 12:09 AM (IST)SHARDA PEETH YATRA

Pandits seek amendment to cross-LoC permit system

Pandits seek amendment to cross-LoC permit system
Save Sharda Committee member with Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in New Delhi. Tribune Photo

Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 12

Displaced Kashmiri Pandits have sought amendment to cross-LoC permit system between India and Pakistan to allow people having no relatives in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to visit the religious places on the other side of the state.

The demand was raised by the Save Sharda Committee delegation that met Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and sought his intervention so that Hindu pilgrims were able to visit the ancient Sharda Temple in PoK.

Under the agreement between the two South Asian countries in 2005, only those persons of J&K can travel on the cross-LoC bus service whose relatives are on the either side while Hindus and Sikhs are unable to use the service as there are no members of the minority community left in areas under the occupation of Pakistan since 1947.

Ravinder Raina, founder, Save Sharda Committee told the Union Minister that the last yatra to Sharda Temple in PoK was done in 1947 by great saint of Kashmir Swami Nand Lal, who used to live in Sharda in the pre-partition era.

The delegation presented the minister a photograph showing flowers being laid in the temple by local villagers of PoK and a photo installed this year inside the temple by the civil society of PoK.

As per a statement, Naqvi assured the delegation that the ministry would get in touch with their counterparts in Pakistan for the preservation of minorities shrines, particularly the Sharda Peeth Temple in PoK.


The Ministry of External Affairs should immediately take up the matter with their counterparts in Pakistan for resuming the pilgrimage on the lines of the Sikhs going to Nankana Sahib in Lahore every year. The last yatra to Sharda Temple in PoK was done in 1947 by great saint of Kashmir Swami Nand Lal, who used to live in Sharda in the pre-partition era. —Ravinder Raina, founder, Save Sharda Committee

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