close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Mehbooba Mufti writes to PM Modi, seeks opening of Shardapeeth pilgrimage site in PoK

The PDP president said her party has always considered people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan as an important confidence-building measure.

Mehbooba Mufti writes to PM Modi, seeks opening of Shardapeeth pilgrimage site in PoK

Srinagar: People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the opening of the Shardapeeth pilgrimage site across the Line of Control (LoC). She added that Shardapeeth in Pak-administered Kashmir is an outstanding relic of Kashmir's glowing history.

"The initiatives taken by (the) government of India under your distinguished predecessors in office have resulted in the opening of Muzaffarabad and Rawalkot routes. Though their full potential has yet to be realised, the opening of Kartarpur has presented us with another window of opportunity," Mehbooba Mufti wrote in the letter.

The PDP president said her party has always considered people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan as an important confidence-building measure.

"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 was frequented by them till independence. Their urge to open it to pilgrimage has been projected ever since the reopening of Srinagar Muzaffarabad Road," she said.

"Kartarpur has encouraged the (Kashmiri) Pandit community to see a possibility of the Pilgrimage to Shardapeeth in the same spirit and our belief is strengthened by the reported offer of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to allow it along with pilgrimage to Katas Raj," the PDP president said in the letter.

Mehbooba said a few members of the Kashmiri Pandit community discussed the issue with her and urged her to take up the matter with the prime minister.

"I am sure you would kindly have this request considered on priority. Though it will be a measure specific to the Pandit community, I have no doubt it would be welcomed by every citizen of the state and would considerably help in addressing the feeling of despondency in a major section of population," she said.

Mehbooba said it would "fit very well in the vision of pulling Jammu and Kashmir out of its miseries through diplomatic and political means away from death and destruction we witness with unending regularity".

Here's the letter, written to PM Modi by Mehbooba Mufti

Respected Modi ji,

I heartily greet you on the opening of Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan to facilitate the Sikh Pilgrims visit to Holy places in that country. 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.

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 Rawlakot routes. Though their full potential has yet to be realized, the opening of Kartarpur has presented us with another window of opportunity.

Shardapeeth 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 was frequented by them till independence. Their siege 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 the 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. A delegation of the committee of Pandits lighting for opening of Shardapeeth pilgrimage met me the other day to press for pleading the case with you.

I am sure you would kindly have this request considered on priority. Though it will be a measure specific to Pandit community, I have no doubt it would be welcomed by every citizen of the state and would considerably help in addressing the feeling of despondency in a major section of population. It would fit very well in the vision of pulling J&K out of its miseries through diplomatic and political means away from death and destruction we witness with unending regularity.

With warm regards,

Yours sincerely

Mehbooba Mufti

President PDP

(With inputs from agencies)