Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and NC vice president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday welcomed the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to open the Sharda Peeth corridor to religious pilgrims. Earlier, the Pakistan government gave its approval for the opening of Sharda Peeth Corridor Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Sharda Peeth is an abandoned temple in Sharda village along the Neelam river across LoC. It was a major centre of learning and is regarded as one of the 18 highly-revered temples in South Asia.
Taking to micro-blogging website Twitter, Omar in a series of tweets wrote, “It’s good to see @ImranKhanPTI take decisions that have been held up for years. Allowing greater people to people contact & opening routes to religious pilgrims are always welcome developments that help to ease tensions (sic).”
“One can only hope that in a post May 23rd India these steps will be reciprocated by the central government & we can move towards resuming the comprehensive dialogue between India & Pakistan.”
Omar in another tweet wrote, “After the welcome announcement to open the Sharda Peeth corridor to religious pilgrims by @ImranKhanPTI we hope the government in Pakistan will only announce the Kargil-Skardu road as also other routes to facilitate greater people to people contact.”
India and Pakistan recently laid the foundation stones of the Kartapur corridor on their respective sides. The construction of the corridor is expected to be complete in five months, facilitating the visit of Indian Sikh pilgrims to the 16th-century gurdwara in Kartarpur in Pakistan.
Recently, more than 200 Kashmiri Pandits took out a protest march in Anantnag demanding that a passage on the lines of the Kartarpur Corridor for Sikhs be opened to facilitate devotees to visit the Sharda Devi temple.