New Delhi :
Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits, demanding a special corridor for devotees to visit the Sharda Peeth in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), held a protest rally in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. The protesters, under the banner of All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC), held placards and chanted slogans in support of reopening the passage to Sharda Devi temple in PoK. They were demanding that on the lines of the Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh devotees to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the Sharda Peeth corridor between Neelam Valley in PoK and Teetwal in north Kashmir should also reopen.
On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor between the two nations to facilitate the visit of Sikh pilgrims to the historic shrine of Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib - the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak.
A day after the groundbreaking ceremony, the Pakistani prime minister had offered the opening of several shrines, including Sharada Peeth to devotees from India. During an interaction, Khan had said that his government "can consider other proposals including opening up travel for the Sharada Peeth in Kashmir...".
After Imran Khan’s offer, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and BJP ally, Mehbooba Mufti, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and appealed him to accept his Pakistani counterpart’s offer.
“If it happens like the great Kartarpur corridor decision then it will be the best thing for the two nations,” she said while expressing hope that Modi will take this matter up with Imran Khan on priority.
Sharda Peeth is an abandoned temple in Sharda village along the Neelam river across the Line of Control (LoC). The Hindu shrine is regarded as one of the 18 highly-revered temples in South Asia. It is believed that great grammarians Paá¹‡ini and Hemachandra completed and stored their Sanskrit writing at Sharada Peeth.