A few months after India and Pakistan decided to open the Kartarpur corridor for the Sikh community, the neighbouring country on Monday gave the green signal for Sharda Peeth corridor. The move comes amid tensions between both countries, post-Pulwama terror attack that led to the killing of 40 CRPF jawans.
ANI quoted a government source as saying that India had made the request a number of times as part of composite dialogue between both nations. The government had made the proposal keeping in mind the wishes and the religious sentiments of the people, the person added.
Welcoming the development, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, Not too long ago I had written to PM 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 .
What is Sharda Peeth?
The temple is revered by Kashmiri Pandits among other Hindus across the globe. Since partition, the temple has been out of bounds for Indian pilgrims. The ancient Sharada temple, as well as the adjacent ruins of Sharada University, are situated in Neelam Valley, which is 160 km from Muzaffarabad, and close to the Line of Control. It is in a small village Shardi where the river Neelam joins Madhumati and Sargun streams.
The temple was once regarded as the foremost centre of higher learning in the Indian subcontinent. The temple is also one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, or a Grand Shakti Peethas . It is considered to be the abode of Hindu Goddess Saraswati.
Last year in November, Pakistan PM Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the 4-kilometre Kartarpur corridor in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The corridor once completed, will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur — the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev.