The government will make efforts to open a Sharda Peeth pilgrimage corridor in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) along the lines of the Kartarpur corridor in Punjab.
The move will necessitate engagement with Pakistan and reopening the Line of Control (LoC) at Teetwal in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district, which has been closed indefinitely since Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was revoked in August 2019.
Home Minister Amit Shah made the announcement after virtually inaugurating the Sharda Devi temple in Teetwal, Kupwara district, on Wednesday.
The temple was constructed along the LoC, which separates the former state of Jammu and Kashmir, on the banks of the Kishanganga river.
“According to Ravinder Pandita, Sharda Peeth should be opened to pilgrims along the lines of the Kartarpur corridor.” The Indian government will undoubtedly make efforts in this direction. “There are no two ways about it,” Mr Shah stated.
Since 2019, cross-LoC trade and bus services between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad have been suspended indefinitely.
Opening a pilgrimage corridor in PoK will be the first major step toward reestablishing contact between the two sides after Jammu and Kashmir became a Union Territory in August 2019.
The ancient Sharda temple and learning center, or Sharda Peeth, is located in PoK’s Neelam Valley, across the LoC.
Mr Shah stated that the temple’s inauguration marks the beginning of an era and a step forward.
The inauguration of the temple, according to Mr Shah, marks the beginning of an era and a step toward the discovery of the Sharda civilisation and the Sharda script.
“The reconstruction of Maa Sharda’s temple in Kupwara is a necessary and important step toward the discovery of Sharda civilization and the promotion of Sharda script,” said Mr Shah.