Kashmiri Pandits Write Open Letter To Imran Khan

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SRINAGAR — A group of Kashmiri Pandits have written an open letter to newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan urging him to facilitate their pilgrimage to their holy places in Pakistani controlled Kashmir.

“We the members of Save Sharda Committee earnestly appeal to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Sh Imran Khan to allow us to undertake pilgrimage to Sharda temple in Muzafferabad, Jammu and Kashmir. It has been the desire of Kashmiri Pandits to pay obeisance at the revered temple since 1947 as prior to that such pilgrimage was a regular feature”, the letter said.
“Prior to partition devotees from all parts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir used to annually pray for their spiritual emancipation at the temple. Many attempts have been made by us in the past to include pilgrimage option in the cross LOC travel but unfortunately no formal permissions have been granted so far”, the letter reads.

The group believes such visits would also play an “instrumental role in building people to people contact that will lead to confidence building and for establishing permanent peace in the sub continent”. 

“We have a glimmer of hope with the present government headed by Sh Imran Khan and request him to personally intervene in the matter so that the first batch of pilgrims can travel to the revered place immediately”, the letter written on behalf of the group by Advocate Vinod Trisal said.

Sharada Peeth is an abandoned Hindu temple located in the village of Sharda, along the Neelam River. It is situated at a distance of 93 miles from Muzaffarabad (capital of Pakistan controlled Kashmir) and only 42 miles from Baramulla.

Sharada Peeth was a major centre of learning, and is regarded as one of 18 Maha Shakti Peethas. 

Kashmiri Pandits remain highly devoted towards their goddess Sharada, and by extension, to the Sharada Peeth temple. 

FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER

His Excellency Shri Imran Khan 

Prime Minister of Pakistan

We the members of ‘Save Sharda Committee’ earnestly appeal to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Sh Imran Khan to allow us to undertake Sharada pilgrimage to Muzafferabad Jammu and Kashmir. 

It has been the desire of Kashmiri Pandit community to pay annual visits to the revered pilgrimage site since 1947 as prior to that such pilgrimage was a regular feature. Devotees from all parts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir used to annually pray for their spiritual emancipation at the temple. 

Our appeals to include pilgrimage option in the Cross LOC travel in the past unfortunately elicited no formal response. 

We strongly believe that such visits would also play an instrumental role in building people to people contact that we are sure will lead to confidence building and for establishing permanent peace in the sub continent. 

We have a glimmer of hope with your government and request you to personally intervene in the matter so that our lifelong wish to pay obeisance at the temple is fullflled. 

Vinod Trisal (Advocate)

On behalf of Save Sharda Committee

Lal Mandi, 

Srinagar (Kashmir)

 

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