After Kartarpur, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah Push For Another Corridor

In her letter, Mehbooba Mufti said that she hopes the initiative "turns out to be a new leaf in the painful history of relationship between India and Pakistan".

Mehbooba Mufti said that Pandits met her to take up the issue of corridor with PM Modi.


Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who sees the Kartarpur corridor as a "new beginning" of reconciliation between India and Pakistan, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for the Sharda Peeth in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to be opened for devotees.

"Wrote to PM @narendramodi for opening of Sharda Peeth route for facilitating the Pandit community. I hope like Kartarpur, this too will be considered for better peace & prosperity in the region," the People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief tweeted.

In her letter, she said that she hopes the initiative "turns out to be a new leaf in the painful history of relationship between India and Pakistan".

Omar Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference, who had extended support to erstwhile rival Mehbooba Mufti to form government in Jammu and Kashmir last month, agreed with the PDP leader on her request to PM Modi.

"Happy to endorse good steps. We need to collectively ask for all historic routes to be opened in Jammu, Kashmir, Kargil & Leh all the way up to Turtuk," Mr Abdullah tweeted.

While pitching for the opening of Sharda shrine corridor across the Line of Control, Ms Mufti had said that in Jammu and Kashmir, "the opening of Uri-Muzafarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot routes was a big achievement".

"We have repeatedly been advocating reopening of traditional routes connecting our country through Jammu and Kashmir with the world around us. Sharda Peeth is an outstanding relic of Kashmir's glowing history. For the Kashmiri Pandits, it is an important place of pilgrimage," she wrote.

Kartarpur Sahib, where Guru Nanak is believed to have spent the last 18 years of his life, is situated in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province. For many years now, Sikh devotees have been demanding that governments of both the countries to build a corridor linking it with the Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab's Gurdaspur district.

The centre approved the corridor last month and urged the Pakistan government to reciprocate.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the corridor along with Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri.

"Kartarpur has encouraged the Pandit community to see a possibility of the pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth in the same spirit and our belief is strengthened by the reported offer of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to allow it along with pilgrimage to Katas Raj," the letter said.

Ms Mufti added that Pandits met her to "plead the case with you".

She added it would "fit very well in the vision of pulling Jammu and Kashmir out of its miseries through diplomatic and political means away from death and destruction we witness with unending regularity".

Meanwhile, the United States has also welcomed efforts by India and Pakistan to increase people-to-people contact.

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