In another peace gesture, Pakistan has proposed to open a corridor to the 5,000-year-old Sharada Peeth which is situated close to the Line of Control (LoC). It is one of the 18 highly revered temples across the South Asian continent and once at par with the ancient seats of learning at Nalanda and Takshila.
The latest announcement comes after a warful February-end with the Indian Air Force (IAF) pre-emptive action in Balakot, followed by an air tussle with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
Pakistani officials say the Prime Minister Imran Khan had given ‘green signal’ to the opening up of the temple. Sources in the Indian government say New Delhi had made this request several times as part of the composite dialogue process. Sharada Peeth was once upon a time regarded as a major center of higher learning of Vedic works, scriptures and commentaries.
In December 2018, External Affairs Minister V.K. Singh had told the Rajya Sabha that the issue of religious tourism to Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has been raised from time to time.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan government has been quoted saying that work on the project will start from the current year after which the Hindus in Pakistan will also be able to visit the sacred site. Sharada Peeth is believed to have been established in the Ashoka era of 237 BC. It is also regarded as a holy site for Kashmiri Pandits.
In November 2018, the PM Imran Khan had announced the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. It is expected to be opened later this year to the Sikh pilgrims.