The Pakistan government has approved a proposal to establish Sharada Peeth corridor that will allow pilgrims from India to visit the ancient Hindu temple in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (Pok), according to the media reports.
The Sharada Peeth corridor will be the second religious tract after Kartarpur corridor.
India had already sent a proposal to Pakistan to open the temple corridor, the Express Tribune reported quoting sources in Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“After Kartarpur, a piece of big news is in the offing for Hindus. Some of the government officials will visit the area and will later submit a report to the prime minister,” the sources said.
When asked to comment on the development, official sources in New Delhi said India had made this request several times as part of the Composite Dialogue between India and Pakistan. The proposal was made keeping in mind the wishes and the religious sentiments of the people, they said.
Established in 237 BC during the reign of Emperor Ashoka, the 5,000-year-old Sharada Peeth is an abandoned temple and ancient centre of learning dedicated to the Hindu goddess of learning.
Between the 6th and 12th centuries CE Sharada Peeth was one of the foremost temple universities of the Indian subcontinent.
It is also one of the three famous holy sites for Kashmiri Pandits, the other two being the Martand Sun Temple in Anantnag and the Amarnath temple.
Kashmiri Pandit organisations have been demanding opening of the Sharada Peeth corridor for many years now.
“Pakistan has decided to open the Sharda temple. Work on the project will start from the current year after which Hindus in Pakistan will also be able to visit the site,” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member of the National Assembly (MNA) Ramesh Kumar said.
“I am going to visit the place in a couple of days. I will also send a report to Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he added.