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Rana favours opening of pilgrimage routes

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JAMMU DECEMBER 02- Hailing the huge initiative on Kartarpur Corridor, National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Sunday called for opening of Shardapeeth and Mangla Mata Mandir, Mirpur in Pakistan administered Kashmir for the Hindu pilgrimage.

“Encouraged by the Indo-Pak initiative on Kartarpur Sahib, a hope has rekindled among the Hindus and Sikhs of Jammu and Kashmir to visit their most revered temples and Gurdwaras in the PoK”, Rana said at an interactive session where in Commodore D. S Sodhi, NM presented him his book ‘Kashmir-Divine Connect and Sikh Rule, which is being released shortly.

He said a lot of people and delegations have strongly been pitching for opening of these religious places for pilgrimage, which will ultimate lead to people to people contact and help in normalizing the relations between the two neighbouring countries. In this context he sought opening of Ali Baig Gurdwara on the northeastern side of the Mirpur-Jhelum Link Road in Bimber District for the Sikh Sangat. He also sought passage to Khoi Ratta Bowli, a hot water spring, in Kotli, a symbol of communal harmony which was being frequented by the people seeking cure to skin diseases. This Bowli used to be visited people belonging to all faiths decades ago, he added.

The Provincial President described opening of various routes to Pak occupied Kashmir key to building confidence among the people, who are keen to end hostilities and lead a peaceful life. He said thaw between the two countries is imperative for overall development and prosperity of the people of the sub-continent, especially those in Jammu and Kashmir, who will be the main beneficiaries of harmonious relations.

Rana said that people on both sides of the Line of Control have a strong cultural bonding the places of worship had been playing important role in strengthen this from times immemorial.

The Provincial President urged India and Pakistan to work towards satiating the urges and aspirations of the people of both sides of Jammu and Kashmir and take all necessary measures in this regard on the analogy of Kartarpur Sahib.

Dwelling upon his work, Commodore Sodhi said that it gives a brief insight into various aspects of Kashmir and provides an account on Kashmir’s Divine Connect. “Various religious faiths that were followed in Kashmir have been covered as also beliefs like Mysticism, Sufiism, Rishiism, Sama have been spoken about”, he said adding that the book also provides an account on Sikh Rule in Kashmir. “Kashmiriyat and composite culture along with the need for divine intervention for restoration of peace in Kashmir have also been addressed”, the author added.

Rana congratulated and complimented Commodore on his literary contribution, hoping this will serve the purpose of integration and strengthening the bonds between various communities.

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