Jammu and Kashmir governor hosts Pakistani Hindu pilgrimsApril 9th, 2008 - 5:57 pm ICT by admin
Jammu, April 9 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Governor S.K. Sinha Wednesday morning hosted Pakistani Hindu pilgrims, currently on a visit to the state. Sinha invited the pilgrims for breakfast after they paid obeisance at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine here Tuesday night.
Sinha, who is also chairman of the shrine board, interacted with the visiting pilgrims for more than one hour, according to a press statement from the governor’s secretariat.
The governor on the occasion called for “hassle free travel for pilgrims and facilitating more people to people contact between India and Pakistan”.
“I have observed in newspapers some Pakistani leaders suggesting free visa between India and Pakistan,” he said, adding a decision in this regard would have to be taken by the two governments.
He highlighted the essence of great Indian philosophy of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ (the whole world is one family).
Sinha said the normalization process between India and Pakistan got a new impetus with positive signals emanating from the leadership in the neighbouring country. He hoped this would fructify in lasting peace and tranquillity in the sub-continent.
“We are treading the right path,” he said, adding the people of India and Pakistan were bound by a unique old relationship despite being two nations now.
He said smoothening of relations will open up new vistas for people to people contact and the day was not far when more such groups would be coming to pay obeisance at the revered shrine of Sheikh Moin-ud-Din Chisti at Ajmer and Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu.
He responded positively to the demand of visiting pilgrims about sponsoring groups from Pakistan to pay obeisance at the Trikuta Hills cave shrine here and went ahead to offer seats for Pakistani students in Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University.
He referred to the deep yearning among Kashmiri Pandits to visit Sharada Peeth in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and said: “I am optimistic that the aspirations of the people will get fulfilled one day.”
“We will always welcome you and extend all possible hospitality during your pilgrimage to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi,” Sinha told the group of pilgrims.