Pak minister proposes Kartarpur-like corridor in Sindh province

Wednesday 12th June 2024 07:49 EDT

Karachi: A provincial minister in Pakistan has proposed the idea of opening a Kartarpur-like religious corridor in the Sindh province areas, bordering India, to allow Hindus and Jains to visit their historical religious sites in this country.

Sindh Tourism Minister Zulfiqar Ali Shah made the proposal while addressing an event in Dubai related to the promotion of tourism in Sindh province, where the majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled.

Shah said the corridor could be built in Umarkot and Nagarparkar. Umarkot is home to Shri Shiv Mandir, which is considered one of the oldest Hindu temples in Sindh. Some people believe it was constructed more than 2,000 years ago. There are also numerous abandoned Jain temples in Nagarparkar, which has a large Hindu population.

He said there were scores of Hindus and Jains who wanted to visit the religious sites in Sindh. A spokesperson for the Sindh government said that Shah had discussed this possibility with his department officials.

For the religious tourists' facilitation, Shah also proposed to commence a weekly flight from India to Sukkur or Larkana as well. The Pakistan and Indian governments had until August 2019 run a train service, The Thar Express, that connected the border towns of Munabao in Rajasthan to Khokhrapar in Sindh province.

The service, after remaining closed for many years, was reopened in 2006 during the tenure of late President Pervaz Musharraf. It was the only rail link between Sindh and Rajasthan.

The Pakistan government opened the Kartarpur Corridor in November 2019 which is around 4.1 km from the Pakistan-India border. According to official estimates, 75,00,000 Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90,00,000 Hindus are living in the country.

Pakistan has some prominent Hindu temples including Param Hans Ji Maharaj Samadhi (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa), Hinglaj Mata Mandir in Hingol National Park of Balochistan's Lasbela district, Katas Raj complex in Punjab's Chakwal district and Prahlad Bhagat Mandir in Punjab's Multan district.

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