Hindu pilgrims visit Pakistan, Muslim delegation for India late January

By Beena Sarwar / Sapan News Service

January 5, 2022: An international delegation of 200 Hindu pilgrims in Pakistan for a four-day religious tourism visit departed this week after performing religious rituals at a recently restored century-old shrine in the country’s north.

The pilgrims from India and the UAE started arriving on Saturday, January 1, via Wagah border and Dubai to visit the Samadhi (shrine) of Hindu guru Shri Paramhans Dayal Ji Maharaj in Teri village, Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The yatrees (pilgrims) included 159 from neighbouring India who arrived in Pakistan through Wagah border. They were transported to Peshawar by air and to the Teri Samadhi by road amidst tight security. A heavy police contingent was also employed at the Samadhi.

Last year, a mob had set the Samadhi on fire. The Pakistan government has restored the damage.

After the incident, the government also arrested and fined several people, including members of the Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party, for vandalizing the place of worship. Prime Minister Imran Khan warned that anyone targeting the country’s non-Muslim citizens would face stern consequences. 

The visiting pilgrims told reporters they appreciated and moved by the arrangements made for them as well as the opportunity to pay their respects at the Samadhi. Many were overwhelmed with emotions.

Footage from state-owned Pakistan Television on January 1, 2022, showed 159 Hindu pilgrims from India arriving in Lahore via the Wagah land border. 

“We felt as if we have entered jannat (paradise) when we reached here,” Varona Malohtra, a pilgrim from New Delhi, told PTV.

The visibly emotional visitor said that she felt fortunate to visit the Samadhi and hoped that pilgrims from both India and Pakistan would be allowed to visit their holy sites across the border.

“The hospitality extended to us in Pakistan and specially in this province made us feel at home,” she said.

Another pilgrim, Aishwar Das, hoped that such visits between the two countries would continue in future.

“The primary purpose of Hindu pilgrims, led by Shriman Mahatma Param Nityanand Ji, is to visit the Samadhi of Shri Param Hans Ji Maharaj, Teri Temple,” said parliamentarian and patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani. He appreciated the arrangements of the Karak police.

Vankwani said the Hindu Council is also arranging regular visits of Pakistani delegations to Muslim shrines in India. The first such visit to Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Rajasthan is scheduled for late January. 

In early December, Vankwani signed an agreement with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to launch special charter flights from the UAE facilitate religious pilgrims.

Hindus form the largest non-Muslim majority in Pakistan, accounting for 2 percent of the population of the country which gained independence from British rule in 1947, when the subcontinent was partitioned into Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India. 

At the time of partition in 1947, there were 428 Hindu temples in Pakistan. Over time, many fell into disuse. Some were turned into housing, offices or shops.

In 2019, the Pakistani government started the restoration process for 400 of the temples, with a plan to reopen them for the Hindu community. 

Lead image: Hindu pilgrims from India crossing over to Pakistan to visit the Puj Shadani Darbar Temple Hayat Pitafi, at Wagah border, December 4, 2021. AFP file photo.

1 Comment

  1. Murder is Murder where ever it happens in the world , but one is real murders based on facts another is factless lies based on Pakistani imagination. I can prove more muslims are dying in muslim countries , more muslims are killing muslims, more terror attacks are from muslims on non muslims and also on muslims. Hence islam is intolerant doctrine. Pakistan is a plague on earth.

    When you say 1000 muslims are killed in India this is baseless and you dont have any facts on the matter. I think you suffer from mental disease which is quite common with people of Pakistani origin and I can share pakistani newspaper and research data why there are so many lunatics in paksitan. Apprx May 21, 2017 – News Papers in Pakistan reported 80 million Pakistanis were suffering from physiological, neurotic disorder which results in spiritual, physical, mental and emotional illnesses this is common problem among muslims due to marrying own sisters/ cousins.

    Pakistanis are in jails around the world in muslims countries and non muslim countries. There are always more Pakistanis in any jail around the world. this is primarily due to the hatred taught in Pakistani schools against non muslims, jews, hindus. Pakistan is a terrorist factory.

    I had seen an international report which said.,,,

    1,229 out of the 5,885 prisoners in high-security jails in UK are followers of the Islamic faith

    This means 20% compared of the Prison population in Muslims, even as the Muslim population in Britain is only 5%
    At Whitemoor prison, Cambridgeshire, 44% of the 447 inmates are Muslim
    This not the case just in UK, if you look at Muslim countries & their prison populations you will find much higher numbers of muslim and Pakistanis in the Jails of Saudi & UAE.
    Statistics shows that the muslims in general are 4 times more potent to crime then non-muslims. Some experts warns jails are �ripe� to become extremist recruiting grounds, if out of 1.3 billion even if 20% are landing up in criminal activities this is dangerous situation for the world, but most western media is afraid of being branded islamaphobic donot wish to make such statements or media is being bribed to keep this under the carpet by rich muslim nations.

    Meanwhile see how minorities in Pakistan are reducing. Just in 75 years you wiped out all the non muslim population in Pakistan.

    Like

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