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J&K no longer a forbidden land for Pakistanis
Rajesh Bhat | 09 Apr 2008

??????>?? IK????H???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????q` ???bjbjqPqP .&::????????????????? ? ? ? ? ?e?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ???????$h?f ??? ? ?? ??? ? ???? ?? ?? ?????????? ? `d4s%??? ???50e??????????H? ?? X?2FZ? ? ?  ? ? ? ? e???????D@????@????????????? Merinews Exclusive J&K is no longer forbidden land for Pakistanis Rajesh Bhat Few years back, Jammu and Kashmir used to be a ``forbidden land?? for the people of Pakistan, more so if it were the minority Hindus of that country. No one would ever have imagined that Pakistanis could easily visit this Indian State, move without fear and even meet the Governor of the State, who incidentally has an Army back-ground! The Pakistan has a dubious distinction of unsuccessfully fighting at least three wars on Kashmir. It failed every time in its nefarious designs. Be that tribal raid of 1947, full-fledged wars of 1965 and 1971 or Kargil intrusion of 1999, Indian troops have every time repelled Pakistani troops and defeated their designs to annex Kashmir. But now, with the passage of time, all this hatred seems to evaporate and everyone, for a change, welcomes the change! Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Lt. General (Retd) S K Sinha, who was amongst few soldiers having landed at Srinagar airport in 1947 to repulse the Pakistani attack, however, in this changing environment was playing a good host for his Pakistani guests at Raj Bhawan Jammu on April 9, 2008. The pilgrims from Pakistan--- all Hindus visited the Governor House after having performed Vaishno Devi Yatra at Katra. As winds of change were blowing everywhere, the Governor wished a 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 that a decision in this regard will have to be taken by the two governments. He highlighted the essence of great Indian philosophy of Vasudeva Kutumbakam (the whole world is one family).???.'We are treading the right path', Sinha said, adding that the people of India and Pakistan were bound by a unique old relationship despite being two nations now.  ? The Governor responded positively to the demand of visiting pilgrims about sponsoring groups from Pakistan to pay obeisance at the Trikuta Hills cave shrine 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 Pak occupied Kashmir (PoK) and said "I am optimistic that the aspirations of the people will get fulfilled one day". ? ??????????? On the occasion, Radho Mal, a Pakistani Hindu pilgrim, gave account of much revered religious places like Yogmata Mandir and Hinglaj Yatra in his country. He also invited the Governor to perform the yatra and recalled how they had made the visit of former Minister of External Affairs Yashwant Sinha along with 82 devotee's memorable event years ago. ??????????? Another pilgrim, Mahesh Kumar wanted Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to sponsor more groups of pilgrims for longer durations.??????????? The Governor assured that the Shrine Board will be only too happy to welcome more pilgrims from Pakistan. He added that they are Pakistani citizens and their loyalty must always be to their country as is the case with Muslims in India to their country. He also added that with common cultural, historical and ethnic heritage of the people of the two countries, there is much scope for close contact between the people of the two countries ? ??????????? A famous singer among the pilgrims, Sushil Kumar, who has to his credit 100 albums of Bhajjans and Kirtans, sang in melodious voice the Bhaint of Mata. "Kohinoor Ka Jalwa Hai, Janat Ka Nazara Hai, Kashmir Ki Wadi Mein Sheroonwali Ka Dwarah Hai, Hai Kendra Tapasya Ka, Rishyoon Ki Yeh Dharti Hai, Is Dharti Ki Kudrat Bhi Aradhana Karti Hai '. ?He claimed that this album has become very popular in Pakistan and abroad. ? "We want to come everywhere to pay our obeisance to Mata Rani", Salram Dass said. The pilgrims attired in typical Pakistani Shalwaar Kameez were wearing red bands of Mata Rani and expressed their gratitude for the warmth and hospitality extended to them. ? Striking personal chord with the Pakistani pilgrims, the Governor recalled his days in Karachi in 1946 when he was there on an official mission and wondered whether Manora Point or Beach Luxury Hotel were still there or not. Enthusiastically, the pilgrims raised affirmative voice and said that Karachi has now grown as the busiest commercial capital of Pakistan. General Sinha said that he had not gone to Pakistan after the partition though he wanted to do so when his son, an Indian Counsellor in Islamabad. He also made a mention of Wana in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) where he had served with battalion in 1946 and regretted the violence that had erupted there. ? ======================================== ? ? ,Z[\?????????   ' 0 : _ f ? ? ? ? ? ?   ) T ^ | ? ? ? ?  ? G b c r ? ? ? ? ?    * T Z c ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? h???b?!X?????????N?B???D?n??X?????????N?B???PNG  IHDR??fsRGB@?}?0PLTE???????????????????????????{??bIDAT?E?!?0Eq??^u?M&V??Up?\ ?&???C|???????)"3.8??????(6 jPts????&??)?N?U- \^?w?& ?^ey?????_?c|_???^9IEND?B`?MDd,?????? ? c ?:A?????Normal?Fax0??13"?r??`????<!-- D(["mb","\u003cfont size\u003d\"3\"\u003e?\u003c/font\u003e\u003c/span\u003e\u003c/p\u003e\n\u003cp style\u003d\"margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-indent:0.5in;text-align:justify\"\u003e\u003cspan style\u003d\"font-family:Arial\"\u003e\u003cfont size\u003d\"3\"\u003e\u0026quot;We want to come everywhere to pay our obeisance to Mata Rani\u0026quot;, Salram Dass said. The pilgrims attired in typical Pakistani Shalwaar Kameez were wearing red bands of Mata Rani and expressed their gratitude for the warmth and hospitality extended to them.\u003c/font\u003e\u003c/span\u003e\u003c/p\u003e\n\n\u003cp style\u003d\"margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-indent:0.5in;text-align:justify\"\u003e\u003cspan style\u003d\"font-family:Arial\"\u003e\u003cfont size\u003d\"3\"\u003e?\u003c/font\u003e\u003c/span\u003e\u003c/p\u003e\n\u003cp style\u003d\"margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-indent:0.5in;text-align:justify\"\u003e\u003cspan style\u003d\"font-family:Arial\"\u003e\u003cfont size\u003d\"3\"\u003eStriking personal chord with the Pakistani pilgrims, the Governor recalled his days in Karachi in 1946 when he was there on an official mission and wondered whether Manora Point or Beach Luxury Hotel were still there or not. Enthusiastically, the pilgrims raised affirmative voice and said that Karachi has now grown as the busiest commercial capital of Pakistan. General Sinha said that he had not gone to Pakistan after the Partition though he wanted to do so when his son, an Indian Counsellor in Islamabad. He also made a mention of Wana in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) where he had served with battalion in 1946 and regretted the violence that had erupted there.\u003c/font\u003e\u003c/span\u003e\u003c/p\u003e\n\n\u003cp style\u003d\"margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-indent:0.5in;text-align:justify\"\u003e\u003cspan style\u003d\"font-family:Arial\"\u003e\u003cfont size\u003d\"3\"\u003e?\u003c/font\u003e\u003c/span\u003e\u003c/p\u003e\n\u003cp style\u003d\"margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-indent:0.5in;text-align:justify\"\u003e\u003cspan style\u003d\"font-family:Arial\"\u003e\u003cfont size\u003d\"3\"\u003ePrincipal Secretary to Governor, Dr Arun Kumar was also present during the interaction. General Sinha presented souvenirs of Mata Vaishno Devi to each pilgrim and extended them Navratra greetings. They informed the Governor that they are bound for Haridwar this evening and will be participating in 3-day Baisakhi festival in Amritsar before departing for their country via Wagah. \u003c/font\u003e\u003c/span\u003e\u003c/p\u003e\n\n\u003cp style\u003d\"margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-indent:0.5in;text-align:justify\"\u003e",1] ); //-->??b?!X?????????N?B???5?n??X?????????N?B???PNG  IHDR??fsRGB@?}?0PLTE???????????????????????????{??bIDAT?E?!?0Eq??^u?M&V??Up?\ ?&???C|???????)"3.8??????(6 jPts????&??)?N?U- \^?w?& ?^ey?????_?c|_???^9IEND?B`???@@??@ NormalCJ_HaJmH sH tH DA@???D Default Paragraph FontRi???R  Table Normal?4? l4?a? 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