Pakistan Army denied Diwali sweet exchange between civil societies of Indians across LOC. Ravindar Pandita, the founder of Save Sharda Committee Kashmir invited civil society of POJK to join them at Whiteline Bridge at Teetwal on Diwali (November 12) and exchange sweets. The idea behind it was the people-to-people connectivity on the line of same exchanges happening between the Indian army and the Pakistan Army on Diwali and Eid.
In regard to this , the civil society in POJK sought permission from the occupying Pakistan Army, only to face disappointment as the occupying army denied such exchanges between people across LOC. On the contrary, Indian Army allowed the civilians from this side of Kashmir for the exchange.
Disappointed by this, Mr. Pandita outlined the discrimination of the Pakistan Army. He took to the X (formerly twitter) saying, “While our army does allow us to whiteline under proper protocol, you (Pakistan Army) don’t allow ordinary state subjects, but you allow your army families – a clear discrimination ! We had finally to come back from crossing bridge to acknowledge hard efforts of our fellow riyasatees by waving white cloth (peace symbol) who started 6 hour journey in icy winds to meet & greet us at Chilhana – Teetwal crossing point.”
Deliberations for opening of Sharda Peeth
It is worth noting that after 75 years, Sharda Devi temple in Kupwara celebrated Diwali. This happened along with the persisting calls for opening a corridor for Sharda Peeth, a revered Shakti Peeth of Hinduism in POJK. Accordingly, Save Sharda Committee Kashmir is raising the voice on behalf of fellow Kashmiris and Hindus to open a corridor similar to Kartarpur.
Therefore, it is unfortunate that, Pakistan Army denied Diwali sweet exchange, probably, because of their fear of increasing cohesiveness between the Kashmiris on both sides of LOC. Nonetheless, since 2021, it is the nineth time that the members of civil societies have not been allowed to go down to Whiteline bridge to meet the fellow Kashmiris, which is the official crossing point. Last time, on Sharda Divas- annual Sharda Yatra Day (September 23) also, Pakistan Army denied such an exchange of wishes in person at Teetwal.