27 Jan Faith-Based INDO-PAK tour groups
Faith-Based INDO-PAK tour groups- Today Current Affairs
To avoid the extra time in travel – Pakistan Hindu Council, (signed an MoU with Pakistan International Airlines) to facilitate faith-based tour groups, has asked that PIA charters from Karachi and Lahore be allowed to fly direct to Indian cities this week, with a view to also allowing reciprocal air charters from India.
LETS UNDERSTAND : The Hindu Analysis
This faith based decision will be another very good initiatives among the others like :-
- The LoC ceasefire announcement in February
- The decision to reopen the Kartarpur corridor in November
- Government’s nod for cricket under the T20 World Cup
- Other sporting events.
Even a simple proposal by the Pakistan Hindu Council, to India, for allowing pilgrims of both countries to travel by air to avoid long journeys seems a bigger achievement, under the current Indo-Pak relations..
Even during the peaceful times, Islamabad-Delhi ties are possibly among its lowest ever, with almost no political dialogues at a bilateral or multilateral forum for over five years now.
- India has stopped normal communications and cultural exchanges, after many terror attacks.
- Pakistan stopped almost all of its trade ties after the Government’s moves on Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Most of the India-Pakistan exchanges are suspended practically.
Both sides have : The Hindu Analysis
- Downsized their diplomatic missions.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually the borders have been sealed for two years.
- An exception for faith-based travel have been considered.
- Religious exchanges are allowed to continue → ( governed by a protocol signed in 1974)
- Mainly of Muslim pilgrims from Pakistan
- Hindus and Sikhs from India
Sikh pilgrims→ from Indian Punjab to the Pakistani Punjab province
Indian and Pakistani pilgrims → crossing over at the Wagah/Atari border to travel further For example-
- The Hinglaj Mata Mandir in Balochistan
- The Paramhans Mandir in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
- The Ajmer Sharif dargah in Rajasthan
- The Nizamuddin Aulia in Delhi
To conclude :-
In an atmosphere filled with tensions, such people-to-people initiatives can only help build some goodwill.
While the Government has many reasons to deny the request, but it may wiser decision of the Government to give the proposal some a sincere consideration, and if possible , the nod too.