By TwoCircles.net staff reporter
15 religious shrines in Pakistan are covered under the 1974 Bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines. This information was given by the Minister of External Affairs, Shri Pranab Mukherjee in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
1974 Bilateral Protocol on Visit to Religious Shrines signed by India and Pakistan ensures that places of religious worship mentioned in the protocol are properly maintained and their sanctity preserved.
This protocol also covers the pilgrims visiting Indian and Pakistan. Both Governments facilitate the transportation, security and accommodation for stay of the pilgrims during their visits.
This provides for three Hindu pilgrimages (total 800 pilgrims) and four Sikh pilgrimages (total 7500 pilgrims) from India to Pakistan and five Muslim pilgrimages (total 1350 pilgrims) from Pakistan to India.
Shrines in Pakistan covered under Bilateral Protocol on Visit to Religious Shrines are:
1. Gurudwara Shri Nankana Sahib (Rawalpindi)
2. Gurudwara Shri Panja Sahib (Rawalpindi)
3. Samadhi of Maharaj Ranjit Singh (Lahore)
4. Gurudwara Shri Dera Sahib (Lahore)
5. Gurudwara Janam Asthan (Lahore)
6. Gurudwara Deewan Khana (Lahore)
7. Gurudwara Shaheed Ganj, Singhanian (Lahore)
8. Gurudwara Bhai Tara Singh (Lahore)
9. Gurudwara of Sixth Guru, Mozang, (Lahore)
10. Birthplace of Shri Guru Ram Das (Lahore)
11. Gurudwara Cheveen Padshahi, Mozang (Lahore)
12. Shrine at Sree Katasraj
13. Shadani Darbar, Hyat Pitafi
14. Sadhu Bela, Khanpur and Mirpur Mathelo
15. Shrine of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh (Lahore)
No such shrines or places of pilgrimages are identified in Afghanistan and Iran. Government of India has proposed to the Government of Pakistan that the existing Bilateral Protocol on visit to Religious Shrines be expanded to increase number of pilgrims and shrines.