The Hindu community in Pakistan has urged New Delhi and Islamabad to restore train and bus links between the two countries so that they can perform the final rites of their deceased family members by immersing the ashes in Ganga, The Times of India has reported.
All transport routes between India and Pakistan have been shut since August, when bilateral ties snapped in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 that used to guarantee special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Following this, urns containing the ashes of deceased members of Hindu families are piling up in temples and crematoriums there as the community awaits the restoration of train and bus links with India to perform the final rite of passage, said the report.
According to a Hindu leader from Sindh, Diwan Chand Chawla, most of the Hindus in Pakistan prefer to perform the last rites of their deceased family members in Haridwar. Since they have not been able to travel to India owing to suspension of rail and road links, ashes of the deceased are being kept in urns in temples, special rooms in crematoria and even at homes, Chawla told the publication.
As many as 150 urns containing ashes have been added in Karachi’s Panchmukhi temple since August, said the report citing Pakistan Hindu Seva Welfare Trust president Sanjesh Dhanja.
The kin of departed ones are desperate to go to Haridwar since their religious sentiments are attached with the holy place and they do not want to perform their last rites anywhere else, said Dhanja.
Although the Hindu community in Pakistan has the option of performing last rites at Sadh Belo, an island in the Indus river having a cluster of Hindu temples, and in a gurdwara near Sukkur, said Chawla. He added that a majority of Hindus, however, still preferred to visit Haridwar. They have been waiting for resumption of train and road service or a special train for the purpose, he said.
He urged the Indian and Pakistani governments to arrange a special train to the Attari-Wagah international border so that scores of Pakistani Hindus are able to take the ashes of their deceased family members to Haridwar for the final rites, added the report.