PESHAWAR: The Hindus in Pakistan's northwest province have asked the government to replicate the Kartarpur corridor example by developing their over 200 religious sites in Khyber Patkahunkhwa, asserting that it will promote tourism and help put the country's ailing economy on a sound footing.
In November, Pakistan and India separately inaugurated the historic Kartarpur corridor on their sides of the border to facilitate the visa-free entry of Indian Sikh pilgrims to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev.
The corridor provides the shortest route for Indian Sikh pilgrims to the revered Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur area of Pakistan's Narowal district, where Guru Nanak spent last 18 years of his life.
Leader of Hindu Community Peshawar Haroon Sarab Diyal said on Sunday that in view of the positive impact of the Kartarpur corridor, the provincial and federal governments should also develop the religious sites of Hindus in Khyber Patkahunkhwa.
It will promote religious tourism and put Pakistan's economy on track, he said.
Diyal said if the government agreed to develop Hindus' religious sites, they would attract many pilgrims from across the world.
There are over 65 religious sites in Swabi district, and 154 in Nowshera district of Khyber Patkahunkhwa (KPK), he said.
The KPK has one of the world's largest Shivlinghams and is home to 12 panths of the Sanatana dharama, including Gorakhnath and Bholaynath, he said.
Kali Bari Mandir in Dera Ismail Khan district too has a great importance in Hindu religion, Diyal said.
The followers of the Hindu religion have swelled to over one billion in the world and to woo them to the province will be a boon to Pakistan's economy, he added.
According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, there are around 8 million Hindus living in Pakistan, comprising 4 per cent of the Pakistani population.