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Gujarat seers Sadaram Bapu, Baldevnath Maharaj seek normal relations with Pakistan: Indo-Pak peace marchers

The mahant of Dev Darbar Math
By Kaleem Siddiqui
The India-Pakistan Friendship and Peace march, which started from Ahmedabad's Gandhi Ashram on June 19, completed about 170 kilometers till last Monday. Halting for night at in Thar in Banaskantha district, the next day the foot marchers walked around 15 km in the morning to reach Dev Darbar Jageer Math Ashram, where they were given a grand welcome by the ashram people.
After the completion of the welcome ceremony, all the foot marchers, including Magsaysay award winning activist,-scholar Sandeep Pandey, met mahant Baldevnathji Maharaj.
The Dev Darbar Math is located in Banaskantha district and is only 80 kilometres from the Pakistan border. He said, “Across the border in the Hyderabad region live Hindus. Nearly 500 Madhavani Hindu families living there are the followers of the Math. Last year, they organized a five-day Satsanga in Pakistan, where I addressed both Hindus and Muslims."
"Earlier, many followers would visit the Math in India, but due to bitterness and tension in both the countries, they cannot come to India from Pakistan. So I visited Pakistan last year. Not only did I visit the spot, I also helped them construct a magnificent temple. A grand hospital named Hey Nath is under construction for the people of Salempur in Pakistan", he said.
"One of our friends is Ghanshyam, MLA in Pakistan", Baldevnathji said, greeting the foot marchers, adding, "Generally people of both the countries love each other, they are very few people who work to spread hatred amongst us. Mutual love between people of the two countries will create brotherhood and harmony, which is necessary for progress and prosperity."
Sandeep Pandey outside the Math
Pandey said, "When we met Sadaram Bapu in Lotana village, he was a very pleased that this kind of march came out to connect the hearts of the two countries. There are Hindu religious leaders who are very much secular and want good relations with Pakistan. After marching to north Gujarat we came to know that there is no poison of communalism in these areas."
Yet, he regretted, no space is given by the mainstream media to such religious leaders. "North Gujarat is connected to the Pakistan border. Yet there is no open way for Pakistan, which is unfortunate. Baldevnathji, Sadaram Bapu and many people want bus service should be started between Suigaam in India and Nagar Parker in Pakistan. Persons like Sadaram Bapu and Baldevnathji play an important role in creating harmony in north Gujarat. Being religious leaders, these people can play a role in people's diplomacy "
Pandey further said, "We asked Banadevnathji that in Pakistan there is a lot of tyranny with Hindus, they are forced to convert their religion, and some media organizations in India claim that there is no permission to construct temples. Baldevnathji replied, 'I have lived in Pakistan for a month in October 2017. Although my follower may belong to a particular community, Muslims of Pakistan also met me respectfully and gave us honour, as if they were our followers. I am constructing a hospital in salempur in Pakistan called Hey Nath. I found there is no forced conversion. Anyone can built temple , there was no need for permission, except that you are required a purchase or get a donated land. Even today, there is a Hindu Kingdom (Omar Kot)'."
The marchers will reach Nadabet border on June 30, which is the last stop. Kaushar Ali Saiyyed, one of the foot marchers, said, "I have police permission till Nandeshwari Mata but we are waiting for Nadabet border permission from BSF. We have written a letter to BSF IG and are in talks with BSF. Hopefully we will get the border permission before June 28.”

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