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INDO-PAK RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AGREEMENT: 1953

The Indo Pakistan Agreement On Maintenance Of Places Of Religious Worship signed on August 4, 1953. This agreement enjoins on both countries to protect, preserve and maintain places of religious worship in their respective areas and provide facilities for visiting them.
Minutes of the meeting held at Karachi in the room of Mr. G. Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan, on the 1st and 4th August, 1953, to discuss the question of protection, preservation and maintenance of places of religious worship in India and Pakistan.
PRESENT
INDIA
1. Mr. Mehr Chand Khanna, Adviser, Ministry of Rehabilitation.
2. Mr. K. P. Mathrani, I.C.S., Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rehabilitation.
3. Mr. P. G. Zachariah, Deputy Secretary.
PAKISTAN
1. Mr. Ahmed E.H. Jaffer, Adviser, Ministry of Refugees and Rehabilitation,
2. Mr. G, Ahmed, P.S.P., Secretary, Ministry of the Interior.
1. The question of places of religious worship was discussed. It was felt that:
(i) Every effort should be made to ensure that places of religious worship in both countries are properly protected and maintained and their sanctity preserved particularly in the case of buildings of historical importance; buildings which have been damaged should be repaired;
(ii) Increased facilities for visits to places of worship in both countries should be granted to pilgrims on their auspicious days; the Sewadars and Khadims at such places of worship should be granted facilities for residence and adequate protection; and
(iii) The question of properties attached to these shrines should be dealt with separately from the general question of Trust properties. It was suggested by Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior that the matter should be discussed further with the Ministry of Refugees & Rehabilitation, Government of Pakistan, who are concerned with it.
2. The proposal regarding the appointment of a joint commission of the representatives of the two Governments for enquiring into matters referred to in paragraph 1 above and for making a factual survey about the condition of the important shrines and holy places after visiting them and making recommendations in the light of such enquiries and survey, was considered and it was felt that its further consideration should be deferred to a later stage.

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