‘Pant-Mirza Agreement’ in News Recently

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The full name of Pant Mirza Agreement is “Pant Mirza Agreement To Prevent Border Incidents And Protect Places Of Worship” of 1955.

This agreement pertains to steps to be taken to prevent border incidents in Punjab. It also refers to the 1953 agreement regarding protection of places of worship and orders setting up of a Joint Committee to work out the details for implementing it.

The following were present in the meeting which finalized this agreement:

INDIA SIDE:

1. Shri Govind Ballabh Pant, Minister for Home Affairs.

2. Shri C.C.Desai, High Commissioner for India in Pakistan.

3. Shri A. V. Pai, Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs.

4. Shri S. Dutt, Commonwealth Secretary.

5. Shri V. C. Trivedi, Director, Pakistan Division, Ministry of External Affairs.

PAKISTAN SIDE:

1. Maj. Gen. Iskander Mirza, Minister for the Interior.

2. Raj Ghazanfar Ali Khan, High Commissioner for Pakistan in India.

(1) Prevention of Border Incidents:

It was agreed that all possible steps should be taken to prevent border incidents. A joint committee of representatives of the Governments of India and Pakistan, assisted by representatives of the Governments of the two Punjab’s, should evolve a plan indicating the measures to be adopted for preventing recurrence of such incidents. The Committee should submit immediately a report for the consideration of the Ministers.

(2) Shrines and Holy Places:

The Ministers referred to the Agreement reached between the two Governments on this issue in July-August, 1953 and decided that a Joint Committee of the representatives of the two Governments should be formed to work out the details of implementation of the terms of this Agreement.

The Committee should, inter alia, prepare a list of important shrines in West Pakistan and certain selected areas in India, the protection and preservation of which should be the special responsibility of the Government concerned. The committee should also consider the question of properties attached to these shrines and the income derived there-from in accordance with the July-August 1953 Agreement.

The Committee should submit its report to the Ministers as early as possible and in any case within three months of its formation. If necessary, the Committee might visit the shrines concerned in the two countries.

The two Ministers agreed that all facilities and assistance should be given to pilgrims visiting shrines and holy places in the other country either as individual pilgrims or as pilgrim parties. In accordance with the Indo-Pakistan Agreement of the 9th April 1955 on liberalization of travel facilities between the two countries a revised passport and visa scheme was being worked out by the two Governments. Provision should be made in the scheme for free and liberal grant of travel facilities to pilgrims.

Agreement includes visits to shrines of Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti (Ajmer), Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya (Delhi), Hazrat Amir Khusro (Delhi), Hazrat Mujaddid Alf Sani (Sirhind Sharif) and Hazrat Khwaja Alauddin Ali Ahmed Sabir (Kalyar Sharif) in India and Shadani Darbar (Hyat Pitafi), Shri Katasraj Dham (Lahore), Gurudwaras of Shri Nankana Sahib (Rawalpindi), Shri Panja Sahib (Rawalpindi) and Shri Dera Sahib (Lahore) in Pakistan.

Under the Protocol it is the obligation of the concerned country to make every effort to ensure that the places of worship in the agreed list of shrines under the Protocol are properly maintained and their sanctity preserved. Government of India ensures that these Shrines in India are properly maintained and their sanctity preserved.

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