Indian Man, Walking To Saudi Arabia To Perform Haj, Enters Pakistan

Indian man, walking to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj, entering Pakistan

Shihab Bhai, 29 years old, arrived in Pakistan via the Wagah border.


An Indian national, who had previously been denied a visa by a Pakistani court, entered the country on Tuesday to complete a marathon by walking to Saudi Arabia to do the Haj.

Shihab Bhai, 29, arrived in Pakistan across the Wagah border and was greeted by Sarwar Taj, who had filed a petition on behalf of Shihab with the Supreme Court, and Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi, President of the Bhagat Singh Pakistan Memorial Foundation.

Qureshi told PTI that Shihab was happy to receive a visa to continue his journey to Mecca.

“He brought a message of love, friendship and brotherhood,” said Qureshi, adding that he wanted to organize an event in Shihab’s honor on the grounds of Lahore High Court but was unable to do so. for security reasons.

Shihab, from Kerala, began the 3,000km hike last October from his home state to the Wagah border, where he was stopped by Pakistani immigration authorities for not having a visa.

“Shihab begged the immigration authorities that he would do the Hajj on foot and had traveled 3,000 km and should be allowed to enter the country for humanitarian reasons. He wanted a transit visa to arrive. Saudi Arabia via Iran,” a Federal Investigation Agency official has said.

The Haj is an annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, considered the holiest city for Muslims.

Taj, a resident of Lahore, has applied to the Lahore High Court (LHC) asking Shihab to be granted a transit visa to allow him to travel to Saudi Arabia.

He argued that just as the Pakistani government issues visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in Guru Nanak’s birthday celebrations and on other occasions, the government should also issue visas to Shihab.

The LHC dismissed his suit, noting that “the petitioner is not related to an Indian citizen, nor does he have a power of attorney to access the court.” The Taj later challenged this decision in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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