Indian man reaches Pakistan, traveling on foot to perform Hajj.
Shihab Chottur, an Indian citizen who is 29 years old and intends to do the Hajj in Makkah, crossed into Pakistan on Tuesday through the Wagah border. The Keralite had begun his 8,640-kilometer trek from Malappuram on June 2, 2022, and has been waiting for his visa in Amritsar for the previous four months in order to continue through Pakistan.
From Kerala to Punjab, Chottur has travelled 3,300 kilometres on foot, traversing seven states. In September of last year, he was denied entry to Pakistan since there is no agreement between New Delhi and Islamabad about transit visas for people travelling on foot.
Chottur decided to remain in a school in Amritsar while he awaited his visa as a result. He was granted a two-day transit visa for Lahore and is presently in Pakistan. The 29-year-old posted a video of himself crossing the Wagah-Attari border on Instagram with the caption “Alhamdullilah reached Pakistan.”
The Hajj aspirant claims that the preparation and licences necessary for his tour are what present the true challenge for him, not the distance he must walk on foot. “Getting authorization to continue the trek on foot took roughly six months,” he admitted. He claimed, however, that he never gave up hope and carried on visiting the embassies in Delhi before securing approval to continue his voyage.
According to sources, Chottur has been denied travel from Lahore to Taftan due to security concerns; nevertheless, the authorities have granted him a two-day transit visa, allowing him to fly from Lahore Airport to his final destination. It should be noted that Usman Arshad, a Pakistani student from Okara, is also walking to Makkah with the hopes of doing the Hajj there this year. He is currently in Iran and will next pass via Kuwait and Iraq on his way to Makkah.