Hajj: Indian enters Pakistan to complete his walking journey to Saudi Arabia for Hajj | News from India

LAHORE: An Indian national, previously denied a visa by a Pakistani court, entered the country on Tuesday to complete his marathon walking trip to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.
Shihab BhaiAged 29, he arrived in Pakistan through the Wagah border and was greeted by Sarwar Tajwho had filed an appeal in cd Supreme Court on behalf of Shihab, and chairman of Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation Pakistan Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi.
Qureshi told PTI that Shihab was very happy to get a visa to continue his journey to Mecca.
“He brought a message of love, friendship and brotherhood,” Qureshi said, adding that he wanted to hold an event in Shihab’s honor at the Lahore High Court premises, but could not do so due to security concerns.
Shihab, who hails from Kerala, embarked on a 3,000km trek on foot in October last year from his home state to the Wagah border, where he was stopped by Pakistan’s immigration authorities because he did not have a visa .
“Shihab pleaded before immigration authorities that he would perform Hajj on foot and had already traveled 3,000 km and should be allowed to enter the country for humanitarian reasons. He wanted a transit visa to reach Saudi Arabia via Iran,” a Federal Investigation Agency official said.
Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, considered the holiest city for Muslims.
Taj, a resident of Lahore, petitioned the Lahore High Court (LHC) requesting that Shihab be granted a transit visa to enable him to travel to Saudi Arabia.
He argued that just as the Pakistani government issues visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to attend Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary and other occasions, it should also grant a visa to Shihab.
The LHC rejected his petition, noting that “the petitioner was not related to the Indian national, nor did he have his power of attorney to apply to the court”.
Taj later challenged the decision in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.


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