LAHORE: Shihab Chottur, a 29-year-old Indian man travelling on foot to Makkah with the hopes of performing Hajj there, reached Pakistan on Tuesday through the Wagah border.
The Keralite had been awaiting his visa in Amritsar for the past four months to be able to continue his journey through Pakistan after having started his 8,640km journey from Malappuram on June 2, 2022.
Chottur has so far walked 3,300km, covering seven states from Kerala to Punjab.
He was prevented from entering Pakistan in September last year as there is no agreement in place between New Delhi and Islamabad for transit visas for individuals traveling by foot.
Chottur had therefore opted to stay at a school in Amritsar as he waited for his visa.
He has now reached Pakistan after receiving a two-day transit visa for Lahore.
The 29-year-old took to his Instagram account to share a video of himself crossing the Wagah-Attari border announcing “Alhamdullilah reached Pakistan”.
The Hajj aspirant maintains that for him, the journey is not difficult because of the miles he needs to cover afoot but rather the real difficulty lay with the preparation and permissions required for his travel.
“It took about six months to acquire permission to pursue the pilgrimage on foot,” he revealed.
However, he asserted that he never lost hope and continued to visit the embassies in Delhi before finally getting permission to continue his journey.
Sources have said that due to security concerns, Chottur has not been permitted from Lahore to Taftan but the authorities have issued him a two-day transit visa allowing him to fly from Lahore Airport to his next destination.
It may be noted that a Pakistani student from Okara, named Usman Arshad, is also travelling by foot to Makkah with the hope to perform Hajj there this year.
He is presently in Iran and will travel through Iraq and Kuwait before finally reaching Makkah.