The Pakistani government has refused to grant a visa to a 29-year-old man from Kerala who covered 3,000 kilometer journey on foot to Makkah to perform Haj.
On Sunday, the Shahi Imam of Punjab, Maulana Mohammad Usman Ludhianvi, issued a statement in a press conference and said that Shihab Chottur is being denied visa by the Pakistan government. However Shihab has not officially confirmed the same.
Speaking to a media, Shahi Imam said, “The Embassy of Pakistan in Delhi first assured Shihab Chottur to start the Haj pilgrimage on foot, when he reach close to the Indo-Pakistan border, he will be given a visa to Pakistan.”
Shahi Imam further adds, “The Embassy gave the logic that the visa would expire if given in advance. So the visa would be issued as soon as Shihab would arrive at the border.”
Shahi Imam Punjab said that when Shihab Chottur has reached close to the Wagah border after traveling about 3,000 kilometer on foot, the government of Pakistan has now categorically refused to grant visa.
Maulana Usman has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this subject by email and has demanded that the Indian government should help Shihab Chottur to go to Makkah via China instead of Pakistan
Shihab Chottur all the way to Makkah on foot is on the 124th day, October 3. Currently, Shihab is in Khasa, Punjab near Wagah border and he reached Punjab on September 7, 2022.
Shihab Chottur journey
Shihab Chottur, who runs a supermarket, set off on his incredible 8,600 kilometer journey from Athavanad, near Kottakkal, in Malappuram district, Kerala, on June 2. Every day, he walks at least 25 kilometers.
He will reach Makkah for Haj in 2023 after traversing India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait, and will finally reach Saudi Arabia sometime in early February 2023.
He will apply for the Haj pilgrimage after his arrival in Saudi Arabia and plans to cover the entire distance in 280 days.
Shihab, grew up hearing stories of people travelling all the way from Kerala to the holy land of Makkah on foot during ancient times which made it his life’s dream to walk all the way to Makkah.
Shihab has been getting a rousing welcome as he passes through states with a large number of people thronging roads to greet him and catch a glimpse of him.