Jeddah: Irfan Mohammed
Published — Friday 6 September 2013
Last update 2 October 2013 12:38 pm
Kharlzada Kasrat, a Pakistani man who entered the Kingdom on foot from Pakistan, embarked on a walk for peace from Karachi to Makkah on June 7 and arrived in the Kingdom through the Jordanian border on Monday.
Kasrat, who twice staged the longest peace walks in the world, was provided with a medical team and security escorts by Saudi authorities upon his arrival into the Kingdom. He walked through Iran, Iraq and Jordan. The total distance from Karachi to Makkah is 6,387 km by foot.
Speaking with Arab News, he said he had chosen Makkah as his final destination given its spiritual significance. He said he was congratulated by residents in Tabuk in large numbers. He said he was touched with the warm welcome and hospitality of Saudis when he crossed into border.
“The purpose of my visit is to promote peace on the basis of humanity, as Islam preaches. Pakistani tribes that were previously known for their hospitality are now branded as terrorists and are being subject to persecution,” said Kasrat.
“I sold my personal items to embark on the walk as I lack financial resources.”
Kasrat said: “I am thankful to Saudi authorities and I hope they will provide me with accommodation.”
He said he had walked 1,301 km in Pakistan, 2,640 km in Iran, 600 km in Iraq and 800 km in Jordan before reaching the Kingdom.
Kharlzada has recalled his harrowing experience in the Iraqi desert, where he walked a 100-km stretch that was completely deserted.
He also said that militants in Baluchistan in Pakistan attempted to kidnap him. He said he slept at a check post in Tabuk upon arrival, then left Tabuk hoping to reach Madinah on Sept. 20 and Makkah on Oct. 1. Kharlzada is walking on average 50 km per day.
It took him two days to reach Tabuk from the border.