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A Pakistan court on Wednesday dismissed a petition that urged the federal government to issue a visa to a 29-year-old Indian national, who wanted to enter the country so that he could complete a marathon journey on foot to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage.
Shihab Bhai, who hails from Kerala, embarked on a 3,000-km journey on foot from his home state till the Wagah border last month, where he was stopped by Pakistan's immigration authorities as he did not have a visa.
On Wednesday, a Lahore High Court division bench comprising Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal and Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabbir dismissed an intra-court appeal filed by a local citizen Sarwar Taj on behalf of Shihab.
The single bench observed that the "petitioner was not related to the Indian citizen, nor did he hold his power of attorney to approach the court."
It also sought "a complete particulars of the Indian citizen," which the petitioner could not furnish.
The High Court's division bench on Wednesday upheld the decision of the single bench and dismissed the appeal for being not maintainable.
"Shihab pleaded before the immigration authorities that he was going to the Hajj on foot as he had already travelled 3,000 kms and should be allowed to enter the country on humanitarian grounds. He is from Indian state of Kerala and wanted a transit visa to reach Saudi Arabia via Iran," a Federal Investigation Agency official said.
Petitioner Taj, a resident of Lahore, argued that just as the Pakistan government issues visas to a number of Indian Sikhs in connection with the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak and on other occasions, in the same way it should also grant a visa to Shihab.
"Mr Shihab, who had started his on-foot journey from Kerala should also be treated in the same manner and permitted to enter Pakistan via Wagah border so that he can reach his final destination," Taj pleaded.
Taj challenged the decision of the single bench of the Lahore High Court that dismissed a petition seeking relief for the Indian national last month.
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, considered the holiest city for Muslims.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Thu, November 24 2022. 06:47 IST