Hyderabad: A caravan of seven Shia Muslims, including a 66-year-old hotelier from Chatta Bazaar in the Old City, began a pilgrimage on foot to holy centres in Iran and Iraq.
Mr Syed Abdul Ali, who runs a Seven Star Hotel, is going on foot for the fourth time. “It will take at least seven months for us to travel across Iran and Iraq to visit all the pilgrim centres. We are travelling on foot as we believe it will get us more rewards,” he said.
The group includes Mr Ali Asgher, 31, Mr Syed Shareef-ul-Hassan, 28, Mr Mir Asim Ali Mosvi, 33, Mr Mir Sadeq Ali Naqvi, 33, Mr Syed Ali Mohammed Razvi, 31, and Mr Syed Muqtaar Ahmed, 37.
In his three journeys earlier, he was accompanied by 14 men in 1998 and 1999 and six in 2009. “In our earlier journeys, we passed through Pakistan only once. Owing to visa issues, we are taking a flight from Amritsar to Tehran in Iran. After landing there we will go to Zahedan and resume our journey on foot,” he said.The group plans to walk 30 to 35 km daily.
“From Iran, we will go to Iraq and again back to Iran. There is not much of a problem in obtaining visa from Iran to Iraq. But in Iraq we are not allowed to travel on foot and will have to go by bus on a few routes,” said Mr Shareef-ul-Hassan.
The journey commenced from Mir Momin Daira. The caravan would be covering 6,000 km and was expected to complete the pilgrimage by August end....