PESHAWAR, April 23: Kharlzada Kasrat Rai, who twice staged the longest peace walks in the world, has announced to march from Dera Ismail Khan to Swat on foot for promotion of peace and tourism in the province.
In a statement issued here on Monday, Mr Kharlzada said he would begin his walk from DI Khan on April 26 and end it in Mingora on May 12.
“As per schedule, the visit will be via Yarak, Tsjazai, Hamdan, Karak, Lachi, Kohat, Peshawar, Pabbi, Nowshera, Mardan, Takhbai, Dargai, Batkhela and Chakdara,” he said.
The peace worker said the walk had been sponsored by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Corporation but the people belonging to different walks of life would welcome him at different places.
Civil Society Network leader Idress Kamal told Dawn that arrangements had been finalised for his welcome as it was a noble cause and need of the hour.
Paying best wishes and compliments to those extending support to him, Mr Rai said the walk was to promote tourism and deliver a message to the entire world that Pakistan was a peaceful nation.
“I am a two times world record holder for the longest peace walk. I first completed a peace walk in 2007 and then in 2011 covering a distance of 2287.06km in 72 days from Khyber to Karachi,” he said.
Mr Kharlzada said his efforts for peace had been appreciated by the government and NGOs at different levels.
“On one hand, our nation is experiencing energy crisis, recession and terrorism but on the other, terrorists have destroyed our tourism industry, sports, youth, education, health, culture and environment. Now, tourists don’t want to come to this most beautiful part of the world, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. With this in view, I proposed ‘Peace Walk’ from DI Khan to Mingora. I am thankful to the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for not only approving this most needed walk but also supporting me in carrying it out,” he said.