Peace walker's long trek from Wellington to Chch

Kasrat Rai on his peace walk from Wellington to Christchurch. Photo: Qaiser Rashid / Supplied
Kasrat Rai on his peace walk from Wellington to Christchurch. Photo: Qaiser Rashid / Supplied
A world record-holder for walks across the globe is waving a flag of peace all the way from Wellington to Christchurch to remember the mosque shootings.

Kasrat Rai, who hails from Pakistan, holds two world records and dozens of accolades for his peace walks.

One of his longest walks took 117 days from Karachi to and Makkah, about 6380km.

He began his journey to Christchurch on March 5 at the footsteps of Parliament, where he was sent off with well wishes from ministers and Pakistan High Commissioner Dr Abdul Malik.

Pakistani Association of Canterbury member Qaiser Rashid. Photo: RNZ / Eden Fusitu'a
Pakistani Association of Canterbury member Qaiser Rashid. Photo: RNZ / Eden Fusitu'a
Pakistani Association of Canterbury NZ member Qaiser Rashid has helped facilitate the walk and met up with Rai yesterday.

He said Rai was in good spirits in spite of the strenuous 350km journey.

He had just passed Cheviot, so was about 252km through the trek.

"I was amazed at the pace he was keeping, he was going at about an average eight to 10km/h walking, which is amazing."

Rai with his Pakistan flag. Photo: Qaiser Rashid / Supplied
Rai with his Pakistan flag. Photo: Qaiser Rashid / Supplied
Rai began planning his trip in the middle of last year, hoping to raise awareness on the importance of unity, Rashid said.

"One of the ways of bringing about peace is to make people aware as to what is happening and the catastrophe and the magnitude and enormity of the whole activity and so obviously he is there to spread [peace] ... and [show] how important peace is, what it brings about in our life."

On his way, Rai has met many locals who have been supportive of his cause, including schoolchildren in Cheviot.

Rashid said while he was accompanying Rai yesterday to ensure his safety, other cars began to join in behind him to offer encouragement.

A release from the Pakistan High Commissioner said Rai hoped his walk would "send a message of peace and brotherhood to the whole world" and also pay tribute to New Zealanders "for having been so peaceful nation and a symbol of universal peace".

He is expected to arrive in time for the memorial on Sunday, where in the last phases of his journey, he will be joined by members of the Christchurch community.

 

suv-updated-banner.jpg

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter

ev-and-hybrid-banner-updated_0.jpg