Carrying Pakistani and Chinese flags on his back, 78-year-old Rehber Ali on Wednesday started a 100-kilometre walk on the Karakoram Highway from his native village in upper Hunza to Aliabad, the district headquarters, to pay tribute to the doctors of Red Army of China who saved his life 40 years ago during the KKH construction.
Before start of his three-day walk on the occasion of Nauroz to be culminated on Pakistan Day, Ali of a Khyber village, said when he was 38 years old in 1968, he became paralysed due to an undiagnosed severe pain in his legs.
“At that time the area had no medical facility, nor had local people easy access to other areas of the country,” he said, adding at that time locals used traditional methods to treat diseases, but in his case the disease was undiagnosed and all the methods failed to cure it.
In 1968 during construction of KKH, doctors of Red Army of China set up medical camps at various areas to provide medical facility to labourers and engineers as well as the locals, he said, adding the China Red Army doctors also established a medical field hospital in Passu village of upper Hunza.
“I was hospitalised immediately in this facility and was treated by the Chinese doctors and became fully healthy after two-month treatment,” he said, adding “Today on occasion of Nauroz I decided to start 100-kilometere walk on KKH from my home town to Aliabad as a gesture of thanking the Chinese doctors and celebrating Pak-China friendship.