Islamabad: A 24-year-old Pakistani motorcyclist travelled over 40,000 km across 17 countries around the world on a motorbike with the aim of projecting a "soft image" of his country.

Moin Khan, a graduate from the San Francisco State University, has been living in the US for the past six years and working as a part-time swimming instructor.

He began his journey July 10, 2011, and worked hard to interact with people all over the world to dispel the negative image of Pakistan, the Daily Times reported.

Khan had to face several hardships during his journey, including three serious accidents in which two of his ribs were broken. His motorbike too was badly damaged in the accidents.

The journey that started from San Francisco, took Khan across Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Iran and finally to his native Pakistan.

On reaching his home city Lahore Dec 31, Khan was welcomed by hundreds of people at a special ceremony.

Khan entered the city with a national flag hoisted on his motorbike. A special squad of 12 professional motorbike riders escorted him into the city, where Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif declared him as "a great star of the nation".

The young Pakistani's odyssey across the world was covered on the website pakwheels.com as well as on Facebook and YouTube.

Khan said he met some incredible people from different nationalities, ethnicities and religions, who showered undue kindness on him, a total stranger to them.

He later announced he would distribute five motorbikes free of cost to girls as he wanted to establish a "Women Motorcycle Riders Group" in Lahore.

(Agencies)