Pakistani adventurist reaches UAE after exploring 45 countries on a bicycle

Kamran Ali, a Pakistani adventurer who travels internationally on his bicycle, upon reaching his destination in Alaska in 2019. Ali began the journey from Argentina four years ago. (Photo courtesy: Kamran Ali)
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Updated 16 January 2023
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Pakistani adventurist reaches UAE after exploring 45 countries on a bicycle

  • Kamran Ali has covered about 50,000 kilometers on his trusted two-wheeler, is currently on his way to South Africa
  • Ali left his job as a software developer in Germany and decided to follow his passion to travel around the world on his bike

DUBAI: A Pakistani traveler and adventurer, Kamran Ali, entered the United Arab Emirates from Oman last week after exploring 45 countries across four continents on a bicycle in the last five years.

Born in Layyah, which is located in Punjab province, Ali has covered about 50,000 kilometers on his trusted two-wheeler and is currently on his way to South Africa.

Speaking to Arab News on Sunday, he said that his dream being up close with nature, people and diverse cultures took 13 years to come true.

“I used to bike my way to neighboring cities and my parents used to get furious,” he laughed while recalling his passion for cycling at an early age.




Kamran Ali, a Pakistani adventurer who travels internationally on his bicycle, is passing through Monument Valley in the United States in 2016 during his trip from Argentina to Alaska (Photo courtesy: Kamran Ali)

Ali finished his postgraduate studies in 2002 before deciding to go to Germany for higher education.

“I was on a plane from Islamabad to Frankfurt, and we must be flying over Eastern Turkiye, when the beauty of the landscape struck,” he recalled. “That’s when I made a secret pledge to myself to see all such places in the world from close by.”




Kamran Ali, a Pakistani adventurer who travels internationally on his bicycle, while taking a breather in the initial days of his four-year-long journey from Argentina to Alaska. (Photo courtesy: Kamran Ali)

Years later, in 2011, he left his job in Germany as a software developer after doctorate and started the international bike tour to Pakistan from Rostock. However, he had to abandon the adventure trip within six months due to the tragic death of his mother.

In March 2015, Ali resumed his tour from where he had left off in Sivas, Turkiye, and covered 10,000 kilometers to reached Layyah in August that year.

“I still wanted to go on,” he said. “So I planned the longest trip ever from the tip of South America to the North Pole.”




Kamran Ali, a Pakistani adventurer who travels internationally on his bicycle, at the start of his four-year-long trip from Argentina in South America to Alaska in 2016 (Photo courtesy: Kamran Ali)

He added he was the only Pakistani who had traveled the entire length of Americas on a bicycle. Ali said it took him four years to cover 33,100 kilometers from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Alaska in 2016.

A couple of weeks ago, the Pakistani adventurer started another tour – this time from the Middle East to South Africa. He started his journey from Muscat, Oman, in the beginning of January and reached Dubai in two weeks.

He now plans to go to Saudi Arabia, take a ferry to Sudan, and begin his journey through Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania to reach South Africa.

“Cycling for me is no longer a hobby or sport or even an adventure,” Ali said. “It’s a way of life. My bicycle travels have taught me that the world could be a better place if people knew about each other a little more. Realizing that we are one can help us become more compassionate.”




Kamran Ali, a Pakistani adventurer who travels internationally on his bicycle, can his seen in Muscat, Oman, earlier this year while beginning his tour to South Africa via Dubai (Photo courtesy: Kamran Ali)

Imbued with the spirit to travel to every corner of the world, he initially embarked on his international tours by using his savings. Things changed since then and now Ali tries to secure sponsorships by telling stories from around the world with colorful pictures, videos and writings.

As an avid photographer, he also displayed his photos at some local exhibitions.

“I’m pursuing my dream for a deeper satisfaction by connecting with places, listening to stories, and learning lessons while being on the road,” he said. “I have no intention of stopping until I’m forced to.”




Kamran Ali, a Pakistani adventurer who travels internationally on his bicycle, can be seen at the railway station of his hometown, Layyah, in Pakistan in 2016. (Photo courtesy: Kamran Ali)

 


Pakistan deploys advanced warship for regional maritime security, port protection

Updated 7 sec ago
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Pakistan deploys advanced warship for regional maritime security, port protection

  • PNS Yarmook is equipped with latest weapons and equipment, capable of dealing with multifaceted threats
  • It will also be used for ‘naval diplomacy’ during its deployment period and visit various ports around the region

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has deployed a warship for regional maritime security and to protect commercial vessels arriving at its ports, according to a statement released by the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), on Friday.
The development comes as the country plans to upgrade its southern port facilities to strengthen its economy by bolstering trade with countries worldwide.
Pakistan has also offered the landlocked Central Asian states access to its harbor in Karachi while aiming to increase its capacity for handling incoming and outgoing cargo.
“The Pakistan Navy has deployed the warship PNS Yarmook on a regional maritime security patrol in the Indian Ocean,” the ISPR said in a statement. “Equipped with modern helicopters, PNS Yarmook will ensure the safety of commercial vessels arriving at and departing from Pakistani ports.”
The statement said the warship would participate in joint operations and exercises with friendly countries in addition to its own operations.
PNS Yarmook will also be part of “naval diplomacy” and visit various regional ports during its deployment.
“This ship is equipped with the latest weapons and equipment, capable of dealing with multifaceted threats and conducting extensive maritime operations,” the ISPR continued.
“Pakistan Navy warships regularly perform duties on regional maritime security patrols,” it added.


Pakistan announces $250 million investment by Abu Dhabi Ports over 10 years in Karachi

Updated 19 July 2024
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Pakistan announces $250 million investment by Abu Dhabi Ports over 10 years in Karachi

  • Senior company delegation briefs PM Sharif on plans to upgrade the container terminal facility
  • The improved infrastructure will help the docking of ships carrying up to 120,000 tons of cargo

ISLAMABAD: Abu Dhabi Ports Pakistan will invest $250 million in the country over a period of ten years, an official statement announced Friday, as it plans to build an advanced port facility in the country’s seaside metropolis of Karachi.
Last year in May, the leading maritime and logistics provider based in the United Arab Emirates, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Karachi Port Trust to construct a premier transshipment hub in the city.
The Pakistani officials expressed hope at the time that the UAE company would help transform Karachi Port into a world-class maritime facility.
“Abu Dhabi Ports Pakistan will invest $250 million in Karachi Port over the next ten years,” said an official statement released after a high-level delegation of the company called upon Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“A state-of-the-art, fully-equipped multipurpose terminal, being constructed with an investment of $130 million, will be completed in the next two years,” it added while quoting from a briefing given by the delegation members.
The statement said the company wanted to improve container terminal facilities at the Karachi Port by installing automated gates, an additional 200 meters of berth extension and crane rail tracks.
“The construction of new infrastructure at the terminal will allow the docking of ships carrying up to 120,000 tons of cargo, thereby increasing economic activities at the port,” it continued.
The prime minister hoped digital technology and modern machinery would improve the management of goods and containers at the port.
He also directed the authorities to improve the container system to minimize the clearance time.
“The agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports aims at transparency, increased efficiency, and improved port operations,” he was quoted as saying.
He assured the UAE company of his government’s full support regarding the implementation of Pakistan’s agreement with it to maximize its benefits.
The prime minister also instructed railway officials to provide freight wagons and necessary rolling stock to make the project operational and enhance cargo transportation from the terminal.


US calls for media safety following journalist’s killing in Pakistan’s northwest

Updated 19 July 2024
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US calls for media safety following journalist’s killing in Pakistan’s northwest

  • Malik Hassan Zaib was fatally shot by unknown gunmen on motorbike in KP’s Nowshera city
  • State Department says journalists should be allowed to carry out their duties worldwide

ISLAMABAD: The US State Department on Thursday emphasized the importance of journalist safety worldwide while commenting on the killing of a Pakistani reporter in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by unidentified gunmen last week.
Malik Hassan Zaib, who was fatally shot by unknown people on a motorbike in KP’s Nowshera city, was the eighth journalist to be killed in Pakistan in the ongoing year.
His assassination was condemned by press freedom organizations that maintained it highlighted the increasing dangers faced by journalists in the South Asian state.
Asked about the development during the State Department media briefing, the principal deputy spokesperson, Vedant Patel, said it was vital for journalists to be able to carry out their responsibilities anywhere in the world.
“Journalists need to be protected and they need to be allowed to do their jobs, whether that be the United States, whether that be Pakistan, whether that be in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “That is something that we feel strongly, and it’s something that is deeply personal to the Secretary [Antony Blinken].”
“It’s obviously personal to us and this team having – spending most of our days engaging with you all,” he continued. “But simply put, journalists need to be protected and need to be able to do their jobs.”
The Pakistani correspondent’s death also prompted New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists to urge the Pakistani authorities to deal with the “horrifying wave of violence” against the media.
It also asked the government to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.
“The continued impunity for those who attack journalists is creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in Pakistan, which prevents the practice of free and independent journalism,” it added.


Pakistan forms committee to identify businesses supporting Israel as religious party calls off sit-in

Updated 19 July 2024
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Pakistan forms committee to identify businesses supporting Israel as religious party calls off sit-in

  • TLP supporters staged a pro-Palestine sit-in at Faizabad Interchange connecting Rawalpindi and Islamabad last Saturday
  • They asked the government to declare Israeli PM ‘a terrorist’ and send more food and medical supplies to Gaza Strip

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has announced the formation of a committee to identify companies financially supporting Israel’s war in Gaza and recommend banning their products, according to a close aide to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday.
Rana Sanaullah, the PM’s political adviser, shared the decision after negotiating an end to a sit-in by the religious group Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which was demanding an official ban on such products and increased food and medical assistance to Palestinians.
The TLP, which also asked the government to declare Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a terrorist,” called off its week-long sit-in after reaching an agreement with the government, as shared by the information ministry.
“Israel has emerged as a terrorist state and Netanyahu has committed war crimes,” Sanaullah said in a news conference in Islamabad after the TLP agreement. “Pakistan’s prime minister has condemned this in strong words during the Shanghai conference and Pakistan government will continue to condemn this on every forum, using all the possible steps to help Palestinian Muslims.”
“We have also agreed on and will follow it with details that not just Israel, but all the products related to them or those companies who, in any way, directly or indirectly, are involved in this cruelty or assisting that country [Israel] and its forces in any form, will be boycotted and use of their products will be banned,” he continued. “We have formed a committee in this regard, and we will go in detail to find out the companies that might be linked to Israel and if we may be using their products and because of that these forces who are involved in this cruelty are being helped financially.”
Many people in Pakistan have called for a boycott of foreign companies suspected of supporting Israel since the beginning of the war in Gaza.
Social media campaigns and public figures have also voiced support for such a boycott, urging consumers to choose alternative products.
Israel’s has so far claimed at least 39,000 lives, many of them women and children. The casualties have sparked anger and protests worldwide, including in Pakistan, where the country’s civil society and political factions have consistently led pro-Palestine rallies.
The TLP set up its protest camp last Saturday at a busy traffic juncture, the Faizabad Interchange, connecting Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Known for its hard-line stance on blasphemy laws, the party also staged similar sit-ins at the same spot in the past, significantly disrupting the flow of traffic between the two cities.


Pakistani minister announces plan to bear prisoner repatriation expenses from Sri Lanka

Updated 19 July 2024
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Pakistani minister announces plan to bear prisoner repatriation expenses from Sri Lanka

  • Abdul Aleem Khan’s decision will bring back more than 40 Pakistani prisoners to the country from Sri Lankan jails
  • According to the interior ministry, their release was delayed due to difficulties in meeting the required expenses

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Communication Abdul Aleem Khan has promised to bear the repatriation expenses of Pakistani prisoners in Sri Lankan jails, said an official statement on Friday, making it possible for them to return to their home country by removing a major obstacle.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka agreed to take immediate steps to ensure the return of 43 prisoners in a meeting held between the Sri Lankan High Commissioner, Admiral (r) Ravindra Chandra, and Federal Interior Minister, Mohsin Naqvi, in May.
However, their release had been delayed due to the financial issues.
“Federal Minister for Communications Abdul Aleem Khan has announced to bear all expenses for the repatriation of Pakistani prisoners stranded in Sri Lanka for years,” the interior ministry said in a statement. “These prisoners will now be able to return home soon after completing the necessary procedures.”
The interior minister expressed his gratitude to Khan for taking interest in the matter, applauding his gesture which he said would be “a breath of fresh air for the prisoners and their families.”
According to Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), nearly 14,000 Pakistani citizens are languishing in prisons across the world.
JPP, a local advocacy group, represents vulnerable Pakistan prisoners at home and abroad.