KARACHI: Singer and activist Fakhre Alam claimed on Sunday that he has become the first Pakistani to circumnavigate the globe solo.
In a message on Twitter, the 42-year-old singer said he wanted to give the good news to all Pakistanis that his Mission Parwaaz had been accomplished. “Pakistan aap sab ko khushkabree deina chaata houn ... #MissionParwwaz Mission Accomplished #PakistanZindaabad,” he tweeted.
Alam began his journey on a single-engine aircraft (Pilatus PC 12NG) from the Clearwater airport in Florida, the United States, on Oct 10. He landed at various airports in 22 countries, including Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Russia, for re-fuelling, supplies, rest and plane maintenance.
After circumnavigating the entire world, he completed his journey on Sunday (Nov 4) and reached the same airport from where he began it.
In another tweet, Alam said: “The flag is up, it’s done, Pakistan congrats we have our first successful circumnavigation of the globe in any mode of transportation.”
He also posted a video message on Twitter after landing in Florida and said: “Pakistan, news from Florida, Mission Parwaaz, mission accomplished.”
Alam faced a major setback during the final leg of his journey when he was detained at a Russian airport for travelling on an expired visa. He, however, managed to get in touch with the Pakistani Ambassador to Russia, Qazi Khalilullah, who provided assistance to him in the continuation of his mission.
Before leaving for his mission, Fakhre Alam reportedly said: “I have to do 26,000 nautical miles and fly through all the mediums of the planet to achieve circumnavigation. We’re aiming for a 28-day schedule.
“The rules state I have to use the same aircraft and be in control of it at all time. I’ll be flying to 30 airports around the world.” Alam reportedly said three years ago: “Mission Parwaaz is for the people of Pakistan.”
He wrote on his website that his mission was a fulfilment of childhood dream. “It was one man’s dream to bring pride and glory to his country and its people. It was a journey with many hurdles, disappointments overcome by self belief and persistence.”
Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2018