GILGIT: A cyclist from Gilgit-Baltistan has completed 2,800 kilometres solo tour from Balochistan to Khunjerab Top to highlight and promote ecotourism and biodiversity in Pakistan.
Abid Baig, 31, from Hunza claims to have performed the longest and the fastest ever solo cycle ride in Pakistan.
Mr Baig recently started the journey from Hingol National Park Balochistan situated at the sea level. He paddled 2,800 kilometres distance covering Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan in 10 days and 11 hours, and arrived at the Khunjerab Top situated at 15,400 feet.
A warm reception was given to him at various points of GB.
Civil society members, government officials, including senior minister Ubaidullah Baig received the cyclist when he arrived in Gilgit.
He also received a hero’s welcome on his arrival in his home town of Hunza, with people dancing on traditional music to celebrate his achievement.
Talking to Dawn, Abid Baig said he had already taken part in many cycle race competitions in Pakistan, including the Tour de Khunjerab cycle race in 2019.
He said the basic aim of the tour from Balochistan to Khunjerab was to promote ecotourism and biodiversity in Pakistan.
He said raising awareness about sensitive and fragile environment and responsible tourism was the need of the hour to ensure a greener Pakistan.
“I started my journey from sea level where temperature was above 40 degrees Celsius, and when I arrived at Khunjerab the temperature was minus 14 degree Celsius.
“I came across deserts, green pastures and snow-capped mountains during my trip. This diversity can only be experienced in Pakistan,” Mr Baig said. He said Pakistan was safe country from Balochistan to Gilgit-Baltistan to travel and visit. “People across Pakistan are hospitable, welcoming and peace loving,” he added.
Mr Baig said promoting a green Pakistan was the main objective of his tour.
Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan met the cyclist in his office and appreciated his effort. He also presented a souvenir to Mr Baig in recognition of his achievement.
GB Assembly Deputy Speaker Nazir Ahmed also congratulated the young cyclist on his achievement.
Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2021