Dubai: Pakistani singer Fakhr-e-Alam, who has been on a globetrotting mission called #MissionParwaaz since October 9, hit a speed bump on his journey today. Social media came to his rescue.
His mission is an attempt to become the first Pakistani to circumnavigate the globe, flying a single engine aircraft. But, Alam was detained by Russian authorities at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport earlier today. As he arrived in the country, he realised his visa had expired two hours before landing.
His friend and actor, Faysal Quraishi, posted a tweet on his behalf, which read: “I am being detained at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport because my visa expired two hours ago and date changed. They are forcing me to turn back to Japan. I cannot go to Japan because I had a single entry visa. I appeal to Pak govt to request Russian govt to allow me to continue my journey to Alaska. I don’t want to give up Mission Parwaaz.”
Alam was allegedely held in a room “without food or water” and his phone was only handed to him after six hours of waiting.
Quraishi’s followers immediately started retweeting the post, with many tagging Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and the government of Pakistan’s official twitter account, asking for assistance in the matter.
Tweep @zaineb_siddiqui wrote: “#PakGov please accept his appeal.”
@sabidlis tweeted: “@ImranKhanPTI @OfficialDGISPR Need your support for @falamb3 Fakhr-e-Alam urgently to resolve the issue of his visa for Russia. He is our pride. He needs our support.”
Tweep @Alyyonline added: “We need immediate help please. @fawadchaudhry @pid_gov @ShahMQureshi @ShahMehmoodQur1 @PTIofficial @ImranKhanPTI please help @falamb3.”
The power of social media kicked in to help resolve this matter within just a few hours. Quraishi posted an update two hours after his first post with a quote from the Pakistani Ambassador to Russia Qazi Khalil Ullah, which read: “We are in contact with Russian authorities and are extending all possible assistance.”
Just then, Furqan T Seddiqi, a Pakistani filmmaker, posted on his twitter account, @furqantsiddiqui: “Got the good news that our friend @falamb3, who had been detained in #Russia, has been issued visa with the help of #Pakistan Government and friends like @faysalquraishi who got the issue to limelight. #MissionParwaaz shall continue.”
Quraishi further confirmed this by posting a tweet that read: “Matter is solved now. Just spoke to @falamb3 he is still there at the airport. He’ll stay there all night... kal subha (tomorrow morning) he’ll get his visa.”