A feat on feet: From Karachi to Kingdom ... with banner of peace

Updated 02 October 2013
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A feat on feet: From Karachi to Kingdom ... with banner of peace

Kharlzada Kasrat, a Pakistani man who entered the Kingdom on foot from Pakistan, embarked on a walk for peace from Karachi to Makkah on June 7 and arrived in the Kingdom through the Jordanian border on Monday.
Kasrat, who twice staged the longest peace walks in the world, was provided with a medical team and security escorts by Saudi authorities upon his arrival into the Kingdom. He walked through Iran, Iraq and Jordan. The total distance from Karachi to Makkah is 6,387 km by foot.
Speaking with Arab News, he said he had chosen Makkah as his final destination given its spiritual significance. He said he was congratulated by residents in Tabuk in large numbers. He said he was touched with the warm welcome and hospitality of Saudis when he crossed into border.
“The purpose of my visit is to promote peace on the basis of humanity, as Islam preaches. Pakistani tribes that were previously known for their hospitality are now branded as terrorists and are being subject to persecution,” said Kasrat.
“I sold my personal items to embark on the walk as I lack financial resources.”
Kasrat said: “I am thankful to Saudi authorities and I hope they will provide me with accommodation.”
He said he had walked 1,301 km in Pakistan, 2,640 km in Iran, 600 km in Iraq and 800 km in Jordan before reaching the Kingdom.
Kharlzada has recalled his harrowing experience in the Iraqi desert, where he walked a 100-km stretch that was completely deserted.
He also said that militants in Baluchistan in Pakistan attempted to kidnap him. He said he slept at a check post in Tabuk upon arrival, then left Tabuk hoping to reach Madinah on Sept. 20 and Makkah on Oct. 1. Kharlzada is walking on average 50 km per day.
It took him two days to reach Tabuk from the border.


Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

Updated 19 November 2018
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Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

  • US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors
  • Raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation

HELSINKI: Social media in Finland was ablaze with bemused comments on Monday after US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors.
Speaking to reporters during the weekend while in California to see the impact of devastating forest fires, the US president again blamed forest management, but said Finland had the answer.
Trump cited the Finnish president as telling him Finns “spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things (in the forest), and they don’t have any problem.”
However the Nordic country’s president, Sauli Niinisto, told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper on Sunday that he had no recollection of raking being mentioned when the pair met in Paris a week ago.
“I told him that Finland is a country covered in forests, but we also have a good warning system and network,” the president said.
Finnish social media users were quick to pile in, describing Trump’s comments as “rake news” and posting pictures of themselves brandishing the garden implement.
By late Sunday, raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation which is 72 percent covered by forests, predominantly of pine, birch and fir.
Meanwhile Yrjo Niskanen, head of emergency preparedness at Finland’s national forest center, said the US president may have been referring to the practice of removing branches and loose material left in the forest after logging.
But he pointed out that this is not done with a rake — and the wood is collected for energy production.
“I’ve never thought before that it could be removed because of the fire risk, that’s not mentioned in any forestry manuals. It’s taken away purely for business reasons,” Niskanen told the Iltalehti newspaper.