The Islamabad Serena Hotel hosted a reception for the acclaimed filmmaker of Pakistan, an adventure documentary maker and photographer Wajahat Malik who has recently completed the Expedition Indus, a 45-day rafting journey that covered the 2,300-km length of the 3,180-km entire Indus river.
The Indus River is dying, and so is the life around it, whether it is the natural habitat or the human settlements along the river banks, said Wajahat Malik while speaking on the occasion.
The expedition journey commenced from Hamzigond in the Kharmang district of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and ended at the Karachi Port.
Started in late March this year, the expedition was the first-ever rafting exploration of the Indus River by Wajahat Malik and his team.
The expedition team led by Wajahat Malik included ABM Faisal, Farman Ahmed, Sanif Jamal, Atif Amin, Sultan Karim, Afia Salam and Lt Commander Babar Nisar Khan. They also had a parallel crew that travelled on road with logistics and other support.
According to Malik, the mighty river which is the key water resource for Pakistan’s economy and the bread basket of the Punjab and Sindh is however, facing existential challenges like industrial and urban pollution as their waste finds its way into the river waters.Moreover, the Indus water is drying up due to prolonged heatwaves and lesser rains and the indigenous population whose survival is solely on the fish and the water life is now finding it hard to continue with its hundreds of years old lifestyle and culture.
Besides the ecological significance, the rafting experience exposed the team to the extreme weather conditions in the north it was the biting cold and in the south it was sweltering hot.
The Islamabad Serena Hotel that had sponsored the entire expedition hosted a reception for Wajahat Malik and his team upon the successful completion of the rafting expedition.
CEO of the hotel, Aziz Boolani, Ambassador of Azerbaijan Khazar Fahadov, Dean of Diplomatic Corps Ambassador of Turkmenistan Atadjan Movlamov, the Nepalese ambassador Tapas Adhikari, diplomats and promoters of adventure tourism attended the event.
“We believe in addressing climate change and highlighting the need for better practices to save the planet. This Expedition is yet another declaration of commitment to raising awareness for those hardest hit by climate change and global warming,” said Aziz Boolani.
While talking to Pakistan Observer, Wajahat Malik thanked the Serena Hotel and the Pakistan Navy. It is because of their support that we made it. I am working on a documentary of the expedition and it would be the first of its kind detailing the ecological, environmental and socioeconomic impact of urban life on the water body that sustains all the life in Pakistan, he said
Wajahat Malik had rafting experience in Nepal. In his documentaries and expedition films too, he has done a number of them from his Eyebex Film platform.