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Australia supports a run to raise awareness of water challenges

ISLAMABAD, MAR 22 /DNA/ – The Australian High Commission supported a group of runners participating in a 500-kilometer run along the historic Grand Trunk Road, from Torkham border to Wahga border.

The Run is tied to an Australian initiative – the World Water Run #RUNBLUE event – that is taking place during World Water Week, from 16 to 22 March.

Started by an Australian athlete, Mina Guli, the World Water Run aims to raise awareness about the global water challenges, on the steps of the first UN Water Conference in fifty years, on World Water Day. Joining forces with Mina, thousands of people worldwide are taking part in the World Water Run.

The Australian High Commissioner Neil Hawkins joined the run, as the group passed through Islamabad. “I am thrilled to be part of this epic run today, alongside this amazing group of runners participating in a whopping 500-kilometer run along the historic Grand Trunk Road! As we join in the World Water Run, we raise awareness about the pressing water issues that affect us all – in Australia and Pakistan – and highlight the crucial role that water plays in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals,” Mr Hawkins said.

“Australia has been a long-standing partner of Pakistan, including providing support for flood relief efforts, and helping farmers with irrigation, and combating salinity. Last week, Australia’s First Assistant Secretary Gary Cowan inaugurated a solar water filtration unit in Farash Town, providing affordable and drinkable water at the community’s doorstep. These initiatives demonstrate the importance we place on water in our work with Pakistan,” he added.

The runners passed through various cities, towns, and villages along the Grand Trunk Road, interacting with locals and sharing the message of water conservation and management.

The group was led by Jamal Said, a high-achieving runner from Swabi. Last year, Jamal achieved a remarkable feat when he set a world record in South Asia for 50 hours run without sleep, at Islamabad Marathon.

“Our run in Pakistan began at the Torkham border, where we joined together in a ceremonial starting point with runners from Afghanistan. It was a powerful moment of solidarity and a reminder that water challenges affect us all. It ended at the Wahga border, where we participated in a ceremony and waved hands at the runners from India. This symbolic gesture represents our shared commitment to addressing the water challenges that transcend borders and impact us all. One of the reasons we chose the Grand Trunk Road as our pathway – the centuries-old route that connects Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India,” Jamal said.

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