Guliafshan Tariq , from Pakistan

Guliafshan Tariq breaks the record of cycling to the highest border in the world.

The Ajala Project presents Guliafshan Tariq, a cyclist changing the world.

Guliafshan Tariq is a record holder in Pakistan for cycling over 4693meters, -5 temp and covering 1000km in 9 days, Khunjerab (Pak-China Border) on a bicycle. She is a trained fighter and a member of Pakistan’s National Youth assembly. She is a brand ambassador of ‘Ladies of Pakistan’ and Tedx Speaker 2016. Her mission is promote a positive message of Pakistan.

I cycled from Islamabad to Khunjerab in 9 days, covering over 1,000kms. There was a time when my own family members, my classmates, and my friends left me, because I couldn’t walk due to a ligament injury in my knee. I would go to the classroom alone with crutches in my hands, during this period, my father passed away. This was the moment I realized I had to be strong for myself and my family. I learnt to stand with my head held high.

My passion and determination fuelled me to set out to achieve most of the things I set my mind to, the top on the list being able to provide for my mom and siblings. I got a job shortly before I completed my engineering degree in one of the top multinational companies in the country. When I graduated I received the Commandant’s Gold Medal from the University of Pakistan. I’ve been into sports for the past six years, I started my sports career with wall climbing and represented Pakistan in the National Women Wall Climbing Championships in 2013. Then I received my paragliding certification when I was in the army. I tried parasailing when I visited Dubai. I discovered cycling two years ago and i got hooked to the sport ever since, it is really exciting.

I kept on practicing how to cycle despite my ligament injury, then I decided to take part in the National Women Cycling race and I got a silver medal in the scratch race. I did a lot of solo rides on my bicycle to promote peace and showcase a normal view of Pakistan. I started the program ‘Pace for Peace’ using bicycles as a tool to promote peace and equality around the globe.

I am the National record holder for cycling over 4693 meters, at -5 degrees by covering 1000km in 9 days, Khunjerab (PakChina Border). The journey had started from Islamabad on 20th Sep 2015, with complete media coverage. The route I chose for my tour was the hardest in terms of climate, elevation and environmental conditions. I rode from Taxila, Abbottabad to Bishaam & Chilaas(Kohistan) and finally reached Gilgit, where the KKH led me to the beautiful Hunza valley. It was -5 degrees when I entered Khunjerab, and I had to endure rain, snow fall and very high temperatures along the way. I am a trained MMA fighter, Member of National Youth assembly and a social activist. Brand ambassador of ‘Ladies of Pakistan’, ‘Pakistan Children heart foundation’,as well as ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’.

Written by: Aniqa Tariq, Edited by: Bayo Hassan Bello.