TV anchor and aviation enthusiast Fakhr-e-Alam, who made headlines last year for becoming the first Pakistani to circumnavigate the globe solo, has defended the man from Arifwala who was arrested on Sunday for attempting to operate "a flying device" he had invented.
According to a report in Dawn, the man took his mini-airplane on its maiden flight on Sunday, using the metal link road as a runway and took several rounds in the air before he was discovered by the police. He was placed in 'protective custody' for flying his mini-airplane without a government-issued permit. His plane has been confiscated on the orders of the court.
While the inventor has since been released after being fined Rs3000, Fakhr-e-Alam has strongly criticised the government's treatment of him.
He hailed the man as "a hero" and "a legend" and criticised the government for not encouraging a resourceless man for his innovativeness. He acknowledged that he may have broke the regulations of the Civil Aviation Authority but stressed that government needs to facilitate his efforts and help him comply with the law. Citing examples of homemade airplanes from around the world, he called for the government to provide better opportunities to people interested in exploring STEM: