KATHMANDU, Nepal-With the terrorists’ attack on ten reigner climbers at the base camp of Nanga Parbat on Saturday mid-night, scores of other foreign climbers have quit their expedition attempts on the peak. At least 40 foreigner mountaineers and citizens from Italy, Nepal, Serbia, Ireland, Denmark and the United States, among several other nationalities have evacuated various camps of other peaks including Nanga Prabat.
According to Manzoor Hussain, president of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, at least 40 foreigners from various nations have cancelled their expedition to the world’s ninth tallest Mountain Naga Parbat, in the northern Pakistan, although a group of Romanians is supposed to be climbing the mountain from opposite side.
Likewise, some other groups who booked for expeditions on other small range peaks at this summer have already scratched, Pakistani media informed citing various trekking and travel agencies operating in Karachi and Rawalpindi.
According to Hussain, the attack was barbaric as well as ‘fatal blow’ for his endeavors to attract more climbers to the Karakoram, Hindu Khush, and western Himalayan ranges, home to many unexplored summits.
“We are still in shock, we’ve had to apologize to so many mountaineers across the world,” quoted Pakistani media as Hussain’s statement. He further said that he was devastated by the terrorist attack on tourists.
An armed group Pakistani Taliban comprising of 20 people had shot dead Nepali mountaineer and tourist guide Sona Sherpa, 35, of Solukhumbu district among other 11 tourists inside the tent erected at the base camp of the peak. Fortunately, other 8 Nepalese mountaineers had survived the attack as they were above the base camp, fixing the rope for scaling the peak.
Geographically, Pakistan is a climber’s paradise. It is also home to the world’s second tallest mountain, K2, and three are three peaks higher than 8,000 meters.
Mountaineers, many from China, Russia and Eastern Europe, are among the last foreigners who frequently visit Pakistan for leisure. Tourism has been devastated since 2007 by underground insurgent group waging war in once popular tribal valleys such as Swat in the northwest.
“I haven’t slept since yesterday, it’s a very sad situation,” international media quoted the statement of Ghulam Muhammed, whose company Blue Sky Treks and Tours guided five of the mountaineers died at the Saturday incident. “I am very worried, now business is finished,’ he further said.s
Sherap’s body to be brought soon
In the meantime, initiations have been stepped up to bring back the body of slain Sona Sherpa of Nepal. The Nepalese embassy in Pakistan, Pakistan based expedition organizer Mabir Sabir Expeditions Team and concerned travel agencies in Kathmandu are managing to bring back the body of Sherpa among other survived Nepali mountaineers, according to the managing director of Seven Summit International Treks Mingma Sherpa. ‘They will return back to Nepal, soon’, director Sherpa told to Nepal Mountain Focus.