Inspired by Hassan Sadpara’s ascent of Mount Everest, chief minister Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Mehdi Shah said his government will set up an institute in Skardu to promote mountaineering as a sport in the region.
“We will set up a mountaineering institute in Skardu so we can have more people like Sadpara who make us proud,” Shah said on Sunday.
Sadpara, a mountaineer from Skardu, recently scaled Mount Everest without oxygen supply and with little monetary support and training.
“He has demonstrated the potential we have in the country,” Shah said.
The chief minister said G-B possessed immense talent, especially in the field of climbing and mountaineering, but, he added, proper patronage and support was required to polish this talent.
Sadpara shares his surname with a small village in Skardu, home to four peaks above 8,000 meters, including the second highest peak in the world K-2 (8,611 metres), Gasherbrum-I (8,068 metres), Broad Peak (8,048 metres) and Gasherbrum-II (8,035 metres), and several others rising above 7,000 metres.
Meanwhile, the tourism department in Skardu organised a rock climbing competition to mark the event, attended by school and college pupils.
“Climbing rocks and mountains is a part of our lives since we were born amid these peaks,” said Sakhi Hassan, a participant who also works in Khurpa Care that provides training to young climbers.
With some patronage and training, however, we can conquer any peak in the world, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2011.
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