The Gilgit-Baltistan government has begun preparing to celebrate the return of Skardu-based mountaineer Hassan Sadpara, who became the one of the few Pakistanis to climb the world’s highest peak Mount Everest.
“He is our national hero and we will give him a befitting reception when he returns home,” Chief Minister Mehdi Shah said on Friday.
A high-altitude porter by profession, Hassan Sadpara climbed 29,028-foot-tall Mount Everest on Thursday morning. He has scaled six mountains of over 8,000 metres including Everest, K2, Nanga Parbat, and Broad Peak. The only other Pakistani to have conquered Mount Everest is Nazir Sabir, who did it in 2000.
Shah paid a tribute to the 48-year-old climber for his achievement, saying that Sadpara’s feat will help build Pakistan’s soft image in the world.
Gilgit-Baltistan Senior Minister Mohammad Jaffer announced a Rs50,000 cash prize for Sadpara and called his achievement unmatchable as he had managed without any oxygen supply. “It is an extraordinary feat and we extend our heartiest congratulations to him,” Jaffer said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2011.