ISLAMABAD: The Embassy of Nepal in Islamabad on Monday marked Mount Everest Day, 2017 in collaboration with Serena Hotels.

Ambassador of Nepal Sewa Lamsal Adhikari, Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Serena Hotels CEO Aziz Boolani inaugurated the event by lighting a traditional Nepalese lamp.

The event is being organised since 2014 to highlight the importance of the world’s tallest peak for Nepal and the mountaineers all around the world.

Everest Summiteer Nazir Sabir attended the event, whose documentary was displayed and enjoyed thoroughly by the guests. The documentary showcased the grandeur of the peaks, the challenges faced by the mountaineers and their mighty success.

The minister presented a souvenir to Nazir Sabir in recognition of the pride he brought to Pakistan after he became the first Pakistani to scale the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest on May 17, 2000. The minister also praised the efforts of renowned Pakistani mountaineers Hassan Sadpara and Samina Baig who also scaled Mount Everest later. He said that mountaineering was a healthy sport which also highlights the issues of the mountain communities.

“This is a significant day for promoting mountain tourism in Nepal. Pakistan and Nepal have both been blessed with spectacular mountains and extraordinary historical treasures many of which are world heritage sites. These are treasures that allow us to build our tourism and share the wonders with the rest of the world,” he said.

Samina Baig, who scaled the mountain in 2013, was represented by her brother Mirza Ali who had been part of the Everest expedition.

Nazir Sabir also recounted his fascinating experiences which he came across while climbing atop Mount Everest. Nazir, who hails from the beautiful valley of Hunza situated along Karakoram Highway in Gilgit Baltistan, said that mountaineering was a spiritual experience for him and much more than a sport. He said that Pakistani mountain communities shared a common bond with the mountain communities of Nepal and Bhutan. He said that Nepal was second home to him and he frequently visited the country.

Nazir Sabir said: “I have been fortunate to visit Nepal many times and our spiritual connectivity because of the Himalayan chain of mountains is very deep. Any climb up a mountain is like a pilgrimage and in mountaineering you climb in the shadow of death for months and every moment is a prayer.

The first time I went to Nepal for the Everest Summit we made three times and failed. The next time also it took three attempts before I reached the summit.”

Diplomatic community, distinguished summiteers, mountaineering lovers and NGOs were present at the event.

The ambassador of Nepal also presented a letter of appreciation to the summiteers honouring their achievement.

Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said: “It is a great privilege for us to honour the mountaineers who have scaled Mount Everest. We formed the Adventure Diplomacy Initiative to encourage human engagement with nature in ways that test physical prowess, endurance and commitment to facilitate a mountaineer.

“We continue to support talent in Pakistan through various initiatives under cultural diplomacy and sports diplomacy and I thank you for your continued support of our efforts,” he added.

“It is heartening to see so much interest in celebrating this important day. It is a special day in the history of mountaineers, because in 1953 Mount Everest was scaled for the first time. Humans reached the top of the world and since then some 4,000 climbers have reached the peak. I am told more Pakistanis have planned to climb Mount Everest this year and I wish them the best of luck,” the ambassador of Nepal said.

Courtesy: Pamir Times