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Pakistani flag hoisted on South American peak

Updated December 18, 2013

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Samina Baig with brother Mirza Ali. — File photo
Samina Baig with brother Mirza Ali. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Samina Baig gave her fellow countrymen another reason to celebrate when she and her brother held the Pakistan flag high on top of the highest peak of South America.

Samina Baig and her brother Mirza Ali have become the first Pakistani mountaineers to summit Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.

The Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) informed its annual general meeting on Monday that the duo had reached the top of the 6,961 metres high peak at 3pm on December 13.

“Samina Baig and her brother informed us last night at 11pm that they had managed to reach the top of the peak after battling harsh weather conditions for almost nine hours,” said Karrar Haideri, a member of the ACP executive council.

He said the conquest was the first success of Samina Baig and Mirza Ali under the Adventure Diplomacy Expedition that aimed at projecting the positive image of Pakistan around the world.

The ACP described the success of Samina Baig as the second major achievement after she became the first Pakistani woman to climb Mount Everest in May this year.

“Now she has become the first Pakistani to summit the highest peak of South America with her brother Mirza Ali,” said Mr Haideri.

The pair had left Pakistan late in November to attempt seven highest peaks in as many continents. Their first destination was Argentina, the home of Mt Aconcagua.

According to the ACP, after this successful attempt, they would leave for Antarctica in January to climb Mount Vinson, later moving to Tanzania to scale Mt Kilmanjaro before returning to Pakistan.

The two will then travel to Indonesia to attempt Puncak Jaya, 4,884 metres high. During the next summer, the pair will be attempting Mt McKinley in Alaska.

Both will also be flying to Russia to climb the highest mountain in Europe Elbrus, 5,642 metres, which would be their last target peak in August 2014.

The Adventure Diplomacy Group consisted of the embassies of the Republic of Argentina, Indonesia, Nepal, Russia, United States and the Serena hotels.

The expedition has been sponsored by a Pakistani philanthropist, an American citizen and the Serena Hotels. Under the expedition, the two climbers aimed to attempt the seven summits.

Mr Haideri explained that the seven summits were the highest mountains of each of the seven continents.

“Conquering all of them is viewed as a mountaineering challenge. If they are successful, it will be no less than a record,” he said.'