GILGIT: Mountaineers Shehroze Kashif from Lahore and Fazal Ali from Shimshal of Hunza district of Gilgit-Baltistan summited the ninth highest mountain in the world, the Nanga Parbat (8,126 metres), on Tuesday morning, however the duo was reported to have gone missing while on their way back.

GB Home Secretary Iqbal Hussain Khan confirmed that Kashif and Ali had gone missing between camps 3 and 4 (7,000-8,000m) while they were descending from the summit. The GB government started a rescue operation within hours, he added.

“Currently, some porters of the GB tourism department are at camp 2 of Nanga Parbat. If we are able to communicate with the missing climbers through satellite phones, they will move for the rescue operation,” Mr Khan said.

The home secretary said if the inclement weather permitted on Wednesday (today) helicopters will be deployed for the rescue mission in the morning. Other ground rescue teams have also been alerted.

Nanga Parbat is said to be one of the toughest and most lethal mountains in the world.

According to a press release, GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan took notice of the incident and directed the home department to immediately launch a search and rescue operation. He also ordered seeking help from the army, and instructed to establish a control room to monitor the operation.

Kashif and his fellow Ali had reached the Nanga Parbat base camp on June 30. They started their push for the summit on Monday evening through Kashfar wall.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2022

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