ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s leading female high-altitude mountaineer Naila Kiani has achieved yet another milestone by being declared as the ‘Girl education National Goodwill Ambassador’ by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional training.

In her new role, she aims to highlight the importance of girls’ education across Pakistan and support initiatives by federal and provincial governments, says a press release issued by the education ministry.

It said that achievements in mountaineering had an unparalleled record in mountaineering.

The press release said Naila Kiani’s appointment as the National Goodwill Ambassador for Girls’ Education was a testament to her commitment to empowering women through education. She, herself an aerospace engineer and a banker, believes that education is the key to women empowerment and the success of the country.

As an ambassador, she aims to work tirelessly to raise awareness about the importance of girls education and will support and promote initiatives by federal and provincial governments to improve educational opportunities for girls.

She will also inspire young girls across the nation to pursue their dreams and achieve their full potential.

“I am honoured to be appointed as the National Goodwill Ambassador for Girls’ Education. Education is the only route to women empowerment and success for our country. I am committed to using my platform to support and advocate for educational initiatives that ensure every girl in Pakistan has access to quality education,” she said in her brief statement.

She is the first Pakistani woman and the overall third Pakistani to have climbed 11 of the 14 highest peaks above 8,000 metres. She holds the distinction of being the first Pakistani woman to climb an 8,000-metre mountain in Pakistan.

She is also the first Pakistani woman to summit Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I (G-I), Gasherbrum II (G-II), Lhotse, Manaslu, Broad Peak, Annapurna, Makalu and Cho Oyu.

She is among the 10 mountaineers worldwide, and the only Pakistani, to have climbed multiple (seven) peaks above 8,000 metres in less than six months, in 2023. Furthermore, she is the fastest Pakistani, regardless of gender, to have climbed all eleven 8,000-metre peaks in less than three years. She is the only female athlete to receive Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the highest civilian honour given to any female athlete in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2024

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