Pakistan PM orders rescue of stranded climber at ‘Killer Mountain’

Islamabad, Jul 4(EFE).- Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday ordered the rescue of a stranded climber at Nanga Parbat, best known as the “Killer Mountain,” after his son appealed to the government for help.

Wasif Bhatti, son of Asif Bhatti, issued a video message to the government, army aviation and relevant authorities to conduct a rescue mission at Camp 4 (C4) where the climber is stuck at a height between 7,500 to 8,000 meters.

“Please rescue my father through a helicopter so he may return home as soon as possible,” Bhatti’s minor son said in the video message posted on social media.

Taking note of the appeal, Sharif, while ordering a rescue mission, also directed the authorities to contact his son and provide reassurance in the hour of need.

Meanwhile, Karakorum Expeditions, which is conducting the expedition, said a helicopter was on standby at the basecamp on Tuesday while Asif Bhatti and a climber from Azerbaijan, Isfrafyl, have started descending from C4 to C3.

“As per updates, Asif Bhatti and Azerbaijan’s climber Isfrafyl have already started the descent towards C3,” Karakorum Expeditions tweeted.

Moreover, Shah Daulat, who summited Nanga Parbat on Jun 26 without oxygen, and another climber, Muhammed Yunus, may be dropped at C2 by helicopter to provide further assistance to Bhatti.

“Both Shah Daulat and Yunus are ready to leave for a rescue mission at BC (basecamp),” the Karakoram Club said on Twitter.

It further said the helicopter went for refueling after doing a recce in the morning and was yet to return. An airlift could only be possible after Bhatti descends to an altitude of around 6,000m to 6,500m.

Bhatti, a university professor from Islamabad, got stuck on Nanga Parbat at an altitude of around 7,500 to 8,000 meters. He suffered from snow blindness and was unable to descend unassisted on Monday.

On Sunday, Polish climber Paweł Kopeć died of acute altitude sickness at a height of 7,400 meters while descending from the summit of the same mountain.

“His body is still where he died and his family would (have to) make a decision as to how to bring it down,” Karrar Haidri, a spokesman for the Alpine Club of Pakistan, told EFE on Tuesday.

Haidri further said that time was running out for Bhatti’s rescue mission as the weather would start getting worse by Tuesday evening.

“If he is not rescued today, it will become hard then,” he added.

Nanga Parbat, which means naked mountain, is the 2nd highest peak in Pakistan and 9th in the world. EFE


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