Russian mountaineers` K-2 expedition has opened new vistas of relations between Pakistan and Russia
07 September, 2007
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said the successful Russian expedition to climb the K-2 mountain has opened a new era of relations between Pakistan and Russia in the field of tourism and mountaineering.
The Prime Minister said this while talking to a delegation of Russian mountaineers who recently climbed K-2 mountain along the most difficult ridge. The meeting was held at the PM`s House here on Friday.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan has vast and abundant collection of high and most challenging peaks in three great mountain ranges of the world i.e. Karakoram, Himalayas and Hindukush which provide endless opportunities for the mountaineers, trekkers and adventure lovers from all over the world.
The Prime Minister while congratulating the team of Russian mountaineers said they have made a new history in mountain climbing by choosing the most difficult route to reach the summit. It was the first ascent of the sheer vertical, challenging and formidable West Wall of K-2, he added, thus endorsing Russia’s name in the list of first ascents of K-2. He expressed hope that they would apprise their colleagues as well as the people of Russia of their challenging but pleasant experience in the northern areas of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister appreciated the fact that inflow of mountaineers from Russia and other Central Asian States has increased over the past five years. He expressed the hope that many more adventure lovers especially youth from Russia to visit our mountain ranges.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan welcomes mountaineers from all parts of world. The Government of Pakistan and Alpine Club will give them all support to make their stay as comfortable as possible, he added.
He said Pakistan is proud of having high mountains, vast deserts and a long coastline which make the country an attractive destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. He said steps are being taken to present Pakistan`s natural beauty particularly its challenging mountain ranges and its rich cultural heritage to the world in an attractive manner to realize the country`s true potential in the field of tourism.
The Prime Minister said government of Pakistan has named 2007 as Visit Pakistan Year and is doing its utmost to provide improved facilities and access to the mountaineers and has formulated tourist-friendly policies. We are conscious of our mountain wealth and therefore are according it higher priority to attract more mountaineers and adventure seekers to our northern areas, he added.
While mentioning about Pakistan-Russia bilateral relations the Prime Minister said that Pakistan is keen to further expand relations with Russia in various fields including trade and commerce. Pakistan considers Russia as an important global power, he added, which is playing a significant role in maintaining international peace and stability.
The Prime Minister was apprised by the President of the Alpine Club of Pakistan that K-2 West Wall expedition is considered to be most challenging and formidable rock face of K-2 and has been seldom attempted by mountaineers. He was informed that earlier ascents of different sides of K-2 have been made by Italian, Americans, French, Japanese and Pakistani climbers.
The head of the Russian mountaineering team thanked the government of Pakistan for the support and excellent arrangements to make their expedition successful and expressed confidence that more and more Russian Chambers will come to Pakistan after their return. He also mentioned that video and photographs of their expedition are continuously appearing on the internet alongwith commentary which would be very useful for the mountaineers from around the world.