Minister Pervaiz Rashid hand over Pakistani and Italian flags to Pakistani mountaineers

Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Deputy Head of Italian Mission in Pakistan hand over Pakistani and Italian flags to Pakistani mountaineers

Islamabad, June 09, 2014 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid and Counselor Tommaso Sansone, Deputy Head of the Italian Mission in Pakistan, handed over Pakistani and Italian flags to the Pakistani mountaineers at a press conference arranged by here at the National Press Club.

The ceremony was arranged to send off Pakistan’s first ever mountaineering, scientific and environmental research expedition to K2. Some 8 mountaineers from Gilgit-Baltistan have been selected by an Italian expert mountaineer Murizio Gallo with the support of Gilgit-Batistan government and the Pakistani mountaineers who have climbed K2.

Italian non-governmental organization Ev-K2-CNR has supported this very Pakistani expedition with necessary funds, equipment, training, and technical assistance during the expedition. Two Italian mountaineers would be available to the Pakistan expedition for technical support and assistance in the hour of need.

Speaking on the occasion, Senator Pervaiz Rashid said we have the best mountain and we are thankful to our foreign friends who not only love our mountains but put their efforts to mainstream and popularize it in their countries. Our special thanks o Italians who have special love for K2 for the last 100 years.

He said, Unfortunately we could not support our own expedition because it was really a resource intensive but grateful to Italian friends who took initiative and have supported very generously eight mountaineers from the most neglected part of Pakistan – Gilgit-Baltistan.

President Ev-K2-CNR Agostino Da Polenza said K2 is the best brand that can uplift Pakistan’s image and the people are very hardworking; they only lack resources that we the Italians are trying to provide the locals to help them to do the best for land and available resources. We are also inculcating awareness on the conservation of the local natural resources.

Counselor Tommaso Sansone, Deputy Head of the Italian Mission in Pakistan, said Italian’s love for K2 began 1909, since then our people are associated with Karakoram area for its conservation and mainstreaming. We are happy to be associated with the K2 and the Karakoram.

Domenico Brozzone, the head of development, talked about the SEED project, a major intervention in the Gilgit-Batistan for climate research and mountaineering, and mountain development. He said the project interventions have changed life in the area and with the development of the Central Karakoram National Park, adventure tourism and biodiversity conservation would be the ace achievements.

He also spoke about the K2 first ascent by the Italian expedition on July 31, 1954, when Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli reached for the first time ever the K2 summit, the most difficult mountain in the word.

The success of that historical challenge was possible thanks to the support of the expedition’ Pakistani members, first among everyone Amir Mahdi, but also thanks to the Hunza porters that were along with Desio team. Today the history is repeating but for the first time ever in fact an officially Pakistani team will attempt K2 summit.

With the them two Italian mountaineering ambassadors: Michele Cucchi, alpine guide and Simone Origone world champion speed skiing (251,40 km/h).The expedition will leave form Skardu on June 14, where the Italians will join the Pakistani team. The summit attempt is foreseen at the end of July.

Team Lead of the expedition, Muhammad Taqi said, the Pakistani expedition if fully funded by the Italian people and government, it had to be done by the local and federal governments. But, this is very unfortunate that mountaineering is not the priority of our governments. We are happy and looking forward to scale the K2 as mountaineers not as porters.

Among others who spoke on the occasion, included Italian mountaineer and adviser to Pakistan expedition Murizio Gallo, National Press Club President Shahryar Khan, Ghulam Rasul from the Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism department, and Munir Ahmed, Communication Cgief Ev-K2-CNR and Focal Point for the expedition.

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