Sirbaz Khan poses for a photo (L) and raises the Pakistani flag on top of the Kanchenjunga Mountain in Nepal on Saturday. Twitter photos
According to the Alpine Club of Pakistan, Sirbaz was part of a team led by Nepalese mountaineer Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (Mingma G) of Imagine Nepal.
According to the secretary of the Alpine Club, Karar Haidar, the mountaineer climbed the world's third-highest peak at 7am on Saturday, with Sirbaz raising Pakistan's flag upon completing his ascent.
"Sirbaz stood atop the world’s third highest peak at 7:00 am on Saturday with other members of a team led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (Mingma G) of Imagine Nepal,” Karar Haidri said in a statement.
In his recent communication from Kanchenjunga earlier on Saturday, he thanked the nation for supporting him and requested them to pray for his safe return.
As Sirbaz achieved the feat, congratulations poured in. Sajid All Sadpara, the son of late legendary mountaineer Mohammad Ali Sadpara and a climber himself, tweeted: `Congratulations kako Sirbaz khan for conquering the world`s 3rd highest mountain Kanchenjunga.
Meanwhile, Saad Munawar, the organiser of the expedition, called it a moment of pride for the country.
"From the time when Pakistani mountaineers were denied the chance to summit their own mountains [mountains within Pakistan] to the time when Pakistani mountaineers are leading on foreign soil, we have come a long way," he told Dawn.
"But our journey is far from over yet. In fact, we have only just started. We will keep working to develop and promote the sport of mountaineering in Pakistan and in the years to come, we'll have Pakistani mountaineers summiting peaks all across the globe," Munawar vowed.
Among 8000ers, Kanchenjunga, which forms part of the Himalayas range, is said to be the most difficult mountain to climb to the top from the final camp and takes the longest time as well due it its steep gorges and bitterly cold climate.
Sirbaz, 32, hails from the Aliabad area of Hunza in Gilgit-Baltistan and began his climbing career in 2016.
In 2019, he became the first Pakistani to summit Mount Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest mountain at 8,516m in Nepal, without the use of supplementary oxygen.
The head of the Pakistan Alpine Club said about two dozen climbers from various countries, who were trying to scale K2, were heading back to their base camps after the immediate suspension of winter expeditions.
A military statement elaborating the day search and rescue operation said despite "extremely challenging conditions," the army helicopters searched Abruzzi Spur and other routes but no trace of the missing climbers so far.
The GB cabinet held a special meeting chaired by Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan to pay tribute to Sadpara. The cabinet also approved establishment of Mohammad Ali Sadpara Institute of Adventure Sports Mountaineering and Rock Climbing in recognition of his services.
A senior official told AFP that Canadian Richard Cartier and Australian Matthew Eakin were missing on K2, while Briton Gordon Henderson was lost climbing Broad Peak. "We cannot declare them dead until the bodies are found."
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