Ali Sadpara, team members declared dead

GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan government on Thursday declared mountaineers Muhammad Ali Sadpara and his team members John Snorri of Iceland and Juan Pablo Mohr of Chile, who had gone missing on February 5 during the K2 expedition, as dead.

Addressing a news conference along with the family members of the mountaineers, GB Tourism Minister Nasir Ali Khan said the government with the active support of Pakistan Army tried their best to search the three missing climbers, who had gone missing at the Bottleneck of K2 losing their contact with the base camp.

Their bodies had not been found due to harsh cold weather conditions, and now their families and Pakistan Army rescuers had reached the conclusion that they were dead, he added.

The minister said Ali Sadpara was a national hero and brought laurels for Pakistan by surmounting the most of the highest mountain peaks and he along with his son Sajid Sadpara would be given Civil Awards.

He said the Federal Government had been recommended to name Skardu Airport after Muhammad Ali Sadpara. His children would be given educational scholarships while the GB chief minister would soon announce a financial package for his family.

He said the GB government would pass a law to ensure financial well-being of the families of climbers who met such accidents during their mountain expeditions.

An emotional Sajid Sadpara, who had accompanied his father to conquer the K2 summit and had to return midway after his health deteriorated, said, “My father had reached the K2 peak and then met an accident.”

All resources were utilized by the government for their search, he added.

Sajid said his father and the two foreign mountaineers were the best climbers in the world. “We have lost a beloved father, and the nation a patriot and hero. I will continue his mission and fulfill his dreams.”

The families of two foreign climbers thanked the entire world and the Pakistani nation for praying and expressing good wishes for their beloved ones.