Editor’s note: The UIAA strongly condemned the senseless murder of 10 mountaineers at the base camp of Nanga Parbat on 23 June 2013. Not long after, Lt. Col (Retd) Manzoor Hussain, president of the Pakistan Alpine Club, a member federation of the UIAA wrote a heartfelt letter to president Frits Vrijlandt on 28 June 2013. Reprinted below is the letter followed by the original press release:
Dear Mr President
Compliments from Alpine Club of Pakistan.
I write to you at the darkest and saddest hour of Pakistan’s mountaineering history. We suffer through shock and grief, and are traumatized on the brutal massacre of the innocent mountaineers on the night of 22nd June 2013 at the Diamer Base Camp on Nanga Parbat, in Gilgit, Baltistan. In this unfortunate incident, 10 guest mountaineers and one local support staff were gunned down by these enemies of humanity generally known as terrorists. We condemn this heinous and outrageous crime in strongest terms and do not have any excuse, except to say that we apologize to the international mountaineering community over this unfortunate incident, in general and to the aggrieved associations, and bereaved families of all these brave mountaineers, in particular.
Victims of this heinous crime included the outstanding and reputed mountaineers from various countries as mentioned hereunder:-
- Mr Igor Sviergun (Ukraine)
- Mr Badavi Kashaiev (Ukraine)
- Mr Konyayev Dmytro (Ukraine)
- Mr Anton Dobes (Slovakia)
- Mr Peter Å Perka (Slovakia)
- Mr Yang Chunfeng (China)
- Mr Rao Jianfeng (China)
- Mr Honglu Chen (USA)
- Mr Sona Sherpa (Nepal)
- Ernestas Marksaitis (Lithuania)
- Mr. Ali Hussain (Pakistan)
On behalf of all members of Alpine Club of Pakistan and on my own behalf I take this opportunity to express our deepest and heartfelt condolences, share grief and sincerely apologize for the tragic loss of these mountaineering comrades from various member Associations of UIAA. We convey our condolences, regrets and sympathies to the bereaved family. May souls of these departed ones rest in eternal peace in the heavens.
On 25th June Alpine Club of Pakistan held a condolence meeting at Islamabad to mourn the unfortunate demise of these great mountaineers and to remember them and condole with the bereaved families. This meeting was attended by all mountaineers who were evacuated from Nanga Parbat on 23rd and 24th June. ACP, with the help of the Government of Gilgit Baltistan is arranging in transportation of the expedition’s gear from Diamer base camp to Chilas by helicopter, which will be completed today. Later it is being transported by road to Islamabad and shall be handed over to the concerned mountaineers at Islamabad. ACP has taken up a case of Royalty free climb of Nanga Parbat when ever these effected mountaineers desire to return back to the mountain in future.
At this juncture I may mention that general masses and Government of Pakistan are shocked and shattered by this unfortunate incident. Civil society all across the country has raised strongest voice and has mourned the tragedy of these innocent mountaineers. You may already know that the government of Pakistan has taken a very serious notice of this incident and military operation is taking place in the area to arrest the culprits.
The government has immediately started to discuss to arrange fool proof security measures for the visiting mountaineers and trekkers with the help of all stake holders. I take this opportunity to reassure you and all the international mountaineering community in general and the mountaineers from the effected countries, in particular, that Government of Pakistan from now on is taking all conceivable measures to provide utmost security to the guest mountaineers and to make it safe to climb the spectacular and most challenging mountains of Karakoram, Western Himalayas and the Hindukush in Pakistan.
I hope this ACP statement finds appropriate space on the UIAA press releases area.
With profound regards.
Manzoor Hussain, Lt Col. (Retd)
Alpine Club of Pakistan,
8, Jinnah Stadium, Pakistan Sports Complex, Kashmir Highway, Islamabad, Pakistan
For immediate release
UIAA condemns attacks on Nanga Parbat mountaineers
24 June 2013, BERN, Switzerland: The UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation strongly condemns the 23 June attack on a group of mountaineers from several countries who were attempting to peacefully climb Nanga Parbat.
Government officials have confirmed that 10 people are dead. They are from the Ukraine, Lithuania, Slovakia, China, Nepal and Pakistan.
“This has hurt and shaken the mountaineering community profoundly,” said UIAA president Frits Vrijlandt. “The mountains are a place of peace.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected, and we sincerely hope that this is an isolated incident which will not happen again,” said Vrijlandt.
About the UIAA – International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation
The UIAA was founded in 1932 and has 80 member associations in 50 countries representing about 1.3 million people. The organization’s mission is to promote the growth and protection of mountaineering and climbing worldwide, advance safe and ethical mountain practices and promote responsible access, culture and environmental protection.
The organization operates through the work of its commissions which make recommendations, set policy and advocate on behalf of the mountaineering community. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee for mountaineering and climbing.
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