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Pakistani official: Scottish climber dies in avalanche on K2

Pakistani official: Scottish climber dies in avalanche on K2

A Pakistani mountaineering official says a veteran Scottish climber has died in an avalanche while attempting to scale K2 in northern Pakistan, the world’s second-highest mountain peakBy MUNIR AHMED Associated PressJuly 26, 2021, 5:05 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleISLAMABAD — A renowned Scottish climber died in an avalanche while attempting to scale K2 in northern Pakistan, the world’s second-highest mountain peak, a Pakistani mountaineering official and a British charity said Monday.Rescuers meanwhile located the bodies of three climbers who died on the same mountain earlier this year, officials said.Rick Allen, 68, died in an avalanche three days ago while trying to reach the summit along a route that had not been attempted previously on the mountain’s southeast face, said Karrar Haidri, the secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan.Allen’s two climbing partners survived the avalanche and were subsequently rescued, Haidri said.Their expedition was aimed at raising funds for the U.K.-based charity Partners Relief & Development, where Allen was a board member. The charity, which works for the welfare of children, confirmed Allen’s death on its Facebook page.An experienced climber, Allen was involved in an avalanche and was rescued in 2018 when he was scaling Broad Peak, which like K2 lies in the Karakoram Range, along the Pakistan-China border.“Rick died doing what he loved the most and lived his life with the courage of his convictions,” said the charity’s statement.Stephan Keck, an Austrian who was one of Allen’s climbing partners, survived the avalanche. He told The Associated Press on Monday that he escaped death miraculously.He said after the avalanche hit the climbers he opened his eyes and saw that Allen was dead. He said Allen’s body was lying near him because they were connected with a rope.Keck said he stood up and moved to a safer place as more avalanches were imminent. He said military helicopters came to rescue him and a fellow climber. Keck said he might have died in the harsh weather if he hadn’t been rescued.Pakistan is home to several top mountain peaks and climbers flock from all over the world to attempt to scale the summits.Also on Monday, Haidri said rescuers located the bodies of three climbers — Pakistani mountaineer Ali Sadpara, Jon Snorri of Iceland and Juan Pablo Mohr of Chile. They died attempting to summit the 8,611-meter (28,250-foot) high K2 in February. Their bodies could not be found earlier despite several attempts by Pakistani search and rescue teams aided by the military.Haidri said the Pakistan army’s help was being sought to retrieve the bodies as it was difficult for the rescuers to bring the bodies down from the high altitude. He said the bodies of Snorri and Mohr will be sent to their respective countries.Last week, South Korean climber Kim Hong Bin fell into a crevasse and went missing in bad weather after scaling the 8,047-meter (26,400-foot) high Broad Peak. A rescue operation to try and find him has been put on hold because of the weather.

South Korean missing after fall while scaling Pakistani peak

South Korean missing after fall while scaling Pakistani peak

A Pakistani official says a famous South Korean climber fell into a crevasse and went missing over the weekend in bad weather after scaling a peak in northern PakistanBy MUNIR AHMED Associated PressJuly 20, 2021, 9:44 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleISLAMABAD — A famous South Korean climber fell into a crevasse and went missing over the weekend in bad weather after scaling another mountain peak in northern Pakistan, a mountaineering official said Tuesday.Kim Hong Bin was descending after having reached the 8,047-meter (26,400-foot) high Broad Peak in Pakistan’s north Karakoram Range on Sunday, said Karrar Haidri, the secretary of the Pakistan Alpine Club.With the summit, the 57-year-old Kim had scaled all of the world’s 14 highest summits, becoming the first person with disability to do so. In 1991, while climbing in Alaska, he suffered severe frostbite and had all his fingers amputated.While descending from the peak with several other mountaineers on Sunday, Kim slipped and fell down the Chinese side of the mountain, according to Haidri.“Since then no information is available about him,” the official said, adding that a search mission is being planned.In Seoul, the Foreign Ministry said Pakistan has promised to send a helicopter to find Kim as soon as weather conditions allow the flight. Spokesman Choi Young-sam said China has also agreed to make efforts to locate the climber.South Korean President Moon Jae-in — who had earlier issued a message congratulating Kim on scaling of the world’s 14 highest summits — said that he’ll pray for Kim’s safe return.“There are some reports speculating his death, but the information is not clear and I’m not abandoning hopes” that he’s still alive, Moon tweeted. “I’ll earnestly wait for the news of his safe return with my people to the end.”Kim’s successes include world’s highest, Mount Everest on the China-Nepal border, and Pakistan’s K2, the second-highest, which like Broad Peak is also in the Karakoram Range. Disability never became a hurdle for Kim, Haidri said, and did not stand in the way of his passion.The other mountaineers, who had in vain tried to find Kim, were safe and were descending amid bad weather. The South Korean Embassy in Islamabad was also organizing a search mission, he added.“We do not want to speculate” on Kim’s fate, Haidri told The Associated Press, refusing to comment reports on Twitter that the climber had died.Ghulam Muhammad, the owner of Blue Sky Expedition tour operating company who arranged the expedition for Kim, also confirmed an “unfortunate incident” when the South Korean was returning to base camp.The organizers of the expedition were in contact with the family of the missing South Korean and any further information will be shared by his family or by the South Korean officials, he added.Scores of mountaineers visit Pakistan every year to scale different mountains and peaks, located in the country’s scenic north. But the sport is dangerous, particularly when a sudden change in weather occurs.Earlier this year, three climbers — Pakistani mountaineer Ali Sadpara, Jon Snorri of Iceland and Juan Pablo Mohr of Chile — died while attempting to summit the 8,611-meter (28,250-foot) high K2. Their bodies could not be traced and retrieved despite several attempts by Pakistani search and rescue team aided by the military.———Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

Pakistan premier criticized for comments on sexual violence

Pakistan premier criticized for comments on sexual violence

Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing growing criticism at home for seemingly blaming a rise in sexual violence in Pakistan on women wearing “very few clothes.”By MUNIR AHMED Associated PressJune 22, 2021, 6:01 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleISLAMABAD — Prime Minister Imran Khan faced growing criticism at home on Tuesday after seemingly blaming a rise in sexual violence in Pakistan on women wearing “very few clothes.”His comments drew nationwide condemnation from human rights activists and the country’s opposition, which sought an apology. The controversial statements aired over the weekend came in an interview on Axios, a documentary news series on HBO.“If a woman is wearing very few clothes it will have an impact, it will have an impact on the men, unless they’re robots,” the prime minister said. “I mean it’s common sense.”Asked directly by interviewer Jonathan Swan whether the way that women dress could provoke acts of sexual violence, Khan said: “It depends on which society you live in. If in a society where people haven’t seen that sort of thing, it will have an impact on them.”It was the second time in two months that Khan sparked outrage after suggesting that women’s attire plays a role in provoking sexual violence against them.In April, in an online show on state-run Pakistan Television, Khan claimed that wearing a veil — the traditional head covering worn by conservative Muslim women — would protect women from sexual assault.Khan’s government has faced criticism over its failure to curb sexual attacks on women since he came into power by winning a simple majority in parliamentary elections in 2018.Pakistan has been rocked by high-profile sexual attacks, including last September when a woman was gang-raped in front of her children after her car broke down on a major freeway at night near Lahore.Sexual harassment and violence against women is not uncommon in Pakistan. Nearly 1,000 women are killed in Pakistan each year in so-called “honor killings” for allegedly violating conservative norms on love and marriage.The weekend interview with Khan in Islamabad covered a wide range of issues, but his comments seemingly linking how women dress to sexual violence garnered by far the most attention. The former cricket star drew broad criticism on social media from both civil rights groups and everyday Pakistanis.“Shame on You,” Pakistani woman Frieha Altaf said on Twitter.Marriyum Aurrangzeb, spokeswoman for the opposition Pakistan Muslim League party, condemned Khan on Twitter for his remarks.“The world got an insight into a mindset of a sick, misogynistic, degenerate & derelict IK (Imran Khan). Its not women’s choices that lead to sexual assault rather the choices of men who choose to engage in this despicable and vile CRIME,” she said.However, female lawmakers from Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party defended the prime minister, saying his comments were taken out of context, without elaborating.Zartaj Gul, the minister for climate change, said at a news conference Tuesday “our culture and our way of dressing is idealized across the world,” referring to conservative norms of dressing in Pakistan.