ISLAMABAD: In a major achievement in the tourism sector, as many as 1,400 international climbers — the highest numbers after the 9/11 attacks — will arrive in Pakistan to summit the world’s highest peaks this year, according to Alpine Club of Pakistan Secretary Karrar Haidri.
Last year, 550 climbers from across the globe arrived in the country for adventure tourism, dawn.com reported.
Haidri said that more than 400 climbers would attempt to scale K2, the second-highest — and also the most challenging — peak in the world.
He believed that the prevailing peaceful environment in Pakistan and the introduction of online visas had helped attract such a large number of international tourists this year.
As per the details, 700 permits have already been issued to the foreign climbers by the Gilgit-Baltistan tourism department, said an official. The first female Arab climber will also arrive in Pakistan to scale the peaks, the publication reported.
Most of the mountaineers will arrive in the country from Europe, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, China, Russia, Poland, Japan and Norway. During their tour, they will try to scale various peaks, including five eight-thousanders (i.e. mountains towering above 8,000 metres) and 20 seven- and six-thousanders in Gilgit-Baltistan.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan boasts five of the world’s 14 eight-thousanders, including the world’s second-highest peak K2 (8,611 metres), followed by Nanga Parbat (ranked ninth at 8,126 metres), Gasherbrum-I (11th at 8,080 metres), Broad Peak (12th at 8,051 metres), and Gasherbrum-II (13th at 8,035m).
Beside foreigners, 40 Pakistani climbers are also in the race, including Sajid Ali Sadpara, Sirbaz Khan, Abdul Joshi, Sheroze Kashif, Samina Baig and Naila Kiani.