Tragedy in Pakistan

News from the BBC this morning was (as it typically is) incredibly tragic and sad. Taliban-linked militants attacked a “base camp” for a group of climbers on their way to make an attempt on Nanga Parabat, the 9th highest peak in the world. Per the story, the militants stormed the site just after midnight and shot all the foreigners, killing at least 9 (which includes a number of Chinese and Ukrainian climbers, and one Nepali) plus at least one Pakistani porter. Reports are that one Chinese national managed to escape. The story can be found here.

Nanga Parabat

Nanga Parabat

This sort of violence is sad in any circumstance anywhere in the world. But what strikes me here is the targeting of those (climbers) who do more than most “average” global citizens to be friendly to just about anyone and everyone, and to help spread understanding and tolerance (primarily indirectly; climbing is not a national sport in any real way, and the feats are spread out all over the world, thus it’s an incredibly international endeavor). It is highly likely that these climbers were in this region of Pakistan without any malice for the local or international politics and issues that are endemic to the area.

I can imagine that this tragedy will have serious repercussions for current and future endeavors on the peak.

 

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