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 Asghar Ali Porik Q&A

First I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Question: Will Pakistan be open for climbing 8000 meter peaks in 2001 ?

Asghar:  Yes, Pakistan will be open for climbers, trekkers and general tourists for year 2002. If I say the tour operators and tourism ministry of Pakistan is very thankful to world media who has given a very big projection to Pakistan due to ongoing war in Afghanistan. Now at least majority of the world knows where Pakistan is. We are celebrating 2002 as a Year of Mountain. Calendar of events for 2002 has announced and already online at www.everestnews.com 

Question: I understand at least one expedition has cancelled their k2 expedition. You must be worried. I want to thank you for you and your country's support during these hard times. How long have you been doing this and how did you get into the business?

Asghar: The mountain climbers of the World love adventure, during the Kargil war with India near Siachen Glacier, we had a respected number of climbing expeditions in Pakistan. Though some cancelled as now it is happening because I think some expedition come with the sponsors and it is hard to get sponsors for the expedition now days.

Off-course I am worried. But in the long term my fellow countrymen and I see the future of Pakistan as very bright. Due to lifting of sanctions against Pakistan by the world and now the entire world is re-establishing their relations with Pakistan. American and Europe are planning long term’s relations with Pakistan; they already lifted sanctions against Pakistan. International airlines re-started their schedule flight to Pakistan; most of the foreign diplomats and businessmen who left Pakistan are now coming back. First time in the history of Pakistan’s Economy Pakistani rupee gain record value against US dollar.

In the late 80's when I finish my college I got a job in a trekking agency. I work about 8 years for different trekking/mountaineering agency and make friends like Steve Razettee, Catherine James (author of Golden Peak), David Hamilton, Alan Hinkes, Hans Kammerlander, Isobel Shaw Paul Nunn and many more ...

After leaving the office, I start guiding as a free lancer and been to all remote areas of Pakistan. I explore each and every valley and passes myself and make friends all over Pakistan. These guides / porters / cooks are now my very good personal contacts. I also worked four times as a liaison officer with different mountaineering expeditions and climb up to 7000 meter. I have been part of Alpine Club of Pakistan executive body and also deliver lecture to young civilian liaison officers. Now I am part of Baltistan Association of Adventure Tour Operators and Pakistan Association of Tour Operators.

Question: Who is your favorite climbers you have run into in the business and why ?

Asghar: My favorite climbers are Hans Kammerlander, Catherine Destival, Carlos from Mexico and Babu Sherpa (late), Mark Miller (late), Graham Lipp (late), Paul Nunn (late) and Frank my rock-climbing teacher.

Question: Who are the greatest Pakistani climbers of all time in your opinion ?

Asghar: Rajab Shah from Shimshal village and Little Karim from Baltistan. Mr. Shah is the first Pakistani who did all the 8000 meters peaks in Pakistan and Mr. Little Karim is a well known high porter and unknown climber who climb many times 8000 meters peaks unfortunately very little record is available of his success. He is sort of Babu Sherpa of Pakistan.

Question: Who are the best Pakistani climbers today in your opinion ?

Asghar: Rajab Shah, Qurban Shah, Little Karim, Rasool of Sadpara village.

Question: We see more and more Sherpa climbers coming to Pakistan to help expeditions. Is this troubling or looked at as a positive as more climbers summit when helped by the Sherpas?

Asghar: We welcome Sherpa climbers in Pakistan to help foreign mountaineers to climb different peaks in Pakistan it is positive sign but we also think one should also utilize the local climbing porters talent too.

Question:  The heavy use of fixed ropes and large number or porters by the Korean expeditions must be good for business, but is it climbing by fair means in your opinion?

Asghar: Mountain climbing in a true sense is one climb with God given abilities but now a days we see climbers using oxygen, ropes from ABC to top and hire well experience climbing Sherpa to push them to the top. In my opinion this is not the spirit of mountaineering.

Question: What does a trek to Broad Peak BC cost with your company and do you provide trekking guides or porters?

Asghar: We offer two type of services for trekkers (1) Full board – this includes almost all services including trekking guide and porters from trekkers arrival in Pakistan and until its departure back home. (2) Back Packer Service – this includes necessary services for trekkers to accomplish his/her goal.

Our full board services price for Broad Peak / K2 Base Camp range from 1200 US dollars to 1900 US dollar per person depending on group size.

Our Back Packer services price for Broad Peak / K2 Base Camp range from 800 US Dollars to 995 US dollars per person depending on group size.

Regards, Asghar Ali Porik

General Manager / Managing Director

JASMINE TOURS Department of Tourist Services License #333

http://www.jasminetours.com

 

Submit your questions to Asghar Ali Porik to everestnews2004@adelphia.net 

Asghar Ali Porik with Graham Lipp at K7 base camp

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