ISLAMABAD - Recipient of Pride of Performance Lt Col Dr Abdul Jabbar Bhatti, who became the fourth Pakistani to scale world’s largest peak Mount Everest, was honoured by IPC Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada in a ceremony held here on Tuesday.

Dr Jabbar informed about hardships and difficulties, he braved before reaching the summit in press conference here at Pakistan Sports Complex on Tuesday. “I departed from Islamabad on April 6, 2017 for Kathmandu and reached Mount Everest Base on April 17. After completing acclimatization rotations up to Camp-3, I started from Everest Base Camp (5,334 m) on May 17 for final summit bid. After brief stopover at Camp-1 (5,943m), I reached Camp-2 (6,400m) same day. On May 18, I climbed to Camp-3 (7,162m) whereas on May 19, I reached South Col Camp-4 (8,000m).

“However, I could not attempt summit on May 19 due to bad weather, which forced the other climbing parties to return back. On improvement in weather, I started summit attempt at 7pm on May 20, due to breaking of famous Hillary step portion of the ridge near the Everest summit, exhaustion of oxygen, illness of potter Sherpa and body fatigue due to overstay above 8,000m, I struggled to climb and finally reached Everest summit at 11:30pm on May 21, 2017.

“I am 59 years old, but for me, age is a numbers game only. I am a fighter by nature and when I left to summit Everest, I made up my mind that I would scale down no matter what come in the way of spirited adventurist Jabbar Bhatti and succeeded in accomplishing my task,” he added.

Jabbar financed his Mount Everest expedition amounting to more than Rs 6 million from within his own resources without any government financial assistance, which bespeaks of his utmost love for adventure activities and mountaineering.

The IPC minister was chief guest at the ceremony held to honour Col Jabbar for his services for the country and termed him brave son of soil, who raised Pakistan flag at world’s highest peak and that too against all the odds. The minister not only promised to provide him financial assistance but also assured to recommend his name for Sitara-i-Imtiaz, which would be conferred on him on August 14. Suspended PSB Director General Akhtar Ganjera, Acting DG Fyayyaz-ul-Haq, Alpine Club of Pakistan president Lt Col (R) Manzoor Hussain along with others were also present on the occasion.

Announcing suspended PSB DG Akhtar Ganjera’s return to office, the minister said: “Ganjera’s suspension period expired on 25th and he will assume charge. He is the best man to lead the PSB, as he has done PHD in Sports, which no one had done in the past.

Riaz said he had tendered resignation as being the custodian of the PSB, it was his duty to step aside if a person working under him was involved in wrongdoing, but Ganjera was neat and clean, and time had proven that he was the best man to lead PSB. “I have not decided whether to contest next general elections or not.”