ISLAMABAD - Hassan Sadpara brought tremendous respect for the country, as he had scaled six out of 14, 8000 metres and above mountains including the world tallest Mount Everest and that too without using oxygen, but he was left high and dry and running from post to pillar to get what was promised to him three years back.
In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Thursday, Hassan said: “I am very disappointed and I had done what nobody could even think about. I am the first and only Pakistani to scale down six 8000 plus mountains without even using oxygen and had planned to conquer remaining eight as well in three years, but my PC-I is lying on the table for the past three years or so and no one had the time to consider my request.”
“I have written to chief secretary Gilgit in 2009 about my plans and he, very kindly, arranged my meeting with the then president Asif Ali Zardari within a week. I requested the president to sanction a grant of $120,000 so I could embark on the journey, but the amount of only $80,000 was sanctioned. It was around Rs 6.2 million and interesting thing was that I had to pay Nepal loyalty of Rs 7.2 million for climbing down the peak,” he added.
“I have no option but to contact Alpine Club, who bore all the expenses of my journey and I managed to scale down Mount Everest on May 12, 2011 and that too in only four days, a world record still stands and I did that without using oxygen. In fact, I never used oxygen during all the six peaks I scaled,” he maintained.
“When I arrived at Islamabad Airport, Gilgit/Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah met me and promised me to provide 10-kanal piece of land in Skardu, where I wanted to construct a mountaineering school for the youth of my country, but despite several pleas and visits, the CM is least bothered in fulfilling his promise,” he stated.
“I don't want over the moon facilities or out of the way favours, but if Mirza Ali Baig and Samina Baig can be showered with number of cash incentives, why I have been ignored. I have made all the records for the country then why such a harsh treatment has been rendered to me. I was also conferred with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz on March 23 but not a single penny in cash was given to me while on the other hand, another recipient of same award alongside me was handed over Rs 3,000,000 as well,” Hassan asserted.
“I also want to provide emergency services to mountaineers, who have to face a number of difficulties while attempting to scale down peaks. It will be in great benefit for them, but no one is ready to pay heed to my requests,” he added.
“I want to meet Prime Minister Mian M Nawaz Sharif to tender my requests to him because he is a true sports lover and I am sure he will listen to my genuine problems and order immediate action. I am a very poor man can't even afford to bear expenses of my visit to Islamabad. I am a scale-V employee in Skardu police on honorary basis and getting only Rs 26,000 salary with three sons and one daughter to feed. It is almost impossible for me to meet both the ends,” he added.
“I can't start ordinary work as people of the area think I am a national hero, but reality is biter and harsh. I need attention of the higher authorities to fulfill my ambitions and bring more laurels for the country by scaling down the remaining eight peaks. I can do that if government provides me financial support, Hassan concluded.