As the rain and snow cover over Pakistan clears up to blue skies and sunshine, expeditions in the country’s far north finally have the opportunity to attempt one of the world’s most dangerous endeavors – attempting to summit world’s second highest peak K2 and the ‘killer mountain’ Nanga Parbat. Three foreign expedition teams, mixed with locals and tour operators have been waiting at the base camps of these mountains, and as they begin their final ascent, the world’s eyes will be on them.

Pakistan, blessed as it is with a variety and abundance of natural splendor, contains a unique tourist attraction – its plethora of gargantuan mountains where the Himalayas, Hindu Kush and the Karakoram ranges meet. These mountains are only accessible to the most intrepid of travelers, and their remoteness and harsh beauty have attracted a dedicated community of international mountaineers to the country for years – as well as a growing community of local tourists.

It is telling that even in the country’s most unstable times, where foreign tourism had all but dried up, this community braved the dangers and continued to come to Pakistan for its mountains. Despite a tragic direct attack by militants on international mountaineers camped near Nanga Parbat in 2013, which killed 11 people, the steady stream of these mountaineers has not stopped.

With Pakistan becoming safer and more open in recent times, and the government relaxing visa requirements in a bid to boost investments and tourism, it is imperative that this specific demographic be catered to as well. It currently takes a lot of paperwork to organize expeditions for mountains above 6000 meters, and facilities available for many of the other attractions also need updating.

With foreign tour operators returning to the region, now is the time to rationalise, streamline and update the regulations surrounding these expeditions as well advertising the many untapped vistas to a more casual tourists.