BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: At least 20 personnel of high altitude police unit reached Diamer valley on Wednesday to protect foreign expedition groups attempting to scale Nanga Parbat, also known as ‘Killer Mountain.’
“They are highly trained and will ensure security of climbers in heights,” said Mubarak Jan, a police spokesman about the personnel who travelled from Gilgit to Chilas town on Wednesday.
The Gilgit-Baltistan government formed the high altitude police unit in 2013 after gunmen shot dead nine foreign climbers and their guide at the base camp of Nanga Parbat, already long known as the “killer mountain” for the number of people who had perished trying to scale it.
“The 20 police are among those 125 policemen trained by army in Army High Altitude Schools,” Jan told Outpost.
A day earlier in Gilgit, the regional police chief Capt (Retd) Zafar Iqbal Awan pat the shoulders of the men, who were the first badge to complete the training, before seeing them off for the assignment.
The new force was equipped with special gear to help them work in the harsh terrain of the Gilgit-Baltistan region that is home to various tallest peaks including K2, the second highest peak in the world.
According to the spokesman, the gear was obtained by the police chief from the army.
At least four foreign expedition groups have reportedly made it to Chilas, headquarter of Diamer district, to climb Nanga Parbat.
Meanwhile district administration in Diamer has expedited efforts to arrest the militants hiding in valleys of Diamer.
In a visit to Tangir valley recently, Chief Minister Hafeezur Rahman had asked them to surrender unconditionally. “Those absconders are about 20 men involved in crimes like attack on forces,” said a security official.
“The CM asked them to surrender or else they would be hunted down.”
Talking to Outopst, deputy commissioner Diamer Usman Ahmad said the fugitives would be dealt with as per law.
“They must surrender and if they do so they will be treated as per law.”