Renowned mountaineer Hasan Sadpara passed away in Rawalpindi on Monday.
Sadpara, who was among the three Pakistanis to have summited Mount Everest, had been critically ill for the past two months and was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Rawalpindi. The 54-year-old climber had contracted blood cancer. He leaves behind three sons and a daughter.
The government had directed the provision of the best medical care for Sadpara. Having already spent large sums of money on his treatment, his family had all but abandoned the thought of seeking treatment abroad.
He was the first Pakistani to have climbed six 8,000 meter peaks, including the Everest (8,848m) and K-2 (8,611m). He was also awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtaiz for his feats.
Sadpara whose real name was Hassan Asad, hailed from the small village of Sadpara, around seven kilometres from Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan.
At a relatively advanced age, he defied various hardships of mountain-climbing: the rough terrain, adversities of the harsh climate and a deteriorating oxygen supply, to conquer Mount Everest. Sadpara overcame all these obstacles on his life-endangering mission, claiming that it was only love of the country that saw him make it to the top.
The Skardu climber reached the summit of the world’s tallest mountain on May 12 becoming the second Pakistani after the legendary mountaineer Nazir Sabir to hoist the national flag on the 29,028ft peak.
After accomplishing this feat, Sadpara also became the most successful climber in Pakistani history, as he also enjoyed the distinction of reaching the peaks of all five mountains of over 8,000m in Pakistan. Sabir only managed to reach summits of four of these mountains.
Sadpara, who ran a small shop in a flea market in Skardu, said it was sheer patriotism that helped him achieve his goal. He claimed that the one thought that kept his ambition alive during the deadly mission, was that of hoisting the Pakistani flag atop the Everest.
Inspired by his father and uncle, Sadpara started mountain-climbing in 1999 and the same year conquered Nanga Parbat. He climbed K-2 in 2004 and two years later reached the peaks of Gasherbrum 1 and Gasherbrum 2 within a week of each other in July 2006. In 2007, he made it to the Broad Peak to become the first Pakistani to scale the tallest five mountains of the country.
PM condoles Sadpara’s death
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed on Monday deep grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Sadpara, a statement said.
“The prime minister prayed to Almighty Allah to bless the departed soul with eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude,” PM Nawaz was quoted as saying.