Gilgit - Baltistan

Samina Baig reaches Pakistan, warmly received at Islamabad airport

Our Correspondent

Islamabad, June 3: Samin Baig, the 22 years old conqueror of the Mount Everest landed today in Islamabad along with her 29 years old brother, Mirza. They were greeted on arrival by Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, Syed Mehdi Shah and Sadia Danish, advisor to Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan on youth affairs, sports and tourism.

A large number of people from different parts of Gilgit-Baltistan had gathered at the Islamabad International Airport to greet the young female mountaineer who made history by climbing the 8848 meters high peak, along with two Indian sisters.

Talking to the media at the airport Samina said that she is proud of being Pakistani and she felt immense happiness on being the first Pakistani female mountaineer to scale Mount Everest. She urged the people of Pakistan to support the female folks in all walks of life and to encourage them to move ahead in life with grace and confidence.

Speaking at the occasion, Chief Minister Mehdi Shah congratulated Samina and Mirza for climbing the Mount Everest. He said that  the government of GB will provide maximum support to the heroes of the nation.

Later, the brother and sister were taken to the Sports Complex in the form of a procession, where they addressed a highly attended press conference, organized by the Alpine Club of Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion the President of Alpine Club said that they have recommended Samina Baig’s name for awarding of Sitara-e-Imtiaz, one of the most prestigious civil awards of the country.

Speaking at the press conference Mirza Ali shared details of the adventure. He said that he returned from the height of almost 8600 meters, allowing Samina Baig to summit the peak on her own. “I wanted to show to the world that given the right opportunities and support women can do anything on their own”, he said.

“I want the people of Pakistan to understand that women are equal and they should be given equal opportunities for progress”, Mirza said. He added that through his organization “Pakistan Youth Outreach” he has been trying to use adventure sports to promote the concept of gender equality.

Samina Baig thanked the people of Gilgit-Baltistan for welcoming her on her return to Pakistan. “I cried on the peak of the Everest holding the Green flag in my hands”, she said. “I want all the people of Pakistan to love the country and be proud of Pakistan, irrespective of all the difficulties we are facing”, she further said.

Speaking at the occasion the President of Pakistan Association of Tour Operators, Amjad Ayub, criticized the federal government for ignoring Samina on her arrival in the country. He said that members of the federal cabinet should have come to the airport to receive the national heroes. He demanded the highest national civil award for Samina Baig.

The press conference culminated with a cultural dance in which Mirza Ali and his father along with other people danced to the tune of traditional music of Gilgit-Baltistan, celebrating the success.

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