Here’s the Real Reason Behind Delay in Nanga Parbat Rescue Operation


On 25th of January, two foreign mountaineers were left stranded while climbing Nanga Parbat, which is also known as the ‘Killer Mountain’ given its dangerous terrain and harsh climatic conditions.

During their trek, the climbers got stuck and subsequently sent out requests for someone to save them, via satellite phone.

Those calls were responded to by Pakistan Army, as well as French and Polish embassies in Pakistan. However, there was a delay in mounting the rescue effort.

The Controversy

That delay has become a subject of intense discussion in Pakistan, with social media users divided about the way the whole episode was handled. Some criticized the delay in rescue operations, whereas some people pointed out that this is how things are done in any part of the world.

It might be easy to say ‘well Pakistan doesn’t do things the right way’ and write off the efforts of those who actually did the right thing. But in this case, a clarification is in order.

Here’s what happened and how such rescue operations are handled in any part of the world. Lets take a look at how it all started. sent out a tweet saying:

By itself, the tweet conveys a proper message, to put humanity above all other concerns.

However, a noted journalist, decided to analyse all other details that a common person might not be aware of – especially when it comes to intensely dangerous and complex rescue operations like this.

The explanation seems sensible. Climbers are made well aware of how their rescue will happen in case they get stranded. It is rather a common practice in many countries where authorities have foreign adventurers tourists sign a contract which both parties have to honor.

Another journalist also clarified queries from different users who were presenting different solutions to the problem.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Turns out that foreign climbers have been getting away with these stringent requirements over the past few years as well. The climbers get stuck and the military has to be called in to rescue them. Its not the first incident of its kind, and certainly not the last.

In many cases. these expeditions are backed commercially, so its not like they can’t afford to pay up insurance costs.

Here’s why the army cannot afford giving free rescue services to everyone:

An upfront payment sounds like a good idea.

It turns out that this very system exists in Pakistan and therefore, it has to be followed regardless of nationality or clout:

One social media user pointed to the lack of empathy in this case. However, some people have to realize sooner or later that the rules are there to protect them.

It’s not just Pakistan where such rules are followed. Nepal, home to the highest peak in the world, also employs similar rules.

Do you think it was wrong to demand upfront payment from the climbers in this case? Or not? Have your say in the comments below.

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