Pakistan Army rescues foreign mountaineers stuck in avalanche

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Foreign mountaineers rescued by Pakistan Army team. (Photo courtesy: ISPR)
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Pakistan Army conducts rescue operation. (Photo courtesy: ISPR)
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This undated photo provide by a Pakistani tour operating company ‘Higher Ground Expeditions’ shows Austrian mountaineer Christian Huber posing for a photograph, in Hunza, Pakistan. (Higher Ground Expeditions via AP)
Updated 01 July 2018

Pakistan Army rescues foreign mountaineers stuck in avalanche

  • While Ultar Sar Peak does not present the fiercest climbing challenge, it can still be tough and is not immune to the risk of snowslide
  • Christian Huber died when the calamity struck Saturday some 5,900 meters up Ultar Sar Mountain

ISLAMABAD: In a daring operation, Pakistan Army’s pilots rescued foreign mountaineers who were hit by an avalanche at more than 19,000 feet high Ultar Sar Peak near Hunza, informed the Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor, in a Twitter message on Sunday.
The army team managed to rescue two British climbers, Bruce Normand and Timothy Miller, and recovered the body of their third team member, who succumbed to injuries sustained in the avalanche, said the military spokesperson.

Christian Huber died when the calamity struck Saturday some 5,900 meters up Ultar Sar Mountain.
“The dead mountaineer was a citizen of Austria,” local police confirmed.
Pakistan is home to some of the tallest peaks in the world and attracts international mountaineers in huge numbers.
While Ultar Sar does not present the fiercest climbing challenge, unlike some of the mammoth mountains that are more than 8,000 meters high it can still be tough and is not immune to the risk of snowslide.


Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

  • New skills-based system to be launched from next month
  • Will include India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program that will eventually include Pakistan, a senior official at the Saudi labor ministry said this week. 

Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor, said on Tuesday in Riyadh that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes.

Under the new policy, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. 

The new scheme would be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it would become compulsory, Al-Omair said. The new program would first be applied to manpower recruited from India due to its large size in the Saudi market.

Eventually, the program will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.6 million Pakistani expats those have been a vital source of foreign remittances.

Last year the country received $21.8 billion in remittances out of which $5 billion were remitted by Pakistani nationals working in Kingdom.

According to the Pakistani ministry of finance, there was a major decline in manpower export to Saudi Arabia where only 100,910 emigrants proceeded for employment in 2018 as compared to 2017, a drop of 42,453 emigrants.

However, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase the share of the Pakistani labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower. Pakistani groups will visit the Kingdom in the coming months to finalize arrangements.