Pakistan’s army chief signs death warrant of terrorist who killed Nepalese mountaineer in 2013

General Raheel Sharif
General Raheel Sharif , Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan Army

Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has signed the death warrants of 13 terrorists including Irfan Ullah who was responsible for killing an accomplished Sherpa mountaineer from Nepal at the base camp of Nanga Parbat in northern Pakistan.

Sona Sherpa, one of 11 victims of the 2013 Nanga Parbat massacre

Sona Sherpa, a climber from Nepal, had already scaled Nanga Parbat in 2009 but had been back in June 2013 to help out a team of Chinese climbers. He was described as ‘kind and a gifted leader‘ and ‘an excellent guide and a wonderful person’.

“Today Chief of Army Staff confirmed death sentences awarded to another 13 hardcore terrorists, who were involved in committing heinous offences relating to terrorism, including killing of foreign tourists at Nanga Parbat,” a press release issued by the country’s Inter Services Public Relations said on March 15.

Profiling the condemned man, Pakistan Army’s statement said the convict was an active member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan who was involved in the killing of 10 foreign tourists near the base camp of Pakistan’s second and the world’s ninth tallest mountain peak.  “He admitted his offences before the Magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on 3 charges and awarded death sentence,” the ISPR further said. He and rest of the condemned men were tried in a military court.

Gunmen wearing paramilitary fatigue stormed the camps at 1 am on 22 June 2013 and massacred the ten foreign climbers and a local Pakistani assistant. They had assembled at the 13,000-foot base camp in the beautiful tourist region of the South Asian nation.

The other ten victims included one Chinese-born American, two Chinese nationals, three Ukranians, two Slovaks and one Lithuanian.

Sehr Khan, one of the survivors of the vicious attack, later told National Geograhic in an interview that the attackers approached the camps in the dead of the chilly night shouting “Taliban! Al Qaeda! Surrender”. They tied the men and paraded them through the camps looking for money and destroyed all phones and communication devices. Once convinced they had gotten all the money available at the camps, they shot them with automatic weapons.

Mr Khan said that some men vainly tried to save themselves by yelling “I am not American! I am not American!”

Chinese national Zhang Jingchuan survived the terrorist attacks to share the moment of horror, “We were sleeping when they caught us. Our hands were tied and we were made to kneel on the ground. After they searched everyone, the massacre began. A shot was aimed at my head, but it missed. And I began to run and got to the valley.”

The death toll could probably have risen if rest of the climbers, around 50 of them, had not already gone up the the trail to the 26,660-foot peak.

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