Mountains Pride Awards celebrate the services of individuals par excellence  


Saturday December 14, 2019

Islamabad – Some of the living legends from the mountains of Pakistan turned up to make the launch of the Pakistan Mountains Pride Awards 2019 a big success. Devcom-Pakistan has launched five awards to celebrate the services of the individuals par excellence, adding another valued feature to the 9th edition of the globally recognised Pakistan Mountain Festival.

The two-week long thematic advocacy and public engagement festival is an annual flagship event of the Devcom-Pakistan that engages stakeholders from up and downstream. The concluding event of the 9th Pakistan Mountain Festival was organised with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), WaterAid and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) at the Comsats University Islamabad campus to mark the International Mountains Day.  

The Nepal Ambassador Ms. Sewa Lamsal and Australian Deputy High Commissioner Breck Batley were the guests of honour who distributed the awards among the winners.  

Briefing about the first Pakistan Mountains Pride Awards, Director Devcom-Pakistan Munir Ahmed who is also the founder of the awards and Pakistan Mountain Festival said: We aspired to set a tradition to recognise and celebrate the services of individuals at par excellence in their lives. I believe at least five of the living legends would feel happy and satisfied that someone launched awards after their names in their lives.    

Mr. Ahmed said: Agostino Da Polenza Mountain Conservation Award is aimed at to recognise and appreciate the services of the Italian alpinist that were supported by his government and other international partners in Gilgit-Baltistan through his development organisations for more than four decades. A well-known conservationist Ashiq Ahmad Khan was honoured with this award.    

Shoaib Sultan Khan Community Development Award is to celebrate the services of the first rural development guru in the mountain region. Having inspiration from Akhtar Hameed Khan’s community development model, Shoaib Sultan Khan established 4000 community organisations in different parts of the northern region while working with Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP).  Syed Yahya Shah and Jan Alam were the recipients of this award for the untiring services of more than three decades in community development.   

Nazir Sabir is a globally known and well respected name in the field of mountaineering. The first Nazir Sabir Mountaineering Award was conferred upon late Tsuneo Miyamori who climbed the unclimbed Bunni Zom in 1962, and later on started developing the mountaineering route maps of Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges in Pakistan published in 1979. He kept on improving the maps till he breathed last.

Ashraf Aman was the first Pakistani porter to climb K2 in 1977. Having snow-bite on his foot led him to lose his fingers and he could not continue his mountaineering. Since then he started promoting adventure Tourism and making pathways for mountain tourism. The first Ashraf Aman Adventure Tourism Award was given away to Aftab ur Rehman Rana who had promoted sustainable mountain tourism over the last 35 years through his action plans and policy frameworks.

Ustad Jan Ali Jan is a 72 year old singer, musician, poet having the expertise in playing different music instruments. He is well-known as the father of hareeps, the symphonies and compositions in the local languages. He has inspired everyone in the realm of mountain music. Ustad Jan Ali Jan Mountain Music Award was conferred upon Abdul Ghafoor Chillasi (Gilgit) and Mansoor Ali Shabab (Chitral), both are extremely popular and well respected voices promoting the indigenous music with all dedication.