Record-breaking climber Shehroze Kashif is pessimistic about the future of mountaineering in Pakistan.
Kashif claimed that he has received no support despite making Pakistan proud at the international level.
“I’m extremely disappointed and forced to say that sportsmen get no respect in Pakistan,” Kashif told Geo News in an exclusive interview on Sunday.
“The Minister of Inter Provincial Coordination [Ehsan-ur-Rehman Mazari] has promised to support me 10 times in the past but not even one has been fulfilled so far.
“I have met nearly everyone so far, including the President [Arif Alvi], but these meeting don’t matter to me anymore since nobody is interested in supporting mountaineering in Pakistan.”
It must be noted that 20-year-old Kashif is on a mission to become the youngest climber to summit all 14 peaks over eight thousand meters.
Currently, the youngest person to climb all mountains over 8,000m is Mingma Gyabu "David" Sherpa, who summitted all 14 peaks by the age of 30 years 166 days. His first ascent was Everest on 23 May 2010 and his last was Shisha Pangma on 29 October 2019.
In August last year, Kashif summited Mount Gasherbrum I (8,080m), becoming the youngest mountaineer in the world to scale 10 peaks above 8,000m.
Kashif’s journey began when he climbed Mount Broad Peak (8,051m) at the age of 17, making him famous as The Broad Boy. He scaled K2 (8,511m) at the age of 19, becoming the youngest person to climb the savage mountain. He also holds the Guinness World Record for youngest climber to scale world’s two highest mountains- Everest (8,848m) and K2 in the same year.
Kashif also underwent a spinal surgery, last year, after he was diagnosed with a torn L5-S1 disc — which acts as a shock-absorber to protect the vertebrae during spine movements.
“I’m fully fit now after surgery and will resume climbing in March this year,” Kashif concluded.