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Killers' Mountain
September 2, 2013 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Inside the Nanga Parbat MurdersOne of the worst massacres in mountaineering history happened this summer in Pakistan. Will it happen again? from Outside Online, July 30, 2013 (more details in Climbers Recount Murder on Famous Pakistan Peak at National Geographic and Chilling Accounts of Nanga Parbat Massacre at Climbing). One Pakistani Taliban group claimed the attack was retribution for a U.S. drone strike that killed Wali-ur-Rehman on May 29, 2013. After a dangerous investigation by Pakistani Army forces and local police, 20 perpetrators were arrested by August 19, 2013.
posted by cenoxo (10 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
“It’s a game-changer, for sure,” claims one savvy observer of Central Asia.

Indeed. I was surprised to see that this post has been up for almost 3 hours with no comments yet. But then I started reading the articles and am now just overwhelmed by the complexities.

What an awful thing.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:44 PM on September 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the post, cenoxo, I hadn't heard about this in the news. It's a pretty horrifying account - it must have taken massive planning, it is not a location you just drop in on. It's going to be devastating for the local economy.

I'd have thought this would be targeting Americans or some other countries that the Taliban had a grudge against, but it didn't help anyone survive to be from neutral countries.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:10 PM on September 2, 2013


Approaching Nanga Parbat Base Camp
(3652 × 900 pixels)
posted by cenoxo at 3:21 PM on September 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


mjjj: It's going to be devastating for the local economy.

From Alpinist.com, Nanga Parbat Victims, Alleged Attackers Identified:
Inseparable from discussion of the Nanga Parbat tragedy is the impact such a widely publicized attack will have on Pakistan's economy. After 9/11, the number of permits issues for climbs in the northern region plunged from 120 to 150 per year in the 1990s to fewer than 30, Tayyab Mir of Pakistan Tourism Development told The Associated Press. More recently, tourism was on the rise. A 2010 report by the Gilgit-Baltistan government estimated 150,000 tourists would visit in 2012, a 142% increase from 62,000 visitors in 2010. Just halfway through 2013, fifty teams have already applied for permits—each one representing thousands of dollars in revenue toward the local and national economies.

Goodman, McCormick and Ouellet's expedition alone expected to spend around $15,000 while travelling in Pakistan, not including flights on foreign airlines. Even alpine-style climbs in the Karakoram include trekking agency fees, wages for low-altitude porters and cooks and money for food, transportation and lodging.

"Forget tourism for another 10 years," Additional Inspector General of Police Sarmad Saeed Khan said, according to the International Business Times. "Hundreds of sectarian killings could not do the damage that the killing of 10 foreign tourists has done. Thousands of families will have to seek some alternate means of livelihood."
For every act of retribution, expect repercussions.
posted by cenoxo at 7:37 PM on September 2, 2013


The Taliban have surely committed worse atrocities, but this one does jolt me for the seemng unfairness. I'm not sure why. I think it's because when you are climbing a 8000 m mountain, you are already locked in twin battles that are man-vs-nature and man-vs-himself themed. To inject a third man-vs-man conflict into that, just seems like kicking someone when they are down and exposed. Not to mention the fact that none of these guys participated in any way in killing OBL or in the drone strike, and weren't even American. (Well, except the one Chinese-born American guy, I guess).
posted by Didymium at 3:27 AM on September 3, 2013


The Taliban have surely committed worse atrocities, but this one does jolt me for the seemng unfairness
Yes, but what have the Taliban ever done that was based on "fairness". These are sexually-frustrated "men" who have been raised to meet any questioning of their ass-backwards misogynistic world-view with violence.
posted by blueberry at 10:35 AM on September 3, 2013


As cenoxo points out, the fact that the Taliban absolutely did not take the locals livelihoods and needs into account is the thing that is the most shocking to me. Hearts and minds...
posted by rosswald at 12:02 PM on September 3, 2013


It would seem they would want the destabilization that this brings - this was not just an attack on the western tourists but on the population that is engaged in commerce with the western devils. So the attack was a two-fer - a frightening and unexpected attack on westerners and a strong message to the locals. If Afghanistan is any gauge, terror is one of the primary ways that they maintain power within any population.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:17 PM on September 3, 2013


The Taliban

Keeping in mind this is not "the Taliban" from Afghanistan, it's the TTP.
posted by dhartung at 4:38 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Related (although rocks, not AK-47s): Everest Fight Reveals Cultural Chasm Between Climbers, Sherpas, NPR, April 30, 2013.
posted by cenoxo at 4:56 AM on September 4, 2013


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