Family awaits body of Sherpa guide slain in Pak
June 27 , 2013
Family members of Sona Sherpa were eagerly awaiting his arrival back
home after a successful ascent of Nanga Parbat, the world´s ninth
highest mountain. But with news of the attack by Taliban militants on
mountaineers including a Nepali in northern Pakistan, the family of the
36-year old Nepali mountaineering guide is devastated.
They now await the arrival of the body from Islamabad. The telephone
conversation the Sherpa family had with Sona from Nanga Parbat base camp
on Friday turned out to be his last verbal contact with them. “He had
assured us that he would return home without further delay once the
expedition was over,” recounted his 70-year-old mother Furchhiki Sherpa,
her eyes filled with tears.
Sona Sherpa of Chheskam VDC in Solukhumbu district was among 11 people
killed by Taliban militants late Saturday in northern Pakistan. Taliban
gunmen killed Sherpa along with Ukrainians, Chinese and two Pakistanis
after breaking into their tents at base camp.
With their sole bread winner no more, Sona´s 28-year-old widow Doma
Sherpa is now worried about the future of her two sons -- Pema Rinji, 8,
and Pema Dorji who is 18 months old.
“I have no idea what I should do next. My sons are very young. How can I
fulfill his wish to provide them a better education,” she asks herself
even in her grief. Speaking with a chocked voice and swollen eyes, she
said he had always dreamt of a bright future for their sons as he
himself was not properly educated.
Surrounded by relatives and well-wishers gathered in a narrow room, she
murmured, “It´s like a bad dream... I can´t believe he is dead.”
Prayer beads in hand, the mother of the deceased said, “I heard that
some terrorists killed my son but he was not a political man. He was
just a good man helping mountain climbers."
"As my mother said, being physically strong, helpful and polite was the
ultimate reason for his death," said Chiring Sherpa, one of the younger
brothers, who is involved in the trekking trade.
The attack was reportedly in retaliation for the killing of Waliur
Rehman, second-in-command of the terrorist group, during militant
operations. But the family expressed total ignorance about any real
cause and about the terrorists involved in the killings.
"I don´t know about any political cause for my brother´s death. I only know that he was a very hard worker," said Chiring.
The Chinese expedition, with which Sona had successfully summitted Mt
Everest, was dying to take him as an expedition guide for the Nanga
Parbat expedition also, he said adding that unable to ignore their
request he left Nepal on June 10.
As he was busy Chiring couldn´t talk when he called from India, but the
last thing he remembers was that he was very sad about family.
According to his family, Sona had already climbed Mt Everest three
times, Makalu once and the same Nanga Parbat once, in 2009 with a Korean
The Chinese expedition was about to begin its ascent of the 8,126m
(26,660ft) Nanga Parbat from last Saturday, but unfortunately that was
not to be, said Mingmar Sherpa, chief of the the Seven Summit Trek Pvt
Ltd, which coordinated for the expedition.
They now hope to get the body here as soon as possible and wish to see
whether the Nepal Government or the Pakistan Government would take some
initiative for the proper education of his children and provide some
relief to the family, the chief of the trekking company said.
Meanwhile, Bharat Raj Poudyal, Nepal´s ambassador to Pakistan, informed
that the Pakistan authorities had given assurances of repatriating the
body by Monday. “We are currently busy completing the necessary
bureaucratic procedures and the Foreign and Home Ministries of Pakistan
have been cooperating well in this regard," he said.