Philippine’s Duterte says wants to expand defense, counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes the Pakistan Navy personnel as he is given military honors upon boarding the Pakistan Navy Ship Saif docked at Pier 15, Port Area, Manila on Dec. 14, 2017. (Photo courtesy: Presidential Photo)
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Updated 03 December 2020

Philippine’s Duterte says wants to expand defense, counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan

  • Philippine president received the credentials of Pakistan's new ambassador to Manila on Wednesday
  • He said he wants to expand military-to-military exchanges and intelligence sharing with Pakistan

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday expressed his country's willingness to expand defense and counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan.
Duterte's comments came as he received the credentials of several new envoys to Manila, including Pakistani Ambassador Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad Kazi.
"Let me extend our military-to-military exchanges and sharing of intelligence and best practices, particularly in countering terrorism and violence," Duterte told Kazi while accepting his letter of credence.
"I recall my visit aboard the Navy Ship PNS Saif in 2017," he said, referring to a Pakistan Navy frigate.
During the ceremony, Kazi praised Duterte's "far-sighted policies, "leadership which has brought so many dividends for the Republic of the Philippines," and success in containing the COVID-19 outbreak.
"Our two countries ... enjoyed long enduring ties of friendship and cooperation. In fact, we started off in 1949, when a consulate of the Philippines was opened in Karachi," he said.
He also referred to the island region of Mindanao, which has a significant Muslim population and has seen numerous outbreaks of militancy and separatism.
"We, in Pakistan, admire the consistent endeavors of Your Excellency towards restoration of peace and stability in the Mindanao region, which has brought increased trust and stability and trust among the stakeholders and significant prosperity for the people of the region and the country," Kazi said.
In 2017, Duterte declared martial law in the entire Mindanao following a five-month siege of Marawi City by Daesh-affiliated militants.
During the same ceremony, the Philippine president also promised to expand defense cooperation with India, as he welcomed New Delhi's envoy Shambhu Kumaran.
“The Philippines is committed to further enhance cooperation with India in defense, security, trade and investments, and in combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said, adding that India-Philippines relations were driven by synergies between his administration’s "independent foreign policy" and India’s Act East strategy.

Nepalese climbers bag mountaineering’s last great prize: winter ascent of Pakistan’s K2

Updated 16 January 2021

Nepalese climbers bag mountaineering’s last great prize: winter ascent of Pakistan’s K2

  • One of the ten Nepalese mountaineers performed the feat without using an oxygen cylinder
  • K2 earned the nickname of ‘savage mountain’ since a large number of climbers lost their lives while trying to scale it

ISLAMABAD: A group of Nepalese climbers made history on Saturday by summiting the world’s second tallest mountain, K2, in winter, according to its team leader who made the announcement on Facebook only minutes after making the accomplishment. 

“The Karakorum’s ‘Savage Mountain’ has been summited in the most dangerous season: WINTER,” Chhang Dawa Sherpa exclaimed in his social media post.

His announcement was also confirmed by an official of the Alpine Club of Pakistan which deals with mountaineering expeditions in the country.

At 8,611 meters, K2 was the only peak among the 14 “8000ers” located in the Karakorum and Himalayan mountain ranges that remained unconquered during winter. 

Along the icy glaciers of the Karakoram, mountaineers and locals speak about K2 summits with a hushed reverence, and folklore in the area is rife with mythical stories of the mountain “permitting” climbers to reach its top — considered the ultimate honor granted to a mortal by nature. 

When a climb doesn't go as planned, locals tell each other the mountain refused to be scaled. 

“The Nepalese climbers finally reached the summit of Mt. K2 … this afternoon at 17:00 local time,” Dawa wrote. “This is the first winter ascent of the 2nd highest mountain in the world and the ONLY eight-thousander (8000er) to be climbed in winter. This is a greatest achievement in the history of mountaineering, this is a good example of team work … ‘If a mountain lets you climb it, no one can stop you.’” 

One of the ten Nepalese climbers, Mingma G, also became the first mountaineer to summit the peak in winter without an oxygen cylinder.

K2 earned the nickname of “savage mountain” since a large number of climbers — 86 in all — lost their lives while trying to scale it. 

In 2008, 11 climbers from an international expedition died in what was considered as the single worst accident in the history of mountaineering. 

K2 straddles the Pakistan-China border. While it is about two-and-a-half football fields shorter than Everest (8,848 meters), it is widely considered to be the toughest and most dangerous mountain to climb. 

More than 300 climbers have scaled K2 in spring and summer. Italians Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli were the first to reach its summit in the summer of 1954.