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Islamabad

November 27, 2017

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Mountain Film Festival opens today

Islamabad: Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) is holding screenings of documentary films on the eve of 7th Pakistan Mountain Festival on November 27, at PNCA Lecture Hall from 5 to 7 p.m.
Pakistan is blessed with the highest mountain peaks in the world. Mountaineers from all over the world have visited northern parts of the country. In the recent past, there has been decline due to reasons known to all us. However, things are beginning to move in the positive direction and one can hope that he glories of tourism and tourists are on their way back.
The five films included in the film gala are; ‘Agli Rutt Ki Dastak’, ‘Deosai’, ‘Central Karokaram Northern Park’, ‘Marghallah Hills Northern Park’, ‘K2 and The Invisible Footmen.’
We get to see many events, locations and people in these five extraordinary films. We meet Sameena Khayal Baig who set the record of climbing highest peaks. She has brought it to the record that mountain climbing has nothing to do with men folks only-no gender discrimination, please.
As we move on to more screenings, we see efforts to protect the survival of Himalayan brown bear. Poachers and hunters have been after it to kill and win. With renewed efforts, the brown bear has not only survived but also increased modestly. The danger still exists for its survival as the greed and the lust of commercial interests supports hunters and poachers. But struggle and uphill battle goes on with international help and support.
‘Northern Karokaram Park’ takes us to a world containing some of the largest glaciers outside the polar regions. Being the largest protected area, it covers more than 10,000 km in the Karakorum mountain range. The Marghallah Hills take us to areas enriched and bestowed with natural beauty which most of us take it for granted as our backyards. How mistaken we are (Read: residents of Islamabad in particular). Situated North of Islamabad, the Marghallah hills cover the foothills of

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Himalayas with resorts like Shakarparian, Daman-e-Koh, Pir Sohawa, Rawal Lake and much more beyond around. Ironical as it sounds, the urban residents only go there to eat. The owners of eateries here have cemented that loud and clear. There is no respect or concern for maintenance, visible with tons and tons of garbage and litter around.
‘K2 and the Invisible Footmen’ is the most touching film from the lot. Lara Lee and the crew show us the life and hardships of Pakistani porters rejoicing on the eve of 60th anniversary of K2. Underneath the dance and melodies you find the pain and torture these porters go through their lifetime. For few minutes, we become part of sacrifices of porters as well as courage of climbers. While the porters serve, the climbers come back to climb K2, notwithstanding the hardships, trauma and tragedies they have been through in the past. Here we also look into the culture and traditions which are close to us yet distant. Those of us here and abroad should get familiar with the shining side of this land, far away from conflict and strife.
aijazzgul@gmail.com

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