A team of 26 trekkers from Bradford and across the U.K. came to Pakistan to take on the challenge of a lifetime – hiking to the base of “killer mountain”, Nanga Parbat, as well as hiking to Rush Lake; the highest alpine lake in Pakistan and Rush Peak, a mountain in the Karakoram range, nestled at an altitude of 5,098m.

The team comprised of a mix of men and women with an age range of 14 to 72, from all over the U.K. came together with the mission of raising funds and awareness for the cancer hospital in their own communities.

Ikhlaq Ahmed, Manager of the U.K. registered charity, Imran Khan Cancer Appeal added, “We are really pleased to have been able to complete the challenge in Pakistan this year. Not only is this year the 25th anniversary of the Lahore facility opening, but also trekking in Pakistan for such a worthwhile cause whilst exploring and showcasing the beauty of this resilient and naturally well endowed country was another purpose of the challenge.

We wanted the world to see that Pakistan is a place where charity thrives and meets in literally breathtaking locations. We want the world to see that Pakistan is a land that is rich in natural beauty and the generosity and hospitality of its people are second to none. We look forward to arranging more trips for overseas Pakistanis in the years to come and hope that our inaugural challenge in Pakistan will be a source of inspiration for many more supporters to come forward and join us on future treks.”

Last year, the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal undertook their first overseas challenge to Everest Base Camp (EBC) and the team raised a sum in excess of £60,000 with a further £61,000 raised by a couple (Nasreen and Sajjad Khan) from Leicester who returned from the EBC challenge to organise a spectacular fundraising event for the charity.

This year’s group have undertaken to raise individual targets using various methods of fundraising; from organising family and friends picnics to one woman from Bradford (Aliya Darr) baking as many as 2,000 cupcakes in Ramadan and raising more than £13,000 by her own efforts. Such sums go a long way to paying for the treatment of cancer patients at the Shaukat Khanum cancer hospitals and we are optimistic that this larger group, having visited the hospital for themselves, will go on to be lifetime ambassadors of the charitable cause and raise more funds for the cancer hospital in the weeks and months to come.

One of our team members from Leeds, U.K., Halima Nawaz said of the trek, “this trek was a challenge for all of us, we were camping in the wilderness, with the night beside Rush Lake being the coldest but with all the challenges of the mountains, glacier walking and contending with the harsh elements, we reminded ourselves of our purpose every morning in our daily prayers; that we are here by choice and that we are blessed with health. None of our struggles compare to those who need cancer treatment but cannot afford it. Shaukat Khanum has existed for 25 years and we pray that it stands serving the Pakistani community for many many more years to come. As a British born Pakistani, I am so proud to have my roots in a country that has someone as inspiring as Imran Khan as its leader – someone who has devoted his entire life to public service. Politics aside; we all need to do our part in supporting the philanthropic path he has paved for us. As a nation, we are only as strong as our weakest link. We must uplift and support those in need and the Shaukat Khanum hospitals are a source of hope for the weak. I hope that more and more people become advocates of this cause and raise awareness and much needed funds to ensure its longevity.”

We would like to thank Hussain Balti, leader of K2 Treks and Tours Pakistan, who led the U.K. team to Nanga Parbat Base Camp and said It has been a privilege leading the U.K. team of volunteers for this charity and I’m honoured to have played a part in supporting the team on their challenge.”

If you are interested in outdoor treks and challenges or have an idea on fundraising for the cancer hospital, get in touch with info@ikca.org.uk.


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