Thursday, June 7, 2007

Our Programme Patron

Nilofar Bakhtiar, our PWCC Programme Patron in Pakistan, is also Pakistan's Minister of Tourism. She has promoted all aspects of this program from the beginning, including acting as chief guest at a recent girls rock climbing contest. Bakhtiar was recently criticized for hugging her paragliding instructor after a successful jump (the purpose of which was to raise money for Pakistan's earthquake-ravaged areas). Events since then may have led to her recent resignation as Ministry of Tourism, which means also losing her as our Programme Patron.
"Nazir Sabir expressed his strong support for the Minister and requested the Prime Minister and the President of Pakistan not to accept her resignation, and instead persuade her to continue as the Minister," says Lt. Col. Manzoor Hussain, Programme Coordinator. "As far as we are concerned we are continuing with [the Pakistani Women's Climbing Camp] as per programme. Fortunately we have the support of the Ministry bureaucracy in implementing our projects."
We are extremely sad to hear of this, and thank Ms. Bakhtiar for all of her contributions, regardless of the outcome.
In other news, more than 200 women have requested to be nominated for the program! We working with Col. Hussain in considering ways to accept more women to accomodate the overwhelming response. Additional funding support would allow last minute additions of American guides to make up for the added participants.

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