Monday December 06, 2021

Selena — mountaineering princess of Pakistan set to summit Broad Peak

June 28, 2021

Twelve-year-old girl sets her sights on setting new world records as youngest person in the world to have summated an 8,000er

Islamabad The mountaineering princess of Pakistan, 12-year-old Selena Khawaja, accompanied by her father Yousaf Khawaja, 61, is all set to attempt Broad Peak, a mountain in the Karakoram on the border of Pakistan and China, the twelfthhighest mountain in the world at 8,047 metres (26,401 ft) above sea level. If successful, it will make her set new world records — making her the youngest person in the world to have summated an 8,000er. Selena Khawaja, a young girl living in a small suburb of Abbottabad has been living with a single parent and somehow developed love for mountains and along with her father Yousaf Khawaja started climbing at the age of 6.

While deservingly Selena deserves lots of accolades, as the mountaineering princess, her father, Yousaf Khawaja also merits equal if not more respect for being the force behind her achievements. By the time she was 10 she had already climbed a number of mountains with varying heights. Some of the peaks climbed during 2018 in Shimshal Pamir, Pakistan include Quz Sar 5,765m, Mingling Sar 6,050m, Wilyo Sar 6,150m, and Spantik Peak 7,027m in District Shigar, in 2019. Selena is also an environmentalist who believes in conservation and improved health of environment. For this she follows the golden rule of 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle even at this young age.

She met one of the most famous explorers and mountaineers of the world, Ms Vanessa Obrien in 2020 who is also a good will ambassador of Pakistan. Supported and mentored by Vanessa and her team, Selena is set to attempt Broad Peak with her father. If successful with summit of Broad Peak, the next goal for Selena will be Mount Everest in 2022. If successful Selena will break all world records as present the youngest girl to scale Everest is an Indian Mulwath Purna who achieved the summit aged 13 years 11 months in 2014 and the boy is Jordan Romaro from USA who did this feat aged 13 years and 9 months. Selena will definitely be younger than both of them.

Although Selena and her father have achieved heroic feats under the circumstances where they had no sponsors and support until Ms. Vanessa Obrien and Hassan Bin Aftab from Pakistan Analytica took her under the patronage in 2020 who not only felt the need to support such a young girl but also came forward to be part of the history in the making.