Czech climbers Jakub Vlček and Petr Macek, who were rescued by the Pakistani army in mid-September on Rakapoši Mountain, have returned to their homeland. The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Jakub Kulhánek was cited by the news portal iDNES.cz.
According to Czech Television, the climbers returned to Prague on Sunday afternoon.
According to Kulhánek, negotiations on the return of both men were difficult. He added that the Ministry of Diplomacy did not pay anything for their release, the couple has so far only paid fees in the amount of approximately 100,000 Czech crowns (approximately 3,900 euros). According to the minister, the rest of the amount owed is their private matter.
“Many thanks to colleagues for their excellent diplomatic work. I would also like to thank the Pakistani side for their helpfulness, “Kulhánek wrote on Twitter on Sunday. He also stressed that “everyone abroad is responsible for its actions.” According to the iDNES.cz portal, the team encountered problems with a pair of climbers who were detained in the country by the Pakistani authorities due to non-payment of a rescue operation.
The insurance company refuses to pay the amount
Kulhánek added that the Czech embassy in the Pakistani capital Islamabad and employees of the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided the couple with standard consular protection, including assistance with communication with Pakistani institutions and the Czech insurance company.
A pair of climbers got stuck on Sunday, September 12, along with a local guide on the 7,788-meter Mount Rakaposhi, and three days later were taken to safety by a Pakistani army helicopter. Their rescue was complicated by adverse wind weather and high altitude. Subsequently, however, it turned out that the climbers will probably have to pay for the rescue operation themselves. Their insurance company does not intend to pay them the amount for the rescue operation because, according to it, the climbers violated Pakistani law and acted in violation of the contractual conditions of the insurance.Read more Pakistan will not release Czech climbers until they pay the rescue costs
Without permission and visa
In addition, the Pakistani authorities threatened not to allow the climbers to leave the country until they paid the cost of about half a million Czech crowns (more than 19,000 euros). They added that Macek and Vlček climbed the mountain without a permit and also had invalid visas. Vlček rejected the mentioned mistakes of the couple, claiming that the climbers had insurance with the highest coverage and that the mountain is not in a dangerous area, as claimed by their insurance company UNIQA. According to him, the permission to exit was before completion, writes iDNES.cz.
Rakapoši Mountain, located in the Karakoram Mountains, is the 27th highest mountain in the world. It is considered to be one of the most difficult peaks to climb, as it is necessary to overcome 5,000 meters from the base camp to the summit.
Source: Pravda – Správy by spravy.pravda.sk.
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