KATHMANDU, Nov 6: A team of Nepal Army is conducting a surveillance around Mt Ama Dablam (6,812 meters) base camp area as a 17-member expedition team led by Prince of Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Thani, who is also a military official of the country, is currently leading an expedition.
Although the army has been mobilized to provide security to the high-profile expedition team from Qatar, it is closely monitoring their activities as the team is composed of American and Canadian climbers.
The army has expressed dissatisfaction with the Ministry of Tourism for not providing information regarding the Qatari delegation’s planned expedition in advance although the majority of the expedition team members are from the Qatari military.
“It is a matter of pleasure for us that Qatari and Bahraini princes are visiting Nepal and helping to boost tourism by climbing our major peaks. But our concern is that the government needs to inform us in advance if the visiting expedition team consists of military personnel. Moreover, if there are high-level military officers in such expedition teams, we need to be informed keeping in mind their protocols as well,” a senior official of the Nepal Army told Republica. The Qatari expedition team flew to Lukla to scale Mt Ama Dablam some twelve days ago after spending a mandatory 14-day quarantine in Kathmandu.
Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, prince of Bahrain, had reached the base camp of Mt Manaslu, leading a 50-member expedition team in October of last year. The expedition team also ascended Mt Lobuche (6,119 meters) on October 3. The prince of Bahrain is also a high-ranking military officer.
The army headquarters recently expressed its concern with the ministry for not providing information in advance, according to sources familiar with the development. Seven Summit Treks had arranged the expedition for the Bahrain team. However, the army had conducted surveillance on the Bahraini expedition team.
Nepal Army sources insisted that the information of foreign militaries coming to climb mountains in Nepal must be given prior information to the army.