The Malam Jabba Ski resort is a breathtaking sight. Standing tall amidst the snow-laden Swat valley, the international ski-resort tells a tale of resilience and courage of the Pakistani nation in the face of tyranny. Standing at 8,496 feet above sea level, the once-deserted ski resort now entertains hundreds of enthralled skiers from around the world. Home to international Ski slaloms, Malam Jabba is South Asia’s winter-sport centrifuge. With Pakistan gradually evolving into a tourist highlight, international sporting events are an essential.
On 9th February, 2020, Pakistan held a thrilling skiing event at Malam Jabba Ski Resort. The resort witnessed three major titles which included 3rd Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup, 4th CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup and 27th National Ski Championship. The honorable President of Pakistan Arif Alvi visited Malam Jabba to distribute prizes among the winners of the 3rd Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup, 4th CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup and 27th National Ski Championship. The Premier hailed the vigorous efforts of the Pakistan Air Force and the Pakistan Winter sports Federation to promote winter sports in Pakistan for the past several decades. In a highlight, His Excellency, the British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner participated in the Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup 2020. He was leading a team of international skiers belonging to different countries, including Canada, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Greece, Azerbaijan, Timor Leste, Azerbaijan and Turkey. In a heart-warming video, posted on his social media accounts, Mr. Turner referred to Pakistan as a ‘wonderful country,’ appreciating how ‘Pakistan is changing for the better.’
In the rundown of the event, the women’s Giant Slalom category at the 4th CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup’s Gold medal was bagged by a young Pakistani skier, Khus¬him Sahiba. She also went ahead to grab the gold medal in the same category at the 3rd Malam Jabba International Alpine Ski Cup, making it a double national victory. The runner up at the 4th CAS Cup was a skier from Azerbaijan, Elvira Zakarayeva, while Umama Wali, (of the infamous Wali sisters of Pakistan) got the bronze medal.
Ukrainian skiers broke the finish ribbon in the men’s giant slalom category at the 4th CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup. Nazarity Petruk bagged the gold medal in a close shave with Ivan Kravchuk, who clinched the silver medal and Aib Vitalli, came out with a bronze.
A total of 36 international skiers from across the globe arrived in the picturesque valley of Malam Jabba. Participating countries include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Canada, Greece, Tajikistan, Timor Leste, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. More than 60 national skiers from different regions and belonging to various ski associations of the country competed with the international skiers at the Alpine Ski Cup 2020.
The first-ever International Alpine Ski Cup at Malam Jabba was organized in January, 2017, where 32 international participants belonging to 9 countries had participated in the event.
Another joyous benchmark in the revival of snow sports was registered when “HRH Princess Beatrice of York, Jose Maria Aznar(Former Prime Minister of Spain), Matteo Renzi (Former Prime Minister of Italy), Zia Chishti and Frederico Rigoni visited Pakistan for a ski trip. United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, H.E Christian Turner led the high-level expedition, setting off on their trip after calling on Prime Minister Imran Khan.
For adventure-aficionados, the winter season brings a cluster of celebratory and fun opportunities. Snow-covered peaks that present a heavenly visage and plateaus offer a range of options to indulge in various winter sports. Pakistan offers one of the most serene and visually divine landscapes that provide a fantastic opportunity for winter sports.
The Government of Pakistan by extension of the Tourism Development Corporation of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa has worked fervently to rejuvenate Pakistan’s international image and to reestablish Pakistan as a popular tourist destination around the world. Pakistan has jumped several places on global safety indices ever since the law and order situation has improved and peace has been restored across the country. In 2020, various international publications have declared Pakistan as one of the top tourist destinations in the world.