The support was announced after Karim’s son tried to put a Cristiano Ronaldo t-shirt up for sale and netizens pleaded with the government to take action.
Karim has been battling liver disease since 2016, but his condition has deteriorated over the past week, according to Karim’s son, Muhammad Hanif. The family decided to auction a t-shirt signed and given to his father by football star Cristiano Ronaldo during a visit to Spain in 2018.
The 71-year-old climber “Little Karim” hails from Hushe village of Ghanche district in Gilgit-Baltistan. He worked as a high altitude porter and guide in the 1970s and 1980s. Karim holds the world record for climbing Gasherbrum-2 8035 meters without supplemental oxygen.
His passion for the mountains and his encouragement inspired his granddaughters to become young climbers who set a world record by climbing the 6.0-80 meter Manglesser Peak in the Shimshal Valley in 2018.
But why was he named “Little Karim”? In 1979, Karim was part of a foreign mountaineering expedition attempting to climb K-2. But there were three people named Karim in the group, which caused confusion, so the expedition leader named them Big, Medium, and Little. Although Karim was given the title of “Little”, he has become a big name in the mountaineering community over the years.