The remains of the two Slovak mountain climbers, Anton Dobeš and Peter Šperka, killed by Taliban militants in northern Pakistan on June 22, have been brought back to Slovakia. They were transported by the Slovak governmental special aircraft, since the Pakistani plane that was originally carrying the bodies had to remain in Ukraine due to technical problems, the TASR newswire reported on June 29.
Prime Minister Robert Fico meanwhile announced that both men will have a state funeral.
“We have considered the circumstances that led to these terrorist attacks, and we have concluded that this was the very first time that Slovak citizens have faced fatal consequences in connection with terrorism,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR. “We vehemently and clearly denounce such acts. The organisation of state funerals for the two victims can convey the seriousness of what happened.”
Šperka’s last farewell is set to take place in Horný Smokovec, Prešov Region on July 2, while a similar ceremony for Dobeš is scheduled to be held in his native village of Uhrovec (Trenčin Region) the following day. Top state officials will attend the two funerals, with Fico set to be present at at least one of them.
“Considering all the circumstances and the context of the case, the Slovak government has decided that organising state funerals will be the most appropriate way of commemorating the victims of the acts of terrorism,” reads the official statement of the Government Office, as reported by TASR. “A state of mourning will not be declared.”
Meanwhile, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said he will seek punishment for the murders of two Slovak mountaineers.
“Terrorism knows no borders and it is immensely unfair,” Lajčák said during the political talk show O 5 Minút 12 broadcast by Slovak Television (STV). “We will be demanding that the case be investigated and that those who committed this are punished. We are working on it, and we will be working on it on the Slovak as well as the EU level.”
He added that Slovakia will not demand any financial compensation from Pakistan for the families of the victims, unlike Ukraine. According to Lajčák, it is not the Pakistani government that is responsible for the attack, as it was not committed by the state law-enforcement bodies, as reported by STV.
Dobeš and Šperka were among the group of 11 people killed in their base camp under Nanga Parbat Mountain in northern Pakistan. The militants also killed one American with dual Chinese citizenship, three Ukrainians, two Chinese nationals, one Lithuanian, one Nepali and a Pakistani guide.
Source: TASR, STV
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.