Lt Col Manzoor Hussain (Retd), who has been unanimously elected President of the Alpine Club of Pakistan on 17 October 2010 for next three years is a veteran mountaineer, who was commissioned in Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers in June 1966. He was lured to the high mountains while working on the construction of the famous Karakoram Highway linking Pakistan with China cutting across Himalaya and Karakoram mountain ranges in Hunza sector in 1974. Same year, as a member of the newly established Alpine Club of Pakistan, he accompanied veteran American mountaineers to K-2 to explore its climbing routes from different sides. Later, in 1975, after attending preparatory training on Mt Raineer situated the State of Washington in USA, he joined the 1975 American K-2
Expedition, which however could not succeed on K-2’s Northeast side due to prolonged bad weather. In 1976 he organised and led first Services Expedition under Alpine Club to 6,700 metres high most challenging Paiyu Peak on Baltoro gl and made its first international ascent along with famous Pakistani mountaineer Nazir Sabir. In 1978 he organised and co-led Pak-Japanese Services Expedition to 7,284 metres high Passu peak in Hunza which made its first international ascent. Pakistani summiteers included famous mountaineer Col Sher Khan. In 1979 he conducted several mountaineering courses at Alpine Club Mountaineering Institute situated at Nilt, Gilgit which also included first ever women mountaineering course in Pakistan.
In the winter of 1979 he was seriously injured in a rockslide during the construction of Skardu Road, restricting his active climbing. He was awarded the gallantry award of Tamgha e Basalat for his act of bravery and devotion. However, his physical impairment did not impede his mountaineering passion. In summer 1987 he was part of Pak-Italian survey team which measured the heights of K-2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrums and other peaks situated around Concordia – the famous glacial junction on Baltoro gl. After retiring from Pakistan Army in 1992, he was elected Secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, a position he held till October 2004. During his tenure he gave fresh impetus to the Club and organised several Pakistani expeditions which included first Pakistani expedition to Mt Everest (Tibet China -1997), Nanga Parbat and many other peaks. In 1996 he organised and led the largest Pakistani expedition to 7,284 m high Passu peak which comprised 47 members including women and succeeded in putting 15 members on the summit.
He organised and conducted several mountaineering training courses for the Alpine Club members, Army officers, mountain professional, and students. A keen environmentalist he worked with the Government of the then Northern Areas, IUCN and other agencies in the establishment of Central Karakoram National Park and various other eco-tourism and mountain environment preservation projects including launching of various clean up expeditions to the environmentally endangered Baltoro gl. He has worked on several proposals on waste management in the mountain areas including training of mountain tourism personnel in environment friendly tourism practices. He has been instrumental in conceiving various mountain tourism friendly government policies. During his secretaryship Alpine Club organised meetings of the International and Asian Union of Alpine Associations in 1997, 2001 and 2004 which were participated by a large number of foreign delegates. A keen promoter of mountaineering and mountain tourism in Pakistan he has delivered numerous lectures and presentations both at home and abroad.
Since 2004, he served Alpine Club of Pakistan as its Executive Vice President and has been instrumental in the Club pursuits as he did earlier as Secretary including launching of first women training expedition and training of mountain tourism personnel. An expert on mountain tourism and preservation of mountain environment in his own right, he has participated in several international tourism conferences both at home and abroad. He represented Pakistan in various meetings of the International and Asian Union of Alpine Associations.
Lt Col Manzoor, a graduate in Civil Engineering from Military College of Engineers, Risalpur and a graduate of Command and Staff College, Quetta, is an avid photographer and cinematographer. He shot and produced first ever Pakistani mountaineering documentary of his Paiyu climb in 1976. Later he produced several documentaries on mountaineering and other subjects. Having interest in art and history, he established a Museum for Frontier Works Organisation – his parent organisation. He is a widely travelled person and has visited several countries on more than one occasion, both for official and personal reasons. Countries visited include Australia, Burma, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, UK and USA etc.
His sporting family comprises a wife, two sons and a daughter. His wife has keen interest in the outdoor and besides extensively travelling in Karakoram, participated in ACP Passu peak Expedition in 1996. His elder son Kashif Shuja is a famous international squash player who was Pakistan’s national junior champion for few years before migrating to New Zealand and becoming their national champion and top most squash player for the past many years. His younger son is also settled in Australia.
The Photo Gallery