PM, SCP urged to take notice of sorry affairs at Alpine Club


Devcom-Pakistan’s National Mountaineering Rapid Response Brief (NMRRB) says that Alpine Club of Pakistan is at the verge of collapse due to lack of vision, nonprofessional membership, financial irregularities, and inefficiencies. The present ACP management, a couple of government officials, criminally could not do anything significant but activities with school children.  

Islamabad, JUN 18 /DNA/ – The National Mountaineering Rapid Response Brief (NMRRB) launched on Saturday has urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Supreme Court of Pakistan and Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial to take urgent notice of the sorry affairs at Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP). Over a decade, it has been at the mercy of nonprofessional government officials who have nothing to do with high altitude mountaineering and climbing. Fake and irrelevant membership of ACP has ousted the genuine and globally known Pakistani mountaineers.

The NMRRB has heighted that a cartel of government baboos and nonprofessional membership has brought the ACP at the verge of collapse. The national mountaineering body is surrounded by the lack of vision and capacity, nonprofessional membership, inefficiencies, corruption, nepotism, vested interest and closed-door internal politics. Having no experience of their own of high altitude mountaineering, the two government officials have been playing havoc to the ACP on the basis of “give and take” between them.

The National Mountaineering Rapid Response Brief (NMRRB) was prepared and launched by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) on Saturday.

The NMRRB have asked the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief Justice of Pakistan to seize the ACP offices for the scrutiny of its membership by high level committee including professional mountaineers such as Nazir Sabir, Col (Retired) Sher Khan, Col (retired) Abdul Jabbar Bhatti. The high level committee shall also examine the ACP national activities and allegations of nepotism and favoritism. An audit of the ACP officials’ international visits and the outcome shall also be on the agenda of the high level committee. A thorough professional audit of ACP accounts shall be conducted by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) its accounts and irregularities.

The NMRRB reveals that a ceremony was hosted by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Bajwa in March this year to award cash prizes to some of the ACP blue-eyed mountaineers. This was an effort by some in-service army officers in collaboration with the Alpine Club. The ceremony is being kept as a national secret as yet. One of the ACP officials has said, “The hosts have asked not to make the ceremony public.”

Talking to Devcom-Pakistan, present Secretary of the Alpine Club Karrar Haidri said, “ACP is planning something with the army personnel. I cannot reveal until it’s finalized.”

Realistically analyzing the two statements of the ACP officials, the NMRRB concludes that perhaps a hijacking of the Alpine Club of Pakistan is in process. Perhaps that is why all is being kept as a national strategic asset. The hardcore professional mountaineers have termed the move as “militarizing of the Alpine Club”. No harm to have all three services chiefs as patrons, but the chief patron shall be the president of Pakistan. The professionals have asked the Prime Minister and Chief Justice of Pakistan to play their role to save the ACP as a civilian professional body run by the genuine professional mountaineers.

The MNRRB reveals that the ACP foremost objective was to promote high altitude mountaineering in Pakistan and safeguard the rights of mountaineers and high altitude porters. Unfortunately, the ACP could not organize any international or national high altitude training or mountaineering expedition since its inception in 1974. The ACP has been engaged with school children for wall-climbing, and nature walks type activities. There are hundreds of school environment clubs and organizations doing the same.

Quoting well-known mountaineer Nazir Sabir, the NMRRB mentions that Lt General Ghulam Jilani Khan was the founding president of the ACP. Then, one could never think of going for any mountaineering or high altitude climbing expedition without NOC from the military agencies. After NOC, an army officer was deputed with the expedition. So, we had to have a senior army officer as Alpine Club president to win the confidence of the Corp Commander in Gilgit-Baltistan for NOCs and smooth expeditions. An NOC usually took six months to a year. Many times the foreign expeditions were called off due to no NOC being issued.  Unfortunately, the same is being practiced even these days but with a little ease.

Col (retired) Abdul Jabbar Bhatti said the ACP is under siege by the nonprofessional government officials and their blue-eyed ones for over 12 years. They have ruined everything. Only the prime minister’s intervention or a committee by the CJP would save it from further decay.Hassan Jan has said that Nepalese Sherpa’s have captured the local high altitude mountaineering market that is already quite shrined. Their presence shall be restricted to save the livelihood of the local high altitude porters.