About Brigadier Mokhtar Karim (R)

Pioneered hot air ballooning in Pakistan

Surviving Father of Pakistan Air Aviation: Brigadier Mokhtar Karim


Pioneered hot air ballooning in Pakistan. Placed Pakistan on the world map of hot air ballooning. He opted for hot air ballooning mainly because he wanted to stay active after his retirement at the age of 65. His ballooning career started in autumn 1988.


Attended international festivals in France, Poland, Kazakhstan (Almaty) Beijing (China), Delhi and Muttra in India. Flew over Great Wall of China in hot air balloon near Badaling, Beijing. He also visited USA, UK, Belgium, Holland, East and West Germany, Iraq, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Romania, Jordon, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh. Currently he is Chief Instructor, Hot Air Ballooning School, Director Aerial Division and Vice President at Adventure Foundation Pakistan. He is an ex-army aviator and a licenced member of British Ballooning Society.


He trained more than a dozen pilots among whom some of them were females. He leaded Pakistan team in many international Hot Air Ballooning meets
including in France, Poland Kazakhstan, China and India.


He was awarded Distinguished Certificate for flying instructor’s Duties, by the order of the Commanderin-chief, Pakistan Army on 4th march 1958. On 31st October 1967 he was awarded Green Endorsement for flight Safety, by the order of the commander-inchief Pakistan Army. Then Awarded Commander-inchief’s Commendation and Metallic Flight Safety wing on 19th December 1967.


He represented Pakistan and participated in the following meets:


Thirteenth and fourteenth Annual International Balloon Meet held at Chateau De Bal Leroy (Calvados). Normandy, France in June 1988 and 1990.

India International Hot Air Balloon Mela, held at New Delhi, Jaipur, Muthra in November 1988 and 1991

Almaty, Kazakhstan, 1993

Beijing, China 1993

Leszno Poland 1994, 1995 and 1996


He also visited during 1988 the following Organizations in connection to hot air ballooning:


HQ of Forbes Hot air balloon Division located at New York & Far Hills, New Jersey, USA

Cameron Balloons located at Bristol England United Kingdom. This is one of the largest manufacturers of Hot Air Balloons in the world.


On 26th of April 1997 he established Flying School Class 1 for the Hot Air Ballooning in Pakistan. It was first of its kind under aegis of Adventure Foundation Pakistan and is approved by Civil Aviation Authority Pakistan.


Ballooning for brigadier, has been a “retirement project”.
(Crawley, Pakistan’s ballooning pioneer Brigadier Karim’s retirement project got off to a flying start, 1989)


The Adventure Foundation Pakistan is an independent organization formed to foster the principles of Outward Bound concepts within traditional national educational and recreational programmes. Formed in 1980 by Brigadier Jan Nadir Khan for the promotion of various forms of outdoor activities and thrill sports. The Foundation offers all kinds of people an opportunity to do things and travel the paths of adventure in the great outdoors. Close contact with nature builds up self-confidence through experience.

Ref: Surviving Father of Pakistan Air Aviation: Brigadier Mokhtar Karim – by Ayesha Majid