With announcement of historic Rs 370 billion package by Prime Minister Imran Khan, a beginning has been made for development of so far neglected but strategically located and picturesque region of Gilgit Baltistan that will go a long way in exploiting its immense and diverse tourism potential.
Unveiling the package at a ceremony in Gilgit, the Prime Minister said this would constitute hydel power generation and local distribution networks, improving tourism connectivity such as development of Babusar Tunnel, skills training and scholarships for youth, water and sanitation schemes, upgradation of health services etc.
By all means it is a comprehensive package that has been prepared keeping in view requirements of the region.
In the past also, promises were made with the people of GB for their uplift but those were never realised.
One expects that the package will be implemented in letter and in spirit and that too within the given timelines in order to fulfil aspirations of the local people.
Development of important sectors and provision of all sorts of facilities will definitely attract tourists in large numbers including foreigners to this beautiful area.
We are confident that expansion of road infrastructure projects will remove all those bottlenecks of accessibility and help exploit its true tourism potential, which indeed will benefit not only locals but also whole country in terms of foreign exchange.
It is important that private sector is also engaged for the construction of quality facilities such as restaurants and hotels in the whole of GB.
Ever since the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, the region has gained much importance in the context of both geo-politics and geo-economics.
Apart from tourism industry, promotion of small and medium enterprises will change entire economic landscape of GB. Time has also come to fulfil the promise of granting provincial status to the region.