Publicize your mountains to secure tourism industry

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Mountain Day celebrated

Zubair Qureshi

Around 20pc of the world tourism is all about mountaineering, hiking and mountain-related adventures and Pakistan being a home to highest peaks and mountains including the second highest mountain peak of the world, K2, can exploits its mountain treasures to attract as many guests and tourists as possible.
National Secretary of the Pakistan Youth Hostels Association (PYHA) and former ambassador Qazi Humayun said this while welcoming the guests at a ceremony organized by the Islamabad chapter of the PYHA to celebrate the International Mountain Day here Tuesday. A large number of mountain lovers, adventurers, youths representatives and students attended the ceremony. Ambassador Humayun reminisced good old days of 1958-59 when as a college boy he happened to go on an excursion trip to Swat and to the mountainous regions of Chitral and Kafiristan. “It is a story of past but I can still remember those majestic mountains, streams, rocks and meadows as if it were yesterday and still cherish those memories,” said Mr Humayun. He also shared his days spent in Italy as a diplomat. There, he said he came across many Italian adventurers and mountaineers who were simply in love with Pakistan’s mountains. He urged the parents to take their children to such awe-inspiring places and seek fun and recreation there.
Fareha Yusuf Students Adviser Beaconhouse School System also spoke on the occasion and called upon the audience to discover mountains’ intrinsic beauty. There are told and untold stories one can find among the mountains, she said and one should always be looking forward to enjoy their company. She reminded of Samina Baig Mirza world renowned mountaineer who has scaled seven peaks of the world and earned name and fame internationally as the first female Pakistani mountaineer and Samar Khan first Pakistani cyclist and the first woman in the world to ride cycle on 4,500 meter high Biafo Glacier in the Karakoram Mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan. Samina Baig Mirza is also an ambassador of the Pakistan Youth Hostels Association and is a role model for the Pakistani girls, said Fareha Yusuf.
CDA Tourism Officer Sadia Sarwat drew the audience’s attention towards multiple benefits of mountains. They not only reduce the frequency and intensity of earthquakes they also boost fauna and flora and enhance forest cover. According to a study, over 720 million live over or in the mountains and a large portion of world tourism is based on mountain tourism. About Islamabad’s Margalla Hills she said these are God’s gift for the population of the federal capital and there are 5 to 7 tracks along these hills where people can climb to keep themselves fit and in good shape. Environment of the city also owes to these hills for its freshness and pollution free outlook, she said.

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