PYHA marks Int’l Mountain Day

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Zubair Qureshi

Pakistan’s rich treasure of mountains by and large remain unutilized and numerous measures are required not only to preserve it but also to upgrade and equip mountains with facilities of international standards so that more and more tourists could be attracted towards Pakistan in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision.
Speakers were of this consensus view at an interactive session held to mark the International Mountain Day organized by the Pakistan Youth Hostels Association (PYHA) here Thursday.
A large number of mountain lovers, travelers, members of civil society and youths attended the session.
In his welcome address, National Secretary of the PYHA Ambassador (R) Qazi Humayun said mountains constituted 27pc of the global land and a large number of people, around 1.1 billion depended on mountains for their living and livelihood.
Pakistan has 11 key peaks and its three mountain ranges— Hindukush, Himalaya, and Karakorum— make the country a top tourist attraction.
Ambassador Humayun said Gilgit Baltistan is also home to K2, the world’s second highest peak, plus five other peaks over 8,000 metres.
Our glaciers are lifeline for our rivers and in short, mountains’ conservation and proper utilization can give a boost to Pakistan’s economic and tourism sectors, said the ambassador.
He said Pakistan Youth Hostels has its branches in the mountainous regions and offers affordable accommodations to all the mountain tourists particularly the students.
Founder of the Pakistan Mountain Festival and a development communication specialist, Munir Ahmed highlighted importance of the mountains and said Pakistan government needed to take drastic measures to promote mountain tourism.

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