Withdrawal of exemptions

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THE major push of the government to promote the tourism sector on a fast track basis is going to pay dividends at a short, medium and long-term basis as a comprehensive plan is under implementation taking all the provinces on board.

It is all the more encouraging that realizing the role that the sector can play in the national development, President Dr. Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief Ministers of Punjab and Sindh and Federal Ministers are enthusiastically taking part in activities to not just highlight the tourism potential of different regions but also provide necessary facilities to both domestic and foreign tourists.

A week after Prime Minister Imran Khan launched Al-Biruni Radius, a tourism project for the revival of Pakistan’s heritage, at Jhelum’s Nandana Fort as part of the efforts to promote cultural tourism, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz inaugurated three day “Islamabad Tourism Expo and Family Festival 2021” at the capital’s famous F-9 Park, which attracted a large number of people.

The festival, organized under the directive of the Prime Minister to promote tourism and provide healthy entertainment facilities to people, featured events like paragliding, para-trooping, children’s games, horse riding, exhibition of vintage cars and motorcycle show.

In fact, Pakistan has unmatched natural scenic beauty to attract tourists as it is famous all over the world for its sky touching mountains, green valleys, mighty rivers, beautiful lakes and variety of amazing wildlife.

There are best cultural places like Mohenjo-Daro, Taxila,Takht-i-Bahi, Lahore Fort, Rohtas Fort, Shahi Hammam (Royal Bath), Baltit Fort, Ganesh 1000-Year-Old historical Settlement and Chaqchan Mosque and some of them are included in UNESCO’s cultural heritage sites in the country.

As infrastructure has been a major hurdle in making tourist spots more attractive for visitors, both Punjab and KP Governments have undertaken plans to do the needful.

Punjab Government has announced the road infrastructure development plan of six tourist-spots under its Tourism for Economic Growth Project (TEGP) while KP is working to connect Chitral with Peshawar through a motorway.

KP is also offering incentives to investors and urging them to make investment in the tourism sector under the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

As law and order situation has considerably improved due to the hard work of the defence forces, it is for the federal, provincial as well as governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir to formulate a plan and implement them on a priority basis to attract tourists in a manner that stimulates the economy in a big way.