NARAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said with an eco-friendly infrastructure in place, Pakistan’s northern areas with their captivating natural beauty could become the world’s top tourist destination.
“A strict implementation of bylaws to ensure preservation of green cover and cleanliness of tourist spots can help Pakistan capitalize the true potential of tourism,” the prime minister said in his address to Tiger Force, the volunteer youth of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf meant for community service.
The prime minister this afternoon arrived in Naran, a tourist destination of the Kaghan valley in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, on a day-long trip to launch several tourism and environmental protection projects.
The projects included launch of emergency response service for tourists, tree plantation along the bank of Kunhar River besides breeding of Trout fish, distribution of 550,000 biodegradable bags, setting up a waste collection system and delivery of motorbikes to Community River Rangers.
Imran Khan said promotion of sustainable tourism through laws to check littering and damage to trees in the areas with increased influx of visitors could secure the fragile ecosystem.
The prime minister said Allah Almighty had blessed Pakistan with diverse beautiful landscape ranging from plains to mountains and stressed that the best way to offer gratitude was to preserve the natural course of environment.
“I have explored the world, but found no match with the scenic beauty of Pakistan,” he said. “The future generations will be grateful to us for a clean and green Pakistan.”
He said the government’s Clean and Green Pakistan initiative was about caring for the nature and encouraging people to avoid littering the public places and protecting trees.
The prime minister expressed confidence that corrective measures in tourism sector would bring a revolution towards generating revenue.
He mentioned that Switzerland, half the size of Pakistan’s northern areas, was earning $80 billion from tourism sector compared with the latter’s total exports worth $25 billion. However, with right steps, Pakistan can tap the potential of tourism even more, he added.
He advised the residents and parliamentarians belonging to the Kaghan Valley to get engaged in maintaining cleanliness of their area to attract more tourists, which he said would be beneficial for the local economy.
The prime minister regretted that the trash was being thrown into the Kunhar River and urged the hotels to ensure proper waste disposal.
He lauded the efforts of Commissioner Hazara Riaz Khan for working out a strategy to protect eco-friendly tourism in the Kaghan Valley.
He directed strict compliance of bylaws to ensure cleanliness at tourist places and ensure stern action against the violators.
The projects launched by the prime minister aim at boosting the tourism sector and make it a strong pillar of the national economy.
Naran is a popular tourist spot of the Kaghan Valley with lush green hills and glaciers, leading to the spectacular Saif-ul-Maluk Lake at a height accessible through jeeps.–APP