KP set to become tourist hub of Pakistan:CM

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PESHAWAR, May 21 (APP):Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has stated that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is set to become the tourist hub of Pakistan adding that all out efforts are underway to maximize the benefits from the tourism sector this year.

While chairing the fourth meeting of the task force on tourism, the Chief Minister issued instructions to all concerned departments to take initiatives aimed not only at maximizing the inflow of tourists but also to ensure that they are properly facilitated at every level.

The meeting was also attended by Senior Minister Muhammad Atif Khan, Minister for Information Sahukat Ali Yousafzai, Minister Local Government Shahram Khan Tarakai, Minister C&W Akbar Ayub, Chief Secretary Muhammad Saleem Khan, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Shahab Ali Shah and other officials.

While addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister stated that the district administrations in collaboration with the local authorities & TMAs shall ensure proper waste disposal and cleanliness in the touristic valleys of Galyat, Naran, Kalam and Chitral so as to keep the local environment clean and green.

The Chief Minister also directed the Health department to ensure availability of doctors and medicine in all BHUs and RHCs along with provision of mobile health facilities in the touristic valleys of Abbottabad, Manshera, Swat and Chitral in the forthcoming summer.

The Chief Minister was informed that previously tourists were hesitant to visit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to lack of government arrangements and facilities. In comparison, last year witnessed huge influx of tourists who thronged the scenic valleys of the province owing to extended facilitation of visitors by concerned departments. This year, the tourism department intends to provide all out facilitation to attract maximum number of tourists in the forthcoming summer starting from Eid Ul Fitr.

The Chief Minister was further informed that in order to provide special security to the visiting tourists, the Police Department will deploy Tourist Police viz-a-viz ensuing proper Traffic Management Plan so as to avoid traffic congestions. The police will not only help in providing security but will also help in facilitating the incoming visitors.

The deployment of police is expected to initiate from Eid ul Fitr onwards which will help ensure safety of tourists and smooth flow of traffic in the scenic valleys of the province especially in Galyat, Naran, Kalam & Chitral Valleys.

The Chief Minister also directed to ensure availability of Rescue 1122 services so as to ensure timely rescue in case of emergencies. These measures will help in providing a sense of security to the visiting tourists.

In a separate meeting, the Chief Minister also chaired a meeting regarding the Pakistan National Games which are to be held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the end of the October this year. While briefing the Chief Minister, Chairman Pakistan National Games Arif Hussain stated that games in scenic areas of the province will also help in promotion of tourism.

According to details, teams from Afghanistan will also be invited to participate in the national games which will further strengthen the friendship narrative of Pakistan at international level.
These inter-provincial games will help in preparing players for the upcoming South Asian Federation Games to be held in December this year. 8000-10,000 players from all over the country are scheduled to take part in 22-28 different games which are expected to last for one week.