PESHAWAR, Feb 03 (APP):Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister for Tourism, Culture, Archeology and Youth Affairs, Muhammad Atif Khan, has appreciated the role of Radio Pakhtunkhwa in the development of tourism in Swat and announced arranging required funds for its broadcast facilities to adjacent districts including Banner, Shangla, Dir and Chitral.
The Radio can greatly contribute to guide and entertain tourists throughout their traveling as well as conveying different kinds of crucial messages especially giving them weather updates”, he added.
He expressed these views in special interview with Pakhtunkhwa Radio’s popular program “Ranguna da Swat” on the occasion of visit to the regional office of Information Department and FM 98 Radio in the last phase of his Swat tour with Swiss Ambassador.
Chairman DDAC Swat Fazal Hakim Khan Yousufzai, Director Archeology Dr. Abdul Samad and Regional Director Information Ghulam Hussein Ghazi accompanied him.
Atif Khan revealed that his government had decided to develop tourism as the industry under a well-conceived master plan throughout the province.
“We have started exploring new scenic and historical places as 20 including 5 ski resorts have been identified for this financial year. For these Rs 500 million have been allocated”, he added.
Similarly provincial tourism authority is being set up to provide quality facilities to tourists, which is approved by the Cabinet and being tabled at floor of the Provincial Assembly for legislation.
He said the Swiss ambassador Thomas Kolly’s Swat visit is aimed to open this area for tourists from around the world.
“Now the ambassadors of other countries will also visit Swat and other charming tourist resorts”, he maintained saying that his govt will do all for the development of communication network in tourist areas and providing access to modern technology for the convenience of domestic and foreign tourists.
The construction of the roads on global standards is our first priority, which is already part and parcel of approved ADP schemes while bringing corruption ratio to Zero level will also see the blessings of the development funds, he remarked.
In response to the questions of host Shaista Hakim and Waqar Swati, the Senior Minister said that after the opening of Swat Motorway on May 1, a series of new mega projects are also being started in the entire Malakand Division.
Likewise Motorway is being expanded from Chakrada to Chitral, Shamuzai to Bahrain and on wards to connect Kalam and Mahodand with Kumrat valley, Dir upper up to Chitral.
“We also plan to make this extravaganza part of CPEC in the next phase and link the Central Asian states which are definitely a Game Changer project”, he prefigured.
He said this global road network will increase the tourist importance of the region that will end our global isolation as well, he added.
About the tourist police force, Atif Khan responded that Tourism Police existed in many western countries. “We are also going to establish Tourism Police Force in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by June. Its trained youth will guide the tourists on their destinations” he said.
Similarly, he said, his govt is also setting up a force for protecting archeological sites. He however made clear that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is absolutely serious for the promotion of tourism. He said e-visa will be provided to tourists of 175 countries while that of 50 countries will be given visa on arrival.
Similarly he said that except sensitive places, no NOC will be required for foreign tourists in any part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that it is a major achievement of the provincial government.
In his message to the public through radio, he asked the local people and tourists to take full care of beauty and forestry of the scenic areas. He said good times have come for prosperity of Swatis, hence they should play due role for promotion of tourism, peace and prosperity in the entire region.