WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MAHMOOD
We expressed our hopes in the electorate that 7/25 would put in place a Legislature and an Executive which would recognize Tourism for its economic social and diplomatic values and correct the wrongs done by the absence of a federal tourism administration.
As we go to the Press, it is confirmed that Mr. Khan is going to be our new Prime Minister. As our hopes unfold into expectations, we welcome his being given mandate by the nation to hold the nation’s helm.
We know him for the practical support that he has always given to development of Responsible Tourism in KP, right from the time when his party formed the government in KP in 2013.
His being at the helm of affairs is encouraging for our tourism industry which has suffered unabated external problems since the revolutions in Afghanistan and Iran, followed by the aftermath of what is generally referred to as 9/11. These aside, the deepest wound inflicted upon our tourism industry by came from within – when the unthinking Rabbani Committee removed the Concurrent List altogether from our Constitution. The resultant vacuum has removed Pakistan from the wide and vibrant world of Tourism.
There are several things that need to be done immediately to rescue and re-develop Tourism in our country but, for the present; we are suggesting only one crucial and catalytic step, which is; to have Tourism restored to the federal government as a concurrent responsibility.
This may be done by founding a Pakistan Tourism Authority to function in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat as an autonomous corporation with financial and regulatory responsibilities, functioning as did the Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation in the 1960s. The existing tourism development corporations in the provinces should be elevated into provincial Tourism Boards with similar autonomous and proactive functioning.¡