KARACHI: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has urged the people and investors to give value to the tourist spots in the country, especially the not-so-explored beautiful tourism wonders and historical places in Balochistan.
He was the chief guest at the seminar,‘Promotion of Tourism in Balochistan’organized by Culture, Tourism and Archives Department government of Balochistanat Karachi Marriott Hotel on Monday, February 3.
While addressing the house full gathering, he spoke at length about cultural and tourism diversity in the province whereas other speakers from the private and public sectors spoke about vast potential and richness Balochistan offers in the tourism sector.
The CM said that Pakistanis did not need to go abroad for tourism keeping in view a number of tourist destinations present in the country.
He said money should be invested “on the right spots for the promotion of tourism in the country”. On the contrary, he added, people had been “spending billions of rupees on wrong places”.
He said there was a need to “vanquish the phenomenon of terrorism in Balochistan through tourism”. The Balochistan CM said those who had been doing efforts to promote tourism in the country should be given the respect they deserved.
He said there had been countries in the world whose total population was not more than 25 million, which was close to the population of Karachi alone. “The people of Karachi usually visit different spots within the city for recreation. It doesn’t count as tourism,” he said. “There are several places outside Karachi for tourism. Balochistan has a number of historical mountains which make ideal tourist places,” he said.
He expressed satisfaction over the holding of the seminar in Karachi for making Karachiites aware of the prospects of tourism in Balochistan. Jam Kamal said the seminar would “definitely go a long way in promoting tourism” in his province.
Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Culture Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah expressed gratitude to the Balochistan government for choosing Karachi as a venue for organizing the seminar on tourism.
He said Mehrghar, a place situated in Balochistan, was considered as the mother of Indus Valley Civilisation. He said the incidents of extremism in the past had impeded tourism in Pakistan.
The Sindh culture minister lamented that people in the country did not have a habit to visit places of archaeological importance in Pakistan, such as Mehrghar and Mohejodero. He urged the Balochistan CM to launch a Sindh-Balochistan Cultural Exchange Programme.
Located near the Bolan Pass, to the west of the Indus River valley and between cities of Quetta, Kalat, and Sibi, Mehrgarh is a Neolithic site which was discovered in 1974 by an archaeological team. So for Archaeological material and more than 32,000 artifacts have been collected from the site. The earliest settlement at Mehrgarh dated between 7000 BCE and 5500 BCE
Captain Fazeel Asghar (Retd), Chief Secretary Balochistan said that 750-kilometer-long coastal belt of the province offered immense attraction to tourists and disclosed the tourist’s resorts would be established on it from Gaddani to Gwadar. “Come and invest in this sector and grab the dividends”, Chief Secretary stated by inviting the investors.
The Secretary Culture Tourism and Archives Department Zafar Ali Buledi and other experts also shared their presentations on the tourist sites of Balochistan.
Other speakers also spoke about the government’s role to promote the tourism industry by providing the best possible facilities to showcase a rich cultural heritage, rare archaeological treasures.
Mr. Khwaja Jahan Zeb, CEO, Zeb Travel& member National Tourism Coordination Board(NTCB) Mr. Nadeem Sharif, Ex-Chairman TAAP, Mr. Hanif Rich, Ex-Chairman TAAP, Mr. Anwar Rasheed, ViceChairman TAAP, Salman Javed, member National Tourism Coordination Board(NTCB) and Convener of culture and heritage group under NTCB (National Tourism Coordination Board) Huma Mustafa other distinguished guests and officials were also present at the seminar.
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Other speakers said that Balochistan has immense potential for tourism and tremendous opportunities for investors. The province that makes almost 44% of Pakistan’s total area still remains the mystery to the whole world. It has mystical stories and mind-boggling beauty.
They talked about different tourism sites including Pirghayab waterfalls (the invisible saint waterfall). MoolaChotok, Hannah Jheel (lake), house of the founder of nation in Ziarat, Hingol national park, mesmerizing beaches of scenic coastal area of Balochistan such as from Gaddani, Ormara, Gwadar and all the way to Jiwani, Pir Chattal Noorani’s Oasis, Astola island Pasni, Jhal Magsi dessert safari, Mehr Garh the oldest archaeological site in South Asia and precursor of Indus Valley Civilization.
The private sector should invest in Balochistan’s tourism, says CM Jam Kamal