PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed to frame tourism related by-laws for boosting tourism in Malakand, Hazara and other scenic spots including the newly merged districts.
He further directed to discourage illegal construction in Kumrat Valley in Upper Dir district and other tourism destinations. All constructions should be under the Building Codes, he added.
He was presiding over the third meeting on Task Force of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism at Chief Minister Secretariat, Peshawar.
The meeting agreed to the creation of tourism police that should be either a unit or a separate formation involving the youth to work as volunteers replicating the billion tree tsunami model and boy scouts model normally engaged in the facilitation of Hujjaj in the Haj season.
The chief minister was informed about the transfer of Kabal Golf course Swat, Panthom Guli Bagh Swat and Fort Bala Hisaar Peshawar and he directed for the transfer of the former two places to Tourism Department and continue negotiating the transfer of the Fort Bala Hisaar Peshawar. He also directed for the identification of different tourists spots in the newly merged districts. He was informed about the rail service to be restarted in different places that included Mardan to Dargai which would be restarted after twenty years.
The CM directed for the rehabilitation of rail track from Peshawar to Torkham. He also directed for the accelerated work on Peshawar circular railway track and an alternate road from Chamkani to Karkhano. He agreed to the creation of Rescue 1122 and health care facilities in the tourist spots throughout the province.
The chief minister directed to study the best international model for the tourism policing. The tourism department police home, local government and other stack holder should sit together to evolve a mechanism for the tourism authority and policing, he added. He said that the tourism police would have to perform certain functions. The meeting agreed to develop the sites of small dams on tourism lines in order to attract the tourists and make the best use of these spots.
The chief minister directed to ensure that before coming to the policy making decision at the highest forum, the relevant department should undertake brainstorming sessions and preliminary meetings in order to ensure informed and refined decisions for the benefit of the province.
The chief minister directed tourism and forest departments to sit together and finalise the notification and de-notification of areas which could formally be cleared by the provincial cabinet.
He said: “Our activities should cover certain dimensions that include the forest cover, the climate change and the resource generation.” The notification of a certain area to be promoted on tourism lines would certainly involve some development activities and therefore this should be taken on case to case basis, he added. Mahmood directed to replicate the international model for environmental friendly tourism.
Senior Minister for Sports Atif Khan, Ministers for C&W Akbar Ayub Khan, Environment Ishtiaq Urmar and Law Sultan Mohammad Khan, Advisor to Chief Minister for Tribal Districts Ajmal Wazir, Chief Secretary Salim Khan, Additional Chief Secretary Shehzad Bangash, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mohammad Israr Khan and secretaries of other relevant departments attended the meeting.
Leading a delegation, the British Secretary of State for International Development and Minister for Women Development and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt called on Chief Ministe Mahmood Khan in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Provincial ministers Muhammad Atif Khan, Shahram Khan, Taimur Salim Jahgra, Barrister Sultan Muhammad Khan, Special Advisor to Secretary of State Lynn Davidson, British High Commissioner Thomas Drew, DFID Head Joanna Reid and others accompanied the British Secretary of State.
K-P Chief Secretary Muhammad Salim Khan, Additional Chief Secretary Dr Shahzad Bangash, Economic Affairs Division Additional Secretary Ahmad Hanif Orakzai, provincial secretaries and heads of a number of provincial organisations were also present on the occasion.
The CM briefed the British minister and the delegation in detail about the development, welfare and reform agenda of his government particularly the uplift schemes for the newly merged districts of the province. Mahmood appreciated DFID’s continued engagement with the Province especially in education sector and skill development
The British delegation appreciated these efforts and both the sides emphasized on further strengthening partnership in skill development which is critical for employment of the youth of the country.
The delegation also appreciated the Billion Tree Tsunami programme and as a token of contribution to it, British Secretary of State also planted a sapling in Pakhtunkhwa House.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2019.
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