Govt planning new airport in Gilgit: Khan

Minister stresses the need for exploiting tourism potential


Our Correspondent May 02, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan at a public gathering in Gilgit-Baltistan. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/@imrankhan.pti

ISLAMABAD:

Gilgit-Baltistan Information Minister Fatehullah Khan on Saturday said the PTI-led government was planning to build a new international standard airport in Gilgit to meet the requirements of international tourists and demand from domestic investors.

“The construction of a state-of-the-art new airport in the region will help boost the country’s exports as well as domestic and foreign tourism,” he said while speaking to PTV.

“The government is identifying key issues in the development of G-B,” he said, adding that the government has announced a multi-billion package for the G-B that would usher in a “new era” of progress in the region.

The government wants to bring under-developed areas at par with the developed areas, the minister added.

“There is a need for exploiting the huge potential of tourism existing in the mountainous region.” The information minister said that Pakistan was a safe tourist destination and it was the best time to take advantage of the improved security situation and other conditions.

To a question about the development package, he said under the package, projects in various sectors would not only herald a “new chapter” of development and progress in G-B but would also help address the problems of the region and create numerous employment opportunities.

Under the package, he added that power generation and local distribution 4G networks would further strengthen, while tourism connectivity would also improve.

He further mentioned that construction work at the Saidu Sharif Airport which was now complete would also increase tourism in the sector.

“The government is also paying special attention to improve the production of dry fruits to boost their exports,” he said, adding that establishing special zones to invite industries to increase revenues.

Talking about foreign tourism, he said that after easing lockdown the government of G-B would hold a number of exhibitions and workshops to attract foreign tourists where they will be invited to invest and visit the mountainous region.

“G-B has become a business hub between Pakistan and China in the wake of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and can be used as a gateway between both the countries,” he added.

Khan was of the view that if it was materialised the GB people could get huge benefits by exporting the finest quality of almonds and other dry fruits to China.

Since the Covid-19 lockdown Pakistan-China bilateral trade was closed that would resume soon as meetings of officials are underway, he said.

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