Senate tourism panel irked by absence

Express April 29, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Tourism has taken strong notice of the absence of tourism ministers of Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa from the committee meeting held on Wednesday at the Parliament House in Islamabad.

The committee’s chairperson, Senator Nilofur Bakhtiar, said that the tourism industry in Pakistan was in a poor condition, mainly due to the volatile security situation. She said if foreign tourists were reluctant to come to Pakistan, then the domestic tourism sector must be developed. She said there was a huge scope of local tourists from Punjab and Sindh visiting the scenic Northern Areas. The Sarhad Tourism Development Corporation is doing a good job by organising events and other provinces should follow its example, she said.

Senator Bakhtiar said the role of the national flag carrier, PIA, was also very important in encouraging tourism in the country. Sindh Minister for Tourism Shazia Marri said that cooperation between federal and provincial governments was important in developing the tourism sector. Federal Minister for Tourism Maulana Attaur Rehman said tourism in Pakistan could only be promoted if the ministry of culture was merged with the tourism ministry. The meeting was attended by Senator Abbas Khan Afridi and Senator Abdul Raheem Mandokhel among others.

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