Thu. Dec 3rd, 2020

No flights for tourists, special flights for terrorists!

Meharban karim

Tourism is the most neglected sector in Pakistan under the current national circumstances. One reason for this neglect is that most of the tourism attractions are located in the remote region Gilgit-Baltistan, where people have no true representation in any so-called national democratic government and the government of Gilgit-Baltistan has no say in National Policy formulation.

The current government has issues of terrorism to deal with, investing its resources and time in negotiations with Taliban for peace-keeping in Pakistan; however it has no contribution for tourism promotion to build a soft image of Pakistan to the outer world.

CaptureDespite the horrific incidents that happened last year at Nanga Parbat base camp the  private sector and individuals affiliated with tourism sector are working hard with no support from the government to promote positive aspects of the country to attract tourists and build a positive image of Pakistan and provide economic opportunity to unemployed  youth of Northern Pakistan.

Tourism is not only a source of livelihood for youth but also an earning source for artisans, farmers, transporters, hoteliers and even for PIA itself, if managed well.

The current government is providing special flights to various Taliban committees for the last several months but it has reduced PIA fights to Gilgit-Baltistan, creating problems not only for the local people but also hindering movement of tourist who are interested in traveling to those areas.

Till last year PIA was operating three flights for Gilgit- Baltistan on daily bases but the current government made it worse and hardly single flight is available in day.

The attraction for tourists is also decreased due to extra security procedures of NOCs, lack of advocacy by Pakistani embassies abroad and lack of tourist friendly policies by central government. The local government of Gilgit-Baltistan has major role to play to address issues related to this ignorance by central government to improve the flights and revive this major source of income for youth of the area and represent a peaceful and friendly Pakistan internationally.

1 thought on “No flights for tourists, special flights for terrorists!

  1. I am from the UK and have visited Pakistan as a tourist twice – in 1994 and 1996. I was due to return last year to trek to the base camp of K2 until my trip had to be cancelled with just 8 days to go due to the incident at Nanga Parbat. Unfortunately, it is currently almost impossible to return to Pakistan as a tourist because:

    1. Visas are hard to obtain and expensive. You have to have sponsorship from a tour company in Pakistan. In the UK, the Pakistan High Commission no longer issues visas, it is done by a private company who are difficult to deal with. A tourist visa used to cost £50, now it is £140!
    2. The KKH is dangerous, and flights from Islamabad to G-B are limited and often cancelled due to bad weather.
    3. The UK Foreign Office advises (mistakenly in my view) against all ‘non-essential’ travel to G-B due to security concerns. This means UK tour operators cannot run tours to G-B.

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