Islamabad Pkistan

Tourist Attractions in Pakistan

Why Tourism?

Tourism is undoubtedly is an industry that can fetch an attractive number of visitors in the country. This will surely result into more spending in the country. This spending will originate from the much needed foreign currency influx. Pakistan is blessed by the 4 seasons with topography of great variety from warm beaches to snow ridden mountain peaks. Here we have the beautiful deserts and lush green valleys.  

Religious Tourism

The prime minister has recently indicated that the vital aspect of our new tourism policy will be a focus on religious tourism. The capital of Ghandara civilization Taxila, which was the centre of Buddhism at one point in time, will be revived.

Recently a 40ft Buddha statue near Haripur has been discovered. It is the world’s largest sleeping Buddha which will soon be shared with the the world.

The Sikhism is among the prominent religions in the sub continent and Sikhs live everywhere in the world. The two most important and the holiest sites for Sikhism, Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur are also in Pakistan. There are some more places that are important for them. Similarly one of the most holiest place for Hindus named Katas Raj is also in Pakistan.

And then there is Sufism. The Muslim sufis have a lion’s share in spreading Islam in sub continent. The Pakistan has multiple revered sufi sites where annual celebrations called Melas are big tourist attractions for a hilarious spiritual experience.

Historical Places.

Pakistan is a country having some of the oldest living cities like Multan, Thatha, Lahore and Peshawar. Some of them having history of about 2500 years.

There are some other abandoned attractions like Moenjodaro, Harrapa and Mehr Garh. These sites can attract large number of tourists, scholars and researchers, if equipped with facilities and introduced properly to the world. The Government is seriously planning to launch a tourist web portal where all such places and attractions will be “brought onto the map”.

Other Attractions

Pakistan’s potential for beach tourism remains untapped and there are many investors interested to take a stake in its development.

People are completely clueless to the skiing opportunities in Pakistan. Pakistan’s gradient from K2 to the coastline is the steepest, with various sites and weather patterns to experience along the way.

New Visa Policy

New Visa policy of Pakistan

The Government of Pakistan is moving fast on its way to make Pakistan a tourist friendly country. Making it easier for tourist and foreign businessmen the Govt. has announced a new Visa policy.

A new facility termed E-visa has been introduced. The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), will facilitate through its portal to get visa from the comfort of house without visiting Pakistan embassy or counsellor office. They simply have to log in to NADRA web portal, fill out the application, upload the required documents and make the visa fee payment. Successful applicants will be sent a notification via email and SMS which will be reviewed upon entry in Pakistan.

As per announcement by the government, in the initial phase to relax visa policies, it has been decided to extend e-visa facility to citizens of five countries. (Turkey, China, Malaysia, United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates). The facility will then be extended to citizens of 170 countries if the pilot project goes fine.

The two major airports Karachi & Lahore, have been equipped with passenger identification system. The installation of system will be extended to all other airports of the country in due course of time.

It has also been decided that 55 countries will be allowed for Visa on arrival. The business visa facility will be allowed to 90 countries. Earlier the visa on arrival facility was applicable only to 24 countries.

Another move is to chalking out a policy for visa for foreign journalists, specifically those from western countries. It is hoped that country will get reciprocal consideration for similar facilities from respective countries. The Government is also thinking of writing to India to grant visas to Pakistani journalists to cover upcoming Indian elections.

These and other such opening up policies are in the pipeline which will entirely change the image of Pakistan. Soon it will take its lost place as a peaceful, comfortable and an adorable country for tourists to visit and for businessmen to do more business here.

Pakistan has suffered a lot on account of exports and tourism due to long lasted war against terrorism. The war caused reduced number of visitors and the tourism almost vanished away due to uncertainty and unrest in the country.

So much so the conducting games events here was not possible after the notorious attack on Sri Lankan cricket team. Even the country was compelled to conduct its Pakistan super League (PSL) matches in UAE.

Now the Prime Minister proudly announced that next PSL will be totally played in Pakistan. That will not open up the country for sports internally but foreign teams will have better confidence in visiting here and playing in Pakistan.  

Exports

Textile Bailout-2019

The PTI Govt. is trying its best to take steps for industrial revival. The Textile sector being the largest contributor in export earnings of the country is on top of the list.

A package was announced earlier to address grievances of the textile industry, facilitating it to gain it lost footing. Now the Govt. has again came up with another bailout package worth Rs.29 billions by waiving taxes and duties on cotton, the single important input in textile production.

But the downside is that this package primarily will hep only the tycoons of the industry. The small & medium industry will have to do nothing with it. In a way such packages are remained in practice of each and every Govt. in power to keep happy the industrial big guns to gain their support. Such packages ever failed to stir revival of industry and production but filled the pockets of cash hungry barons.

As projected by the officials the Govt. will loose Rs.14.6 billions in custom duty, Rs.6.9 billions in additional custom duty and Rs7.7billions in sales tax. Recently the Govt. approved Gas subsidy for 5 zero-rated export industries that amounts to Rs.25 billions. Again the textile giants are the major gainers of the incentive package.

Another official news reveals the waiver of 50% of the outstanding gas infrastructure cess (GIDC) amounting Rs.40 billions out of Rs. 80 billion payable in arrears by the Textile Industry. The textile exports from Pakistan are not gaining momentum despite all these incentives as our prices still remain a bit higher as compare to Bangladesh & China. Bangladesh being the close competitor taking up our share.

The estimated consumption of cotton by the industry is around 12 to 15 million bales of cotton per year. Textile industry in Pakistan need to import cotton as the local production remain under the level of required consumption.

The expected local cotton produce is around 10 to 11 million bales of cotton in the ongoing financial year, a decrease of 9.7% compared to the previous year and down 24% from the initial target of 14.37 million bales.

The textile ministry claims that 10.78 million bales have already reached cotton ginning factories from farms by the beginning of January 2019.

The local produce is decreasing as farmers complain that pro industry policies of the successive Governments have left less for them to grow cotton. They feel deprived of the competitive price and compelled to opt for other crops paying better price incentive.

During the period of last Govt. the focus remained to keep happy the textile tycoons at the cost of poor unorganized farmers, the story being re-told by the present Govt. as the sentiment of farmers goes around.

The revival of textile industry is only possible by creating the harmony among all production sectors from farmers to factories shifting focus on value addition rather than exporting cotton first and than importing and than exporting the yarn to deprive local weaving and value additions segments of the industry.