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PIA to Buy Two Modern Weather Protected Aircrafts

Islamabad, April 29, 2002 

            Minister for KANA and SAFRON, Mr. Abbas Sarfaraz Khan has said that PIA is buying two modern aircrafts with an ability to take off in all type of weather for Islamabad-Gilgit route in order to facilitate the tourists and the people of the Northern Areas. 

            He said this while addressing a meeting with all the stakeholders in connection with Silk Route Festival 2002 being held in the Northern Areas from July 12. 

            The Minister said that in addition to construction of Shandoor-Babusir road, Skardu-AJK-Rawalpindi road is also proposed to be constructed to promote domestic tourism in the area. He said that there is no law and order issue in the country and situation of international borders has also improved. He stressed the need to promote domestic tourism and to take steps to attract the foreign tourists. The main objectives to organize Silk Route Festival in Northern Areas to promote domestic tourism, trade and to generate economic activity with community participation. He asked the hotel association, tour operators and PIA to make necessary arrangements to attract and facilitate the domestic and foreign tourists during the festival to make this event a success. The meeting was informed that PIA has allowed 25% discount to the foreign tourists traveling Islamabad-Gilgit during festival and publicize the festival by displaying posters and banners at its domestic and foreign stations and will also set a stall in the festival. It was also apprised that TDCP of Punjab will ply special bus service from Lahore to Gilgit in festival days. 

            It was observed by the meeting that post September 11 scenario has hit the economy all over the world in particular and tourism in general. 

            The meeting decided that a presentation will be given to the heads of foreign missions in Pakistan to apprise them that Northern Areas are a safer place for foreign tourists. There is no law and order situation and the tourists can move anywhere in NAs without fear. 

            The meeting discussed various suggestions in this respect and took important decisions to attract, facilitate and impress the tourists. 

            The Festival Director, Uxi Mufti briefed the meeting regarding events of the festival and said that cultural troops would be invited from China, CARs and Afghanistan. He said that the General Assembly of the World Craft Council will also be held here during Festival.

            The meeting was also attended by Additional Secretary of the Ministry Safdar Javed Syed, Chief Secretary NAs, Faazil Durrani, Festival Director, Uxi Mufti, Representatives of AKRSP, PIA, Hotel Association of NAs, Tour Operators of NAs, TDCP and senior officials of Ministry and NAs administration.

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