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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Better Pakistan | Wild Life and Tourism

Better Pakistan | Wild Life, Culture & Tourism

Pakistan is blessed with tremendous natural beauty and diversified culture. We are among the few nations in the world that are blessed with four seasons, the sky kissing mountains, the roaring rivers, the lush green outfields and large deserts with over 800 km long coastal belt. Such blessings provides the baseline for strengthening of economy through tourism. The tourism requires good infrastructure, specially quality roads in  hill stations that no only facilitates the local population but appeals the foreign tourist to visit the breath taking areas of Northern Pakistan. 

Pakistan Muslim League during its tenure has worked specifically on the infrastructure building for tourism. During the two tenures of PMLN Alhamdulliah the law and order situation was satisfactory therefore foreign tourists used to visit the archaeological sites of Pakistan especially the famous Mohinjadaro and Harrapa sites.  The establishment of new and international standard airports at Lahore and Karachi also proved to be the first impression to the foreigners coming to Pakistan in various capacities. In this blog post, as the title implies, we are presenting from the arches of history the work of PMLN for tourism development and wild life of Pakistan.

Tourism is an area that can help us in earning a lot of revenue. In order to boost the tourism activities in the country PMLN during its two tenures worked on lot of issues. The culture and tourism are directly linked with each other. The efforts of PMLN for setting up international standard tourist resorts dates back to the time when Mian Nawaz Sharif was the Chief Minister of Punjab. In 1987 the Govt. of Punjab established Chinji National Park as a protected area of International Union of Conservation of Nature. It is located in Talagang Dist. Chakwal, Punjab. It has a total area of 15061 acres (Reference). 

The Patriata chairlift project, a unique of its own kind was inaugurated by Mian Nawaz Sharif on July 12,1990.  Furthermore, to improve the accessibility  to the northern areas of Pakistan TDCP was advised to devised plans specially meant for tour operations. This resulted in strengthening the tourism based economy of northern areas like Kaghan, Swat and Neelam valley. 
Landhi Korangi Zoo  was also established during the first tenure of PMLN in 1990. It is a zoological garden located at KorangiLandhi TownKarachi. It is spread over an area of approximately 4 acres (16,000 m2).

Mian Nawaz Sharif in Patriata | Inaugurating chairlift| dated 12 July 1990 (The Nation)

In order to promote Sindhi culture Sindhi Language Authority was established by PMLN in year 1991. Sindh Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) was established in the year 1992 under the companies Act, 1975. This authority is working for the promotion of tourism in the province of Sindh. To highlight the importance of wildlife and tourism, in 1991, a three day celebration was observed in the Lahore Zoo, targeting only the youngsters.

In July 1992, the NHA was directed to construct Thal-Parachinar road worth 418 Million PKR. This road was primarily made to facilitate the locals but its secondary objective was to uplift the tourism activities in the area. It is worth mentioning here that Parachinar was among the most peaceful areas of Pakistan during PMLN govt.

In 1992 Natural History Museum and raptile house, were renovated. It is one of the more famous attractions in Karachi Zoo. Lohi Bher Wildlife Park is located in Lohi Bher in Rawalpindi. Established in 1992, the area encompasses 687 acres. PTDC Reception Unit at Chaman was approved by DDWP on 24-9-1992 at a cost of Rs. 6.302 million. Motel at Baran Kalay, Swat was approved by DDWP on 19-7-1992 at a cost of Rs. 17.762 million. PTDC Motel at Bunni, Chitral was approved by DDWP on 15-11-1992 at a cost of Rs. 6.467 million.

Right in the start of second tenure of PMLN to uplift tourism and to provide easy transport excess to the local population, the construction of  172 kM long Mansehra - Naran-Jhalkhd road , worth 3118 Million PKR was initiated. The work for uplifting tourism is evident from the fact that during the second tenure of PMLN in 1997, the archaeological site of Mohinjodaro was set to work for conservation. The UNESCO provided funding for this long project of 20 year. The old castle of Sher Shah Sorri also known as ROHTAS fort was included in the UNESCO list of world heritage in the year 1997. The foundation stone of Pakistan Austrian Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (PAITHOM), Guli Bagh, Swat was also laid down by PMLN govt in May 1997. Hingol National Park (HNP) located in Lasbella, Awaran and Gwadar districts of Balochistan was established by PMLN in the year 1997. It covers an area of 619,043 hectares with 5,000 households  spread in more than 200 scattered villages. 

The Govt. of PMLN in 1997 successfully held an international tourism convention in Lahore to highlight the Allah gifted beauty of Pakistan. The theme of that convention was "Pakistan a gateway to silk route". It was also planned to celebrate the year 1999 as the visit Pakistan year. These efforts brought 291.2 million USD to the treasury of Pakistan during the second tenure of PMLN (1997-1999) 

A Newspaper clip dated Nov 02, 1997

In 1998 the Ayubia National park was expanded for two very good reasons. Firstly, it helped in conservation of the temperate forest, secondly it made a huge impact on the tourist activity in the area. It must be noted that this park was originally established in 1984 and its original area was 4161 acres which increased to 8184 acres of land. It is currently under the provincial department of wildlife. This park holds more than 100 species of plants and over 200 species of birds.

In July 1998, Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif set a baby tiger free in the jungles of Azad Kashmir as a mark of wildlife protection. In 1998 the PMLN lead Government of Pakistan approved the  Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) .It was prepared by Ministry of Environment, IUCN, WWF and various other stakeholders.

In 1999 the govt.of Punjab allowed the people of Punjab to keep some rare animals in their home. However, it was mentioned that prior permission from Wildlife department is mandatory. In 2009, the PMLN lead government of Punjab did extensive renovation of Woodland wildlife park and renamed it Lahore Zoo Safari on January 21. The Government of Punjab in 2012 established the Parks and Horticulture Authority of Punjab via the act The Parks and Horticulture Authority Act 2012Through this act it made possible for the government to declare an area as Heritage Park to conserve the heritage or culture and to preserve, conserve and develop the flora and fauna for the present and future generations. 

Wildlife permission 

A view of Lahore Zoo Safari-
Through these lines our basic aim is to highlight the work of PMLN in this area. It is worth committing here that all these works done are in the best interest of Pakistan. It was not as a token of greatness but our humble duty to return to the people of Pakistan the best we can. We are very much hopeful to do our best in the future too for a strong and prosperous Pakistan.

Thank you PMLN

~Hadeed Sher~