Proposals to develop N. Areas for tourism
8 March 2006
Gilgit: The Northern Areas Tourism Board (NATB) has proposed several measures to develop tourism in the region. Sources said on Wednesday that NATB officials had recommended making the board autonomous, particularly in financial and administrative matters. They said that an autonomous tourism body in the Northern Areas was the only way to promote tourism in the region. The officials pointed out that the tedious procedure for obtaining visa discouraged the flow of tourists and suggested that it should be simplified. They proposed opening of visa counters in Gilgit and Kashgher (China) to boost tourism along the Karakoram Highway that goes to China from Gilgit. They said that rationalisation of rates charged by porters and liaison officers from trekkers and mountaineers would also attract tourists. They said that a tourism directorate and its five sub- offices would soon become functional in Northern Areas to facilitate tourists. EDUCATION PROJECTS The Northern Areas education department is spending Rs1200m on educational project of the area, official sources said. They said capacity building of education directorate was a component of this project in addition to improvement of infrastructure, teachers’ training and improvement of quality of education through easy access to education. They said the project would also focus on promotion of girls’ education and enhancement of their educational institutions. CLERICS FREED The government has freed two clerics, top Shia leader Agha Rahat Hussaini and local JUI- F leader Maulana Attaullah Shahab, from Adiyala Jail in Rawalpindi where they were detained under maintenance of public order on Oct 15 last year. The clerics were released after they provided an undertaking that they would work for promoting sectarian harmony and peace in Northern Areas. The remaining four detainees will be released in phases.