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PR No. 78 FEDERAL MINISTER FOR KASHMIR AFFAIRS AND GILGIT BALTISTAN INAUGURATES PAKISTAN GILGIT BALTISTAN STALL AT ITB BERLIN INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND TOURIST EXHIBITION Berlin: March 9, 2017

Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Chaudhry Muhammad Berjees Tahir inaugurated Pakistan Gilgit Baltistan stall at ITB Berlin International Travel and Tourist exhibition here in Berlin. Talking to Media on this occasion, the Federal Minister said that prime objective of participation in this prestigious travel and tourist exhibition is to project the soft image of Pakistan. He said that Pakistan has great potential regarding tourism in form of high mountain ranges like Himalayas and Karakoram.  Pakistan enjoys great tourism diversity in form of majestic meadows, beautiful lakes and Indus river civilizations of Harapa and Mohanjodero.  He said that Pakistan is also home to five out of fourteen above 8000 meter high peaks of the world.

The Minister said that priority of Pakistan would be to restore the confidence of foreign tourists. He said that security environment in Pakistan has improved remarkably since 2013. Not a single incident of sabotage has been reported in Gilgit Baltistan for last couple of years, he added. He said more than a million domestic tourists visited Giglit Baltistan last year only, which truly reflects the safe security environment of the region.  Moreover a high altitude police unit has been established in Gilgit Baltistan in order to provide security to foreign tourist and trekkers. He said that Pakistan has been the front line state in war against terrorism and it sacrificed thousands of precious lives and suffered loss of nearly one hundred Billion dollars for sake of making entire world safer. He said that Pakistan’s success against terrorism is being acknowledged by the international community and publications. However it is now an obligation on the international community to also come forward and play its due role in revival of Pakistan’s tourism industry.

The Federal Minister said that in addition to the security environment, the government has chalked out tourism friendly policies like provision of visa on arrival to tourists visiting Pakistan through designated tourist operators. The new Gilgit Baltistan tourism policy envisions large scale infrastructural development in order to facilitate tourists. After implementation this policy would also boost private sector investment for providing better services to tourists. He said that government plans of increasing tourist traffic by 10 percent every year. The Federal Minister once again encouraged the foreign tourists to visit Pakistan to enjoy serenity, majesty and tranquility of its valleys meadows, mountains, lakes and deserts.

The ITB Berlin ( Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin) is the world’s largest tourism trade fair .Over 180 countries throughout the world are participating in this exhibition.

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