PM calls for development of beach, coastline tourism in Balochistan
LASBELA: Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed upon the development of beach and coastline tourism in Balochistan by properly exploring the unseen tourism potential of different areas, which could lead to generation of huge revenues.
Addressing a gathering of local people here after tree plantation drive and inspection of mangrove forest at the Sonmiani beach, the prime minister said it was the job of the government to change the living standards of the people though bringing in drastic changes.
He said every area had some different characteristics, adding that they must also concentrate upon those tourism spots, which could attract Muslim population across the world.
Citing the reason for making the country an attractive destination for the Muslims, the prime minister said due to Islamophobia across the globe, the Muslims were reluctant to go to the Western or European countries along with their families for tourism.
The government plans to develop the beach tourism and would seek scientific suggestions from the quality consultants in this regard, he said, adding that the prime minister said the hilly or mountainous areas were developed by the British during their rule, but these areas were being degraded slowly, citing an example of Murree, which had been seen quite changes due to huge construction.
For the first time, the government was developing new hilly terrains and exploring other scenic spots to attract maximum tourists, he added.
The prime minister said the country’s coastline remained unexplored and also emphasised upon reservation and increase of mangrove forests, as they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen in abundance.
The prime minister said he was mesmerised with the beauty of the area. The Allah Almighty had blessed the country with precious resources, he said, and regretted that in the past, the people did not do justice with these natural gifts.
The prime minister underlined the need of valuing these gifts with proper development and planning. Once, these areas were developed into tourism spots, they would help change the lives of the local people, create jobs with better education and health facilities.
The prime minister said the world was experiencing severe climatic impacts in forms of flooding and forest fires, affecting different parts of the globe.
Pakistan had already been taking lead in the global efforts to reverse climatic change impacts, Prime Minister Imran Khan said.
A recent report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), comprising a group of scientists, maintained that human activities was changing the temperature of the world in an unprecedented way, the prime minister said, warning that the rise in temperature would make the globe uninhabitable planet if immediate measures were not taken by the world community.
Balochistan lacked behind in terms of progress and development due to the lack of interest by the former federal governments, he said, adding that the previous rulers preferred to reside in London without taking pains to visit these neglected areas. The Baloch leaders also did not pay attention to the province, he added.
The prime minister said for the first time in the country’s history, the federal government was spending a huge amount of Rs1 trillion for the development of Balochistan.
Such an amount was never allocated or spent in the province, he said, linking the progress of Balochistan with the development of the entire country.
He expressed the resolve that the government would provide all the basic facilities to the residents of the province, adding that the province was rich with mineral resources and if proper planning was done, it would result in huge revenues for the province.
Khan also announced an additional 12,000 acres to be included for mangroves forests in Balochistan. This big announcement came under the umbrella of the “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami” campaign across the country.
Pakistan is already the only country in the world with an expanding mangrove cover spreading from the Indus delta to the coastal areas of Balochistan, he said.
During a briefing given by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, it was informed that these unique ocean growing forests were not only the guardians of the coast but also one of the most important tools for carbon sequestration.
As they store four times more carbon than normal forests, this makes them a valued natural resource for not only Pakistan but also the world that is feeling the heat of climate change.
The prime minister also met the local women Nighabaans who had played a crucial role for protecting and expanding the mangroves of Balochistan.
On the international day for indigenous people being celebrated across the world, he emphasised that all the green jobs being generated under “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami” should go to the local communities. They have to become responsible caretakers of nature.
The prime minister was on a rare rapid climate action tour of the country going from urban centres to the coastal areas of the country. This shows the climate commitment of the present government with the prime minister personally driving and overseeing climate action on the ground.
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