LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that goal of development and prosperity of the country cannot be achieved without eliminating menace of extremism. He said that government is taking administrative and socio-economic measures for coping with the challenge of extremism. He said that negative propaganda against Pakistan can be dispelled by promoting tourism in the country.
He expressed these views while addressing the inaugural ceremony of 2nd Lahore International Tourism Expo 2014 at Expo Center Lahore today. Delegations and diplomats from Turkey, Nepal, UK and other countries besides KPK, Balochistan and Azad Kashmir attended the function.
The Chief Minister also gave away souvenirs to the foreign delegations participating in the Tourism Expo. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that holding of 2nd International Tourism Expo is a welcome step and it will prove helpful in promotion of tourism.
He said that there are worth-seeing tourism places in Punjab, KPK, Balochistan and Sindh. He stressed the need for taking concrete measures for promotion of tourism sector. He said that Pakistan has a unique place for tourism all over the world and vast opportunities of tourism exist in the country. He said that tourist resorts will be developed in a better manner by providing best facilities so that maximum tourists could be attracted to visit Pakistan and huge foreign exchange earned.
The Chief Minister said that tourism is an important source for highlighting the soft image of Pakistan in the world. He said no doubt, Pakistan is facing extremism and neither this menace started suddenly nor controlled immediately. However, the government will overcome this scourge through collective wisdom and approach.
He said that government has evolved a comprehensive policy in this regard and besides administrative measures, socio-economic steps are also being taken for eliminating extremism. Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government is committed to defeat the menace of extremism.
He said that youth will have to motivate towards positive activities for keeping them away from extremism. He said that government is taking vigorous steps for providing jobs to the youth. He said that a number of steps have been taken for promotion of tourism throughout Punjab including Lahore, however, there is a need to still do a lot for this purpose. The Chief Minister said that the delegations from European and neighbouring countries coming to Lahore and Punjab, have impressed by the facilities provided here and he believed that the participation of foreign delegations in this Expo is a proof to the fact that Pakistan is a peaceful country. He thanked the foreign delegations and said that government will welcome their proposals regarding promotion of tourism.
Shahbaz Sharif said that former rulers destroyed the beauty of recreational place like Murree and unfortunately, buildings were constructed here without any planning. Provincial Minister for Education and Tourism Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan addressing the function said that under the guidance of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, work is being carried out on the project of a theme park in Lahore.
He said that formulation of first tourism policy of Punjab has been started which will be announced this year. Iranian Consul General Muhammad Hussain Bani Asadi addressing the function said that Pakistan particularly Punjab are safe places in all respects and he himself has been residing here for the last three years.
He said that there is great scope of promotion of tourism sector between Iran and Pakistan. Secretary Tourism also addressed the function. Earlier, Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated 2nd Lahore International Tourism Expo and also visited various stalls set up in the exhibition regarding tourism.