Covid-19 has proved itself as a barrier to tourism activities in Pakistan. Earlier this role was played by terrorism. After this long recession, tourism activities are now at a better place in the country. Tourism contributes about 9% to the global GDP but its share in Pakistan’s GDP is negligible in spite of the fact that the country has great potential in this field. So we will have to promote it to get a reasonable share in our economic growth. To be honest, we have a big list of problems in this regard. One of these problems which are being highlighted globally is the spread of pollution by tourism activities.

Major tourist activities which are popular worldwide are skiing, trekking, angling, paragliding, boating and photography. But the most important problem which is associated with all of these is that they all are responsible for the damage of natural ecosystems by spreading different types of pollutions which include littering, the spread of plastic wastes, noise, air and water pollution.

Murree is the most famous and visited tourist spot in the country because of its natural beauty, mild climate, easy approach and better facilities for the tourists but this popularity has become a problem for Murree itself. This hill station is overcrowded especially during the weekends and vacations. This is causing a great deal of pollution here and it has very badly affected the beauty and attraction of this place which was called “Malka-e-Kohsar”. This is the biggest problem of Murree these days. Similar problems are visible on the other tourist spots like Naran and Swat valleys.

Who is responsible for this? The answer of this question is not complex. The major responsibility goes to the tourists and then to the government. We can see the information and instruction boards placed on several prominent places for the tourists but mostly they are ignored by not acting upon them. This is the responsibility of the state that to enforce such rules and laws and secondly, to take measures to control this pollution. We can follow the example of Singapore where heavy fines are imposed on the violation of rules and regulations. Finally, it is the responsibility of the state to the local people and tourists with facilities that are helpful in cotrolling this pollution.

TARIQ MAHMOOD KHAN,

Faisalabad.