Through the columns of your esteemed newspaper, I would like to highlight the factors re­sponsible for our battered tour­ism industry.

From the pristine peaks in the north to the mangroves of the In­dus delta, the blend of various climatic regions and geographi­cal terrains is witnessed. With­in hours of leaving an arid zone, one enters into fertile plains and plateaus. Followed by the Plains, one is struck by the presence of otherworldly mountains, mighty peaks, deserts of cholistan, and the wilderness of Baluchistan. From the ruins of Moen jo Daro to the stupas of Gandhara civili­zation, the amalgam of historical and natural sites makes Pakistan one of the most splendiferous tourist destinations.

However, Pakistan is not even listed among the top 50 countries on the global travel and tourism index. The beauty and aestheti­cally appealing side of Pakistan’s landscapes has been overshad­owed by the clouds of insecurity and lack of peace in the country.

With the 7.83 global terrorism index, Pakistan has listed among the 11th most dangerous coun­tries according to the world pop­ulation review. The murder rate has escalated from 2.09% cases per 100,000 in 2019 to 3.8% cas­es in 2020. Coupled with ferocious homicide practices, The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)’s recent report suggests, that “11 rape cases are reported in Pakistan daily with over 22,000 such incidents reported in last six years (2016-21). The recent case of gang rape of a 22-year-old US tourist in Punjab’s district Dera Ghazi Khan has also diffused a sense of fear among the tourists and has amassed severe criticism by international media. In addi­tion to this, sectarian violence, kidnappings, abduction cases, civ­il unrest, and unpredictable se­curity issues in our country have created temporarily irrecoverable hurdles on the way to uplifting our tourism sector.

The splendors of mother nature in Pakistan are awe-striking and have the potential to fix our un­der-pressure economic growth. To tap this reservoir of econo­my, a possible solution might be to create a department under the Pakistan tourism development corporation (PTDC) specifically dedicated to addressing the se­curity of tourists. The perils of the hour also require the gener­al public to be tolerant and show keen hospitality to foreigners to boost the tourism sector.