SWAT -  Four-day Swat Snow Festival 2014 began here at the Malam Jabba tourist resort on Wednesday. Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak and General Officer Commander (GOC) Malakand division Major Gen. Javed Bukhari inaugurated the festival. The event was organised by the Pakistan Army aimed to promote tourism in the scenic valley. A large number of people from all over the country attended the festival. The event was full of skiing‚ gliding‚ snow trekking and tobogganing. On this occasion, students of schools and colleges were also present to enjoy the festival.
Addressing on the occasion, Chief Minister Pervez khattak said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is determined to promote tourism in the province. "Our government will bring back the charm and fun of Malam Jabba and the days are not far away when foreigners will start visiting Swat valley once again," he maintained.
He said that the KP government in collaboration with Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) will rebuild the Malam Jabba Motel and will introduce ski resort with new techniques. "There is no space for corrupt people in KP government," he said, adding with people's support the government would bring change in every sector of the province.
Large number of people thronged Swat to enjoy Malam Jabba festival. A 35-year-old Sana Gul, a housewife from Islamabad told The Nation, "I came along with my family to watch the opening ceremony of Malam Jabba snow festival. I can't express my feelings in words that how amazing the event is. I took the opportunity to ask people across the country to visit Malam Jabba and enjoy the natural beauty of this land."
A student of grade 9th Seema told this scribe that they have come from Peshawar to watch skiing. "It is thrilling for us and a memorable trip for my whole family," said Seema, who was enjoying the snow on the slopes in Malam Jabba.
Talking to The Nation, Col Shahid Niazi said that we have organised the festival to revive the tourism sector in the valley. He said that the locals invested highly in tourism sector but due to devastation of PTDC's Malam Jabba SKI-CUM resort, they faced huge loss.
He said that Army is doing its best and would make efforts to strengthen economic condition of the locals.