ISLAMABAD - Besides hotels and restaurants, the acute decline in tourism industry has minimised earning opportunities for tourist guides, with majority of them looking for suitable alternative jobs. Most of our tourist guides that primarily hail from Northern Areas are considered proficient in regional languages, besides being adept at mountain and rock climbing. They would entertain maximum number of foreign delegates and thus earn a handsome amount. However, they have no suitable mode of living since number of foreign tourists visiting Pakistan declined due to deteriorating law and order situation. A few tourist guides, who are suffering from unemployment, shared their views with TheNation on the issue. Sadaqat Hussain from Skardu, Baltistan, said that he came to Islamabad, some eight years ago, to find tourist delegations interested in climbing K-2, Rakaposhi and other mountain peaks of Karakorum Ranges. "I came to Islamabad as it could offer ample opportunities in tourism sector. Every year, I would find suitable number of rock climbers whom I would lead to K-2 and other peaks of Karakorum Ranges, " he stated adding, I come from the same region so rock climbing is not a problem for me. Rather, I'm expert at it. Sadaqat went on to add that every tour would earn him around two hundred thousand rupees. It would take around one month to forty-five days to complete one trip. I would end up earning something like $ 3000 dollars or even more. Now, there are no delegates, no visitors for North and no earnings One could only recall those good old days, said nostalgic Sadaqat, currently residing in Dhoke Hassu, Rawalpindi. Another tourist guide, Agha Rizwan Karim, from Karimabad, Hunza said, owing to my proficiency in Balti language, I can easily speak and understand Chinese language and would thus get maximum Chinese tourists. "Balti resembles a lot with Chinese, so I would face no problem to communicate with Chinese delegates who always preferred to hire me," he stated. In addition to Balti, I can speak Sheena, Gilgiti, Broshiski, and some other regional languages plus English and Urdu," mentioned Rizwan, the multi-lingual, who is unemployed for the last one-year and-a-half. Last time, I had a delegation in August 2008. I haven't had one since then, he recalled. Muhammad Mubashar from Mandi Bahauddin, told TheNation that he would earn approximately $ 1000 to $ 2000 dollars for every three to five day's tour from Islamabad to distant areas across Pakistan. Mubashar acquired proficiency in French language by taking French classes in Alliance Francaise and National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad. "I was crazy about French. I practised this language over the years to attain perfection. I did my interpretership from NUML and joined the profession of tourist guide. "Soon after I became a tourist guide, it started paying me as I had earned good reputation among French circles in Pakistan. I received countless French delegations and have worked with a lot of tourist companies, both local and international, mentioned Mubashar, who is unemployed currently. After tourism crippled in Pakistan, I tried other businesses like poultry but to no avail. I have lost all my savings now, he lamented. These tourist guides who once, could make a comfortable living out of tourism industry, are currently finding it extremely difficult to get both the ends meet. In their view, the improvement in law and order situation is directly proportional to boom tourism. "We have to provide a safe and comfortable environment to foreigners to regain our goodwill and revive, otherwise dead, tourism sector," they suggested.