ISLAMABAD   -   Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that there is no country in the world which has the tourism potential like Pakistan.

Addressing the Pakistan Tourism Summit here, he said, “Tourism is the best investment and has the best returns,” adding that the government was making efforts to facilitate the industry.

He said Pakistan has a virgin coastal belt in Balochistan, but it is unfortunate that our elites prefer to visit Europe and western countries instead of exploring our own tourist spots.

The Prime Minister said Allah has bestowed us with diverse kind of mountain scenery from Suleman, Karakoram and Himalaya heights.

He said these mountain ranges have their own diverse features abundant with great vegetation, wildlife and bird life, which have no match in any part of the world.

Imran Khan said Gilgit-Baltistan had immense potential for tourism and with the improved law and order there a large number of people have visited the area.

He said there are dozens of beautiful areas in Pakistan like Nathia Galli, but they need to be developed.

He said that that Pakistani tourists need to be given awareness about the scenic beauty of the country.

The prime minister, however, cautioned that tourism must be promoted with responsibility, while taking care of the environment.

He stressed the need to also regulate the tourism industry and enforce laws to ensure that tourism sites were protected. “There are so many untapped scenic destinations in the country,” he added.

He said religious tourism, especially for the adherents of Sikhism, Buddhism, and Hinduism will increase the number of tourism in the country.

He said the government had made it easier for foreigners to come to Pakistan after rolling out the new visa regime.

“Before it was extremely difficult for foreigners to come to Pakistan,” he said, adding that, Malaysia and Turkey have been able to reap the benefits of tourism industry which has helped their economies.

The prime minister said that foreigners should be welcomed to Pakistan, however, the local culture and sensibilities must be respected.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan offers best tourism attractions in the world ranging from beach, mountain, and desert tourism.

Imran most popular among Pak leaders

Prime Minister Imran Khan has emerged as the top most popular personality among all Pakistani leaders with over 9.4 million followers on social networking website ‘twitter’.

Spectator Index, a website that displays statistics relating to international rankings said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was on the 9th position among the world leaders.

Followers of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif were 5.06 million, and PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari 3.24 million.

CDA directed to facilitate disabled persons

Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to ensure availability of required facilities for people with special needs.

In a letter, the Prime Minister directed CDA to make all public places and buildings in Islamabad as disabled friendly through provision of necessary infrastructure including ramps, lifts, toilets and other needs for safe and easy access to persons with disabilities.

The Prime Minister also desired that CDA shall also ensure provision of the same facilities in private buildings within its jurisdiction.