ISLAMABAD - In what appeared to be a positive step to promote tourism industry in the country by the private sector, Samsons Group has reconstructed chairlift that was destroyed by terrorists in Malam Jabba’s Ski Resort.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday inaugurated the landmark project of chairlifts on which208 people can take a ride. Samsons Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Waseem-ur-Rehman while addressing the inauguration ceremony hoped to bring this recreational sport not only to the residents of this country but would also attract foreign tourists.

“We are thus intending to contribute towards the countries tourism industry, and enhancing economic activities in this beautiful region of Swat,” he stated.

He further said that Malam Jabba Hotel and Resort is planned to be a landmark project conceived in the geographical and historical context of the region. It would be the ultimate tourist destination at the foot hills of Himalayas, he added. “With the successful completion of the project, our group hopes to bring together people from various cultures and traditions, thus increasing global harmony and portraying a strong positive image of Pakistan in the world.”

He said that they are using only the local construction materials and furnishing the property with Swati traditional crafts of wood carving and woven fabrics, which have always distinguished the region for a very special and peculiar cultural face.

The chairlift is about 640 meters long, and has 103 cable carts which can carry around 206 people, doubled the capacity of the previous chairlift, which could only carry 104 people with 52 cable carts. The group is developing a 5-Star Hotel facility with 110 rooms featuring huge conference rooms, spa and fitness centre, banquet halls and variety of restaurants.

The resort shall offer a mix of summer and winter sports and recreational activities. Apart from the chairlift, there would be provision for skating, skiing, hiking, mini golf course, horse riding, archery, paragliding, zip line, snowboarding and many more recreational facilities in the scope of the resort.

Skiing is a special sport around the world, and despite being blessed with a natural landscape, Pakistan had no facility to offer on this count. The resort was attacked and occupied by the militants in 2008 and later courageously got vacated by the Pak Army. However, in the process of clearance from the militants, both the resort and the cable chair facility were razed to the ground.

The CEO on behalf of his group thanked Imran Khan for complimenting achievements of the provincial government in police, health, education, tourism and other sectors.