PESHAWAR - To display various precious stones and other handicrafts, around 30 stalls set up as a three-day Gems and Jewellery exhibition started at the Peshawar Museum here on Friday.

After lapse of many years, the provincial government has undertaken step to organise gems and jewellery show with joint collaboration of the Royal Gems Gallery, Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP), All Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association (APCEA), Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WCCI) Peshawar, Empower the Nation Organisation (ENO) and Directorate of Archaeology and Museums KP.

According to organisers, the show a joint effort to boost up the gems and jewellery sector with active participation of women, and attract investments in the sector, besides to build up a soft image of the terrorism-stricken Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Accompanied by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Mine and Mineral, Ziaul Afridi, Advisor to Chief Minister, Amjad Afridi formally inaugurated the exhibition during a ceremony held at Peshawar Museum.

During inaugural ceremony, Executive Director RGG Saima Umar, APCEA provincial chairman Mihanjuddin, Secretary Tourism, Archaeology and sports Dr Aftab Durrani, Director Archaeology and Museums, Dr Abdul Samad, MD TCKP Mushtaq Ahmad, former KPCCI vice president Anees Ashraf, Ms Nushat Rauf and other officials present.

Saima Umar in her welcome speeches said the basic purpose of organising three-day gems show, to make collective efforts for development of gems and jewellery sector, besides establishment of soft-image of this region, which could support to attract investment in this important sector. She extended gratitude to all those which were supporting them in arranging show for promotion of Gems and jewelry sector in Khyber Paktunkhwa.

APCEA provincial chairman, Minajuddin while speaking on the occasion urged the government to take serious steps for tapping rich natural resources and boosting of Gems and jewelry sector in the province. He also suggested that a gems training centre should be established under public-private partnership, to train youth and make easiness in process of cutting and polishing of gems items, and export them in finishing shape to foreign countries.

Minister for Mine and Mineral, Ziaullah Afridi said the provincial government is taking measures for promotion of gems and jewellery sector along with tapping of other natural resources under public-private partnership. He informed a comprehensive mining policy was unveiled for this purpose, which could be helpful exploiting all abundant and rich natural reserves in the benefiting manner.

The Minister furthermore said the government has also planned to establish liberty for gems sector, besides to give training to youth in cutting and polishing of precious and semi-precious stones. He maintained that around five block would be established in gems sector, while the unveiling of new mining policy, would helpful to eliminate illegal mining in the province.

Advisor to CM, Amjad Afridi in his keynote speech said the government is top priority to promote and revive tourism, and culture activities, which have been slowed down due to prevalence of terrorism activities over the past so many years in the province. In KP, he informed that more than 13 various projects would be initiated in this regard.

Regarding the promotion of sports activities, Chief Minister advisor informed that a number of establishment of sports grounds at tehsil level, have been increased from 36 to 74. Similarly, he added the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak recently approved construction of sports grounds in four towns in the provincial capital. He furthermore elaborated that government is working on prepare a comprehensive youth policy, which will soon be announced in the province.

Commenting on the organising of the gems and jewellery show, Afridi said government is encouraging such activities, which could establish a soft-image and attract investments. He assured the organizers for extending continuous support for success of the Gems and Jewellery exhibition in Peshawar.