LAHORE    -    The committee on religious tourism headed by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar on Monday approved annual celebrations on 550th birth-anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

The committee was also briefed about the development projects and the security arrangements being carried out for Kartarpur Corridor.

Provincial Minister for Finance Hashim Jawan Bakht assured the delivery of funds for promoting religious tourism and heritage. He also assured the allocation of funds for timely payments for acquired land in Kartarpur complex.

Committee advised the completion of Kartarpur plan within the stipulated time. It also highlighted the need to revisit the security arrangements of data darbar and all other religious sites of minorities to prevent unwanted incidents.

Federal minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, advisor to PM Ameen Aslam, Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, Provincial Minister for religious affairs Syed Sayed ul Hasan shah Bukhari, Secretary Auqaaf Zulfiqar Ahmad Ghuman, secretary services Abdullah Sumbal, Iftikhar shah of PNDP, Commissioner Lahore Dr. Mujtaba Paracha, DC Nankana, Raja Mansoor, representative of NESPA Brig. Atif Hameed, representatives of FWO and the officials of Evacuee Trust Board attended the meeting.

CEO of Pakistan Railway Aftaab Akbar briefed the committee about the steps taken to facilitate Sikh Pilgrimage at Nankana sahib and the renovation work being carried out at Railways stations.  He assured the Committee that the work will be completed before November.

While addressing the committee members, Chairman and Governor Punjab Ch. Muhammad Sarwar Said that Pakistan had the potential to generate revenue of 3.8 billion dollars annually from tourism. He said the incumbent Government had decided firmly to promote tourism in general and religious tourism in particular and to make security arrangements appropriate accordingly. “Pakistan is uniquely placed for tourism as people from diverse religious background including Hindus and Sikhs have their holy places located in Pakistan. Besides, Pakistan has some of the most beautiful landscapes, mountains peaks, meadows and lakes in the world”, he said, adding that it was need of the hour to bring political stability coupled with peace and awareness. He believed that Media especially the social media could play a significant role to promote religious tourism.