ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday underscored the need for tapping huge potential of Pakistan in tourism sector.

He said the development of tourism hubs at various tourist sites would not only highlight country’s tourism potential but would also lead to creation of greater job opportunities for the people. The prime minister expressed these views while chairing a meeting to review progress on New Balakot City Project.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Revnue Hammad Azhar, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal, Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Muhammad Saleem and other senior officials.

The prime minister was apprised about the new Balakot City Project and the way forward towards addressing legal, administrative and financial issues which stalled steady progress on the project.

Strategy to transform the new city into a tourism hub and modern business and residential city, hosting local gemstones’ mining industry was also discussed.

The prime minister while appreciating the efforts being made to revive the stalled project said that location of the new city carried huge potential for attracting local as well as international tourism and thus would contribute significantly towards national GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

He directed that public private partnership model should be followed during the development of the new city.

The prime minister further directed that the issues regarding settlement of claims should also be taken up on priority to ensure seamless implementation of the project.