PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has asked the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Museums and Youth Affairs Department to devise short and long-term projects for the promotion of tourism and preservation of archaeological sites in the province There is a dire need to construct accommodation in or near the tourist spots and archaeological sites in line with eco-friendly and conservation principles to attract more tourists and visitors to the scenic valleys and historical sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said this at a briefing held in Banigala in Islamabad.
Advisor to KP Chief Minister on Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Museums and Youth Affairs Amjad Afridi, Secretary Aftab Akbar Durrani, Additional Secretary Humayun, Managing Director Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Director Archaeology & Museums Dr. Abdul Samad, General Manager Administration and Properties TCKP Sajjad Hameed, Advisor Tourism TCKP Dr. Ali Jan attended the briefing.
The PTI leaders Saifullah Niazi and Naeemul Haq were also present on the occasion.
Imran Khan said that he had now focused all the energies on the development of KP and will check a quarterly progress report of all the provincial government
departments in the province.
The PTI chairman was briefed through presentations by Dr Abdul Samad on Archaeology and Museums, MD Mushtaq Ahmad Khan on TCKP and the Additional Secretary Humayun on Sports.
The three and a half hour meeting also consisted of apprising Imran Khan of the progress of the individual directorates and corporation along with its achievements in planning both short and long term projects.
Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Museums and Youth Affairs officials said that after the briefing Imran Khan appreciated the efforts of the department and showed keen interest to visit Gor Khattri and Sethi House next month, as he had heard a lot about them and wanted to promote the archaeological and cultural sites.
They said the PTI chairman stressed the need for building hotels, rest houses, youth hostels in or near the tourist spots and archeological sites like Hund, Takht Bhai and Malam Jabba to facilitate the tourists.
This will specially be favorable for international tourists like the visit of monks organised in October 2014.
India has turned their archaeological sites into hotels to facilitate the tourists and it leads to an increasing rich experience for the tourists, an official quoted Imran Khan as saying.
The MD TCKP said, Since June 2014, TCKP has undertaken numerous initiatives to promote the soft image of the province but alongside we need to undertake long term projects that will help in facilitating the tourists e.g. eco-friendly drive at Saiful Muluk and Galayat that will lead to a greener and cleaner environment.
The Director Archaeology & Museums Dr. Abdul Samad said, The walled city of Peshawar is very rich and should be preserved.
There are many stakeholders here like Auqaf and Local Government should come under the archaeology department.
A summary has been put up in this effect to renovate the wall city and bring it back to its glorious image.
He also said that The Directorate has been working hard to bring the first Antiquity Act of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in action and very soon good news will be heard regarding it.
During the briefing, Imran Khan said that he plans to reattach the Culture Directorate back with its sister department e.g. Sports, Tourism, Culture, Archaeology, Museums & Youth Affairs.
He also said Sheikh Badin is a neglected spot by the Department, which is located in the south at 5,000 feet and proposals should be made for its revival.
Later, Director Museums Dr Abdul Samad and MD TCKP Mushtaq Ahmad Khan gave calendars of 2015 year of their respective directorate and corporation to Imran Khan.