Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that with improved road connectivity and the inauguration of the Skardu International Airport, the Gilgit Baltistan (G-B) region was set to turn into a top destination for local and foreign tourists, ensuring economic prosperity.
“The people of G-B will soon witness an unprecedented era of economic prosperity with revenue generation through tourism and employment opportunities,” he said in his address to locals at a jam-packed Municipal Stadium, Skardu.
The prime minister, who earlier inaugurated the Skardu International Airport and the Jaglot-Skardu strategic road, said the significant pieces of infrastructure would boost tourism in the region.
Imran Khan said the initiative would promote both summer and winter tourism in G-B and announced to establish luxury resorts to attract more foreign tourists.
The prime minister said he had traveled the world over but never seen such splendid mountainous ranges like those in Gilgit Baltistan. “If Switzerland can annually earn $70 billion revenue, then G-B has the natural resources to exploit its potential,” he said.
He reiterated that Pakistan could earn billions from tourism, be it from the scenic northern areas or the diversity of religious tourism. However, the prime minister cautioned local people to safeguard their interests as outsiders would be eying their property and land in view of the area’s tourism potential.
Imran Khan lauded National Highway Authority (NHA) and Frontier Works Organization for working relentlessly in improvement roads connectivity in G-B.
He said connecting G-B with Azad Kashmir through roads would also bring improvement in the lives of locals, while the government had set up hydroelectricity projects in G-B to meet the water requirements.
The prime minister said he was prioritizing the development of the areas that lacked facilities of communication and health, including Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, erstwhile tribal areas, and southern Punjab.
“My vision of a prosperous Pakistan is inclusive development that caters to the needs of the poor and the weak,” he added.
The government has taken a number of steps for the development of the masses, he continued, expressing the desire that he wanted a major improvement in the lives of the underprivileged and marginalised.