PIA resumes Swat flights a day after Malala shot


Pakistan International Airlines resumed flights to the former Taliban stronghold of Swat on Wednesday in a bid to revive tourism overshadowed by the shooting of a child rights activist.
Malala Yousafzai, 14, was attacked on her school bus in Mingora, the main town of the northwestern district, on Tuesday, one of the most brutal attacks in the region since the army said in July 2009 it had crushed a Taliban insurgency. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) scheduled its first flight to Swat in more than five years before Malala was shot by the Taliban, saying it wanted to attract tourists to what was once dubbed the “Switzerland of Pakistan”.
“Our main aim is to facilitate both local and foreign tourists to the region where normalcy has returned and I don’t think there will be any security problems in the future,” PIA chief Junaid Yusuf told journalists. Asked if Malala’s shooting would discourage visitors, he condemned the attack as “painful” but said it was an isolated incident. Authorities have organised a series of events in recent years designed to revive tourism to the valley, which was once much loved for its picturesque mountains, balmy summer weather and winter skiing.
But although the security situation has improved significantly, few wealthy Pakistani or expatriate holidaymakers have returned.