Govt to set up authorities to promote tourism, sport

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  • Ahsan says Islamabad to have an authority for pure, clean and hygienic food

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Affairs Ahsan Iqbal, who is also incharge of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, on Saturday said that the government plans to establish tourism and sport authorities for the promotion of these important sectors in order to project rising Pakistan’s beautiful culture worldwide.

Addressing the three-day Islamabad Spring Festival, he said that these authorities would mainly focus on attracting foreign tourists by promoting cultures of the provinces and their traditional foods. He said that the first-ever Islamabad Spring Festival was organised this year and such events would be organised annually in an improved manner to project the city as the campaign was underway to attract tourists from across the world.

The minister said that Islamabad was among the most beautiful cities of the world, which was purposefully built as a capital city and has the serene landscape and good atmosphere. He said that the festival would surely provide a proper tourism facility to citizens. He said that the spring festival would definitely ensure best tourism facilities and opportunities to citizens.

He said that the cultures of the provinces would be highlighted, which would eventually help in promoting soft image of the country. He said that sports competitions, cycling race, food festivals would be organised, whereas military bands including the Pakistan Air Force, the Pakistan Navy and the Islamabad Police would perform and entertain the participants.

During the second day, tree plantation campaign at the Margalla Hills will be launched in order to make these hills greener, Ahsan said and called upon the youth of the city to come forward and become the part of the campaign to keep their city clean and green.

He said that the government had initiated several projects worth billions of rupees for the development and beautification of the federal capital, adding it has allocated Rs 2.3 billion for the establishment of water treatment plant for purification of Rawal Lake and Korang River to provide clean water supply for the residents of the twin cities.

He said that work on rapid mass transit system has been initiated in order to provide best transportation facilities to the people, adding work on feeder bus service would also be launched shortly. In order to provide pure, clean and complete hygienic food to the residents of Islamabad, a bill for the establishment of an authority had been finalised and it would be soon presented in the parliament for approval.

A special horticulture wing would also be established for the beautification of roads and markets, he added. Replying to a question, the minister said that the government strongly believed in the freedom of expression and it condemned any attempt to suppress the freedom of expression and culture of intolerance and violence.

He said that freedom of expression was prerequisite for free and fair election and smooth transition of powers to third respective elected government. To another question, the minister said that respect of law was an obligation for each and every one living in the country, adding no one would be allowed to take law into its hands.

He said that Chinese people, working at different developmental projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, were the guest of the country and their safety and security was the top priority of the government and people. Some elements could not digest this multi-billion dollars developmental project, which would change the fate of the whole region and they were bent on spreading conspiracies, he remarked.

The minister called upon the media to play its role to foil such attempts, which were launched from time to time, to disturb the bilateral relations and to create hindrances in developmental projects under the CPEC. Ahsan also stressed upon religio-political parties to promote soft image of the country in order to defeat the narratives of anti-Pakistan forces.

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