17 October 2009

The "first tourist group" arrived in Pakistan some 4000 years ago. They were the Aryans. They liked the land so much that they never went back. In their search, came the Persians followed by the Greeks, Bactarians, Huns, Arabs, Darvidians, Turks, Mongols, Tibetans & many others, but all preferred to stay here. The obvious reason was the incomparable beauty, grandeur & tranquility of this region. Pakistan possesses all ingredients for a Booming Tourist Destination. Its "extremely rich heritage" is enough to quench the aesthetics from all walks of life. Unfortunately, however, Pakistan's tourism potential is little known to the western world & its rich & multicolored heritage is lying untapped.
THE INCOMPARABLE HISTORY ...! From DESERT to SNOW; all four seasons in Pakistan!
million years ago, the common ancestors of the man & ape roamed around ISLAMABAD - the gleaming new capital of Pakistan. The stone age tools of the Homo Sapiens species of 50,000 B.C are found along the So'Aan River. We happen to be the proud inheritors of the regions that remained "centers" of the ancient civilizations of the World. Not just one out of dozens, but "ONE" out of the "TWO" ancient civilizations on this Earth. Yes..! the developed civilizations of the Indus, at Harrappa & Mohenjodaro are Contemporary to the Egyptian civilizations of the Nile & the Mesopotamian civilizations of Euphrates. The developed city of Mehrgarh was "3000 years old" when Alexander the great invaded this region in 326 B.C. The region that forms Pakistan has always been on the crossroads of history. All the ancient routes and great passes happen to be in Pakistan, which made this region a favorite play ground for the conquerors, traders, travelers, historian, preachers & tourists.

Enveloped in the extremes of 04 distinct weathers, the contrasting Geography of Pakistan is the nature's great gift. Spread over an area of 8,68,591 Sq Kms, this magnificent land contains galaxies of towering snow capped mountains, gigantic creeping glaciers, lush green alpine meadows, rushing white rivers, tumbling waterfalls, quiet lakes, blossoming fruit orchards in the "North" & fertile plateaus, rich alluvial plains, meandering yellow rivers, glowing deserts & sandy beaches in the "South". The "CONTINENTAL COLLISION" of the three mighty mountain ranges of the world the Himalayas, the Karakorams & the Hindukush in the North gave birth to the "thickest cluster" of the Highest Peaks & Largest Glaciers on Earth. The statistics are simply baffling. "05" of the world's "14" peaks above 8000 meters are in Pakistan. "101" peaks are above 7000 meters & whereas peaks from 6999 to 3000 meters are countless. "50" of the world's "100" highest peaks are in Pakistan. "K-2" 8626 M is the second highest on Earth. Alone in Baltistan & Hunza, there are more than "100" peaks above 18,000 ft. Literally, most of their base  camps are higher than the Summits of all the peaks in Europe. Pakistan's glaciated region covers 12000 Sq/Kms. The "06" longest valley glaciers of the world, are also in Pakistan & their total length exceed 350 Km. The Biafo-Hispar glacial corridor of 116 Km is the longest on Earth. No mention of over 300 small glaciers & their tributaries. The Hundreds of miles of rushing torrents surging out from the snouts of these glaciers mingle to form the 3200 Km long Indus river which quenches the entire length of the country & merges with the Arabian Sea which banks a sandy beach of over 1000 Km. This incomparable contrast will be completed only but with a brief mention of the 470,000 Sq Km deserts located in Baluchistan, Sind & Southern Punjab with a rich multicolored culture of their own.
Pakistan is an Islamic nation, the Pakistan government and judiciary follows Islamic laws, they ban and censor things as per Islam.   Tourism is one of the major sources of income for Pakistan but because of all those raucous of terrorism and military rule and wars, tourism is deeply hurt. In order to revamp the tourism industry, a Senate panel has asked the government to send the newly-inducted Tourism Minister, Maulana Attaur Rehman, on a visit to verdant beaches in South France and Switzerland to get modern ideas of promoting tourism industry that contributes immensely to Pakistan’s economy. The thing to be mentioned is, beaches of France and Switzerland are famous for the topless and one-piece bikinis. The exhibitionism and freedom of expression on those beaches is at extreme peaks, and that is one of the main reasons for the success of those beaches as the major tourist attraction whole round the world. Pakistan also has a huge shoreline, so can Pakistan ministry adopt the “modern” and innovative ways to strengthen tourism and give any sort of competition? Exhibitionism is almost impossible in Pakistan especially under those Islamic laws.
Moreover, Islam prohibits Liquor, thus alcohol is completely banned in all governmental resorts and hotels.
The new Tourism Minister Maulana Rehman recently decided to ban the sale of liquor to foreigners in government-owned hotels and motels because according to him, it is immoral. How will he get the idea of exhibitionism on beaches?

According to the Pakistan law, Muslims cannot buy liquor, but government had issued license for Non-Muslims to buy alcohol if they want. Yet with the new decisions of Tourism Minister Rehman, no government hotel or motel can sell alcohol anymore. In addition to that, Maulana Rehman wants to restrict private hotels too and apply ban on alcohol thoroughly.
As per Rehman, no religion allows the consumption of alcohol, hence even foreigners has no religious sanction to buy alcohol. I am sure he is completely aware of the term Atheist. As Pakistan is an Islamic republic, Rehman stresses that they cannot allow consumption of Liquor, although he agrees that he cannot restrict five star hotels, but he enjoys that idea too.