All Round View (London): Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Muhammad Nafees Zakaria welcomed the decision of the UK government’s revival of travel advisory for Pakistan and said that this good news would help bring people of the two friendly countries more closer to each other, besides boosting tourism and British investments for the development of Pakistan.
” We welcome and appreciate this the decision of the UK government which would help further strengthening the bilateral cordial relations between the two friendly countries in diverse fields, besides increasing tourism and investments in Pakistan for the prosperity of the country and its people”, Nafees Zakaria told UK based Pakistani media in a briefing at Pakistan High Commission London the other day.
“UK is an important country in the world and its this decision would definitely put a positive impact on other countries especially in Europe and their peoples would also visit Pakistan and explore adventure and beauty of our country to promote tourism and also help bring investments in the country”, he remarked.
It may be mentioned here that the UK has changed its travel advice for Pakistan to reflect the improved security situation in the country.
This announcement was the result of a comprehensive review of UK travel advice for Pakistan, based on a wide-ranging assessment of the country’s security situation. This is the first major update in the travel advice since 2015.
Nafees Zakaria recalled that due to the improved security situation the UK also allowed British Airways to resume its flights and services to Pakistan in June last year, while the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in October last year also reflected the improved security situation in the country.
He said that other international airlines have also started their flights operations to Pakistan. He said that due to prudent economic and tourism policies and investment-friendly environment initiated by the incumbent Pakistan government, the image of the country has started improving.
Nafees Zakaria quoting the World Bank Group doing business report said that due to the concerted improvement in business regulations, Pakistan climbed 28 places and rose to the rank of 108 in the Global ease of doing business ranking.
This was also a big achievement of the present government, he said. Similarly, he said International credit rating agency Moody’s has also changed Pakistan’s outlook to stable and affirming B3.
He said many international travels agencies like the British Backpacker Society and famous American publication Conde Nast Travelers have declared Pakistan as the top tourist attraction and destination in the world due to its unparalleled natural beauty and expressed the hope that decision of the UK government, Pakistan would attract more foreign tourists across the globe including the UK.
He said that Pakistan’s law and order and security situation has improved significantly as the security-related issues have come down to Ninety Six (96 percent).
He called also upon the Pakistani diaspora and businessmen to take benefit from the opportunity, visit and explore Pakistan besides making investments in the country of their origin (Pakistan).
He also hoped that the business community would also take benefit from the investment opportunities being offered in the Pakistan in a conducive business environment.
Nafees Zakaria said that global economic gravity was shifting towards Asia and Pakistan being the hub of trade and investment destination and its geo-the strategic and economic location offers tremendous opportunities for foreign investors in Pakistan.
He further said that the present government has established Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for foreign investors in different parts of the countries with a number of incentives and facilities.
He added that Board of Investment (BOI) was working under the supervision of the Prime Minister office to facilitate the investors especially the foreigners who wanted to bring investments in the country.
He said that “one window operation” was working under the BOI to facilitate the potential investors.
He also assured the British investors and Pakistani diaspora in UK that the High Commission would fully facilitate and cooperate with them for their investments in Pakistan.
He said that doors of the High Commission would be open to Pakistani diaspora and community and emphasized on close liaison between mission and the diaspora particularly their economic engagements with Pakistan.
Nafees Zakaria informed that more than 128 British corporations were making profitable investments in Pakistan, while more that 1000 foreign companies were also engaged in various businesses and earning profits in the country.
Highlighting the tourism potential of Pakistan, High Commissioner Nafees Zakaria said that the land of Pakistan is a cradle of ancient civilization and offers religious, adventure and eco-tourism for the tourists and adventure lovers from various countries.
He specially mentioned the opening up of Kartarpur corridor for Sikh community across the globe.
He added that due to this initiative of the present government, the number of Sikh (Yatris) pilgrims to Pakistan from different countries had doubled.
Pakistan, he said has also introduced online visa policy for the foreigners which has also helped improve the tourist’s inflow in the country.
“Pakistan is witnessing exponential rise in tourism, be it religious tourism, eco-tourism, sports tourism, mountaineering or trekking, Pakistan offers abundant opportunities for the tourists”, he remarked.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK, Nafees Zakaria urged the Pakistani media based in UK to promote Pakistan’s achievements at global level and promote Pakistan’s image as the safest and attractive tourists and investment destination at international level in the light of the UK travel advisory revision announced for Pakistan.
Reply to a question, he said that Pakistan High Commission to actively participate in Travel shows and exhibitions in UK to highlight the true tourism potential of Pakistan.
Replying to another question,he said that the top priority agenda of the the present government was to fight and root out corruption from the country and a number of measures have been taken in this regard.