The Present Situation Of Tourism In Pakistan

Just a couple of decades ago Pakistan was a great place for tourists to visit. The political conditions were not the best but they weren't as unwelcoming in those years as they are now. Pakistan is a place of people with hearts full of passion, spirit and liveliness. These people know how to live even during the severest circumstances. From wars to floods that killed millions of people in the country, the people of Pakistan have seen it all but they know how to get over these things. Hospitality is one thing that Pakistani people can’t be beaten at.

Some big problems put tourism in Pakistan to almost an end. Most websites, including Wikipedia, state that tourism has almost reached a point-zero in the country due to the unstable political conditions in the country and the overall reputation of the region where Pakistan is located. There are literally factors that would stop any tourists from coming to the country. Here are the top factors that have stopped thousands and millions of tourists from coming to Pakistan and explore its vibrant cultures, historic sites and mesmerizing landscapes.

Causes Of Declining Tourism In Pakistan

Without a hint of doubt the political conditions of a region are a measure of the condition of tourism in any country. Pakistan saw sheer decline in its treasure of tourists after the incident of 9/11. The war against terrorism was brought to Afghanistan by America. This already made the whole region a dangerous region. Those who escaped Afghanistan, innocent people and real terrorists, when American attacked the country sought refuge in Pakistan. Furthermore, Pakistan took part in the war against terrorism as an ally to American and this brought the anger of many tribes and groups that vehemently oppose America’s policies in the direction of Pakistan.

This was also the start of a suicide-bombing era in Pakistan. A country where there was no concept of suicide bombs soon became a place where a week without at least one suicide bomb attack became a myth. Not one region of the country was spared. Responsibilities of almost all the attacks were taken by various tribes and subgroups of Taliban. Later, Osama Bin Ladin, the most wanted war terrorist for America was found in Pakistan. Bomb attacks took place in Bombay in a hotel and the terrorists involved in the attacks were alleged to be of Pakistani origin, even though it could never be verified.

The biggest blow to the tourism industry of Pakistan was when 10 foreign tourists were killed in Pakistan. It happened in the month of June in 2013 when 10 foreign tourists who were all mountain climbers were attacked brutally by more than a dozen terrorists who opened straight fire on the tourists as they were resting in their base camp. The tourists were there to conquer the dangerous and world’s 9th highest mountain called Nanga Parbat. One local resident, who was the cook for the team, was also killed in the attack. This sent tourism in Pakistan into darkness.

The most notable recent terrorist attack in the country took place in Karachi. The attackers attacked on Karachi Airport while dressed as the security force of the airport. With suicide vests on, heavy weaponry in their possession, these attackers resulted in the killing of more than dozen people including several airport security force guards. 8 attackers were killed by the airport security force whereas the remaining 2 killed themselves. This was another instance that made tourists think that landing in Pakistan for the purpose of tourism was not worth it when they had to put their lives on the line for this.

What Has Government Done About It?

The Government of Pakistan took the most undesired yet the most unavoidable action on this. Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched and this was to destroy the presence of every terrorist in Pakistan. The main target of this operation is North Waziristan. This is the area in Pakistan that borders with Afghanistan and where supposedly all the terrorists take refuge and create their plans. The operation was successful and was carried out on the ground and with relentless air strikes on the hideouts of the terrorists. Hundreds of militants have been killed as a result of the operation so far.

What Tourists Are Missing Without Pakistan

It’s a pitiful sight that tourists have to take out Pakistan from the list of their to-be-visited destinations due to the unstable conditions in the region. It’s everyone’s right to be safe and alive. However, there is a lot that tourists are missing for as long as they are not able to come to Pakistan. Pakistan is a country gifted by God in almost all aspects. The country is rich with natural resources, landscapes, cultures and hospitality of the people. From beaches to rivers and mountains to deserts, there’s everything here that a tourist would look for.

The southern region of the country is more of a dried region. There is a big desert lying right between Sindh and Punjab. This big deserted area has tribes belonging to ancient cultures living in it. The great Derawar Fort is a place to visit in this region. As you come down more to the south you reach Karachi, the metropolis of the country and the commercial hub. It is here in Karachi alone you will be able to see more than a dozen different cultures. Whether it is food, dress, language or way of living, there’s a variety of everything in this region.

Karachi also possesses some of the old buildings from the times of the British rule. It also has some of the safest beaches of the country. Food is Karachi’s highlight and those who love spicy won’t find a better place to smother their cravings for spicy food than Karachi. Balochistan lies in the west and is known around the world for being rich in natural minerals. However, Balochistan is also an unsafe region and most tourists will be told to stay away from this region by the local people. Quetta is the highlight of Balochistan.

Some of the cleanest and most tranquil beaches in Pakistan are located in Balochistan. Kund Malir is one good example of those beaches. To the North-east of Pakistan you find Punjab. Punjab is Green and Lahore is the heart of the country. Lahore is again a cocktail of cultures and a place known for its amazing food. Lahore has the highest number of historic sites belonging mainly to the Mughal era. Badshahi Masjid (mosque), Shahi Qila (fort), Shalamar Baagh (garden) and Samadhi of Ranjit Singh are the top spots to visit the history of the city.

Murree is also a top tourist destination in Punjab. It is a hill station and the most pleasant part of visiting Murree is when you reach heights of more than 7000ft within an hour. In the recent years, especially after the building of safe roads, Murree has become quite a populated place so it’s not quite here anymore. However, chair lifts, restaurants located on top of mountains, streams of ice-cold waters etc. are the highlights of this region. Go further north and you will come to the crown of Pakistan’s beauty and natural giftedness.

The northern regions of Pakistan are home to some of the highest mountain peaks of the world. In addition to these high mountains this region boasts some of the most beautiful natural sights and locations. The location of some lakes is so unique and secret from the world that they are still the undiscovered zones for even the people living in their vicinities. For example, Ansoo-Jheel (tear lake), which is in the shape of a tear drop, needs a walking of nearly 5 hours to reach. No vehicles can reach this destination and walking or riding mules is the only way to reach it.

Jheel Saif-al-malook is considered the most beautiful lake of Pakistan. Nanga Parbat is the 9th highest mountain the world and one of the most difficult to climb. K-2 is the second highest mountain in the world located in the northern regions too. Several mountain resorts have been the home to tourists for decades. The quietness and tranquility of these places is not to be found in any other regions of the country. There are several ancient forts located in the Hunza Valley region and other parts. Naraan and Kaghaan are considered the most beautiful valleys of the country.

The Journey Will Never End

The above mentioned places and attractions might not even be 25% of what lies in Pakistan. The ruins of the historic and ancient civilizations of Harappa and Mohenjo Daaro are a completely different chapter – places where archaeologists and history lovers will be lost. The tombs of the mystic entities in Multan are other destinations one could never get enough of. The journey through Khyber Pass on a steam train is one never to be missed. Of course, no one should ever go back without tasting the naturally grown and taste abundant fruits of the country. Mango, oranges, bananas, melons, water melons and dry fruits taste in Pakistan like they taste nowhere else in the world.