ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has exported a variety of precious stones worth Rs 2.570 billion during the last three years, official sources said.
"The country exported precious stones worth Rs 1363.318 million in the year 2013-14, Rs 785.5 million in 2014-15 and Rs 412.5 million in 2015- 16," they told APP.
Answering a question, the sources informed that different varieties of minerals like Peridot, Aquamarine, Topaz in different colours of violet, pink, golden and champagne, Ruby, Emerald, rare-earth minerals Bastnaesite and Xenotime, Sphene, Tourmaline, besides many types of Quartz make the country prominent in the mineral world.
The northern and northwestern parts of the country are shrouded by the three world-famous mountain ranges called Hindukush, Himalaya, and Karakorum, from where nearly all the minerals, which Pakistan is currently offering to the world market, have been found so far.
The sources said out of 25 precious and semi precious stones and mineral specimens, seven were intermittently exploited and marketed all over the world.
United States, China, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Thailand and Saudi Arabia are the top ten countries where precious stones have been exported during the three-year period.
They said the government was making efforts to promote the gemstone industry so that the country's vast potential of glittering gemstones could be exploited in a professional manner.
Pakistan, based on its potential in mineral wealth, can become a great hub of the gemstone industry, on a scale comparable to that of Brazil, provided it takes a few essential steps to enhance the exploration of resources and growth of gemstone business.