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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said that his government has explored several new destinations in rural areas of the country which is “expected to uplift the economic and social status of local population.”

“The tourism sector provided impetus to economic development in rural areas, which were in dire need of economic activities,” the PM said in his message on World Tourism Day observed on Sunday.

Tourism not only helped in empowerment of rural communities by generating employment and boosting trade, but also enabled them to protect their heritage and allowed other people to experience their incredible cultures and traditions, he added.

“Placing rural development at the heart of tourism policies through education, investment, innovation, technology and employment transformed the livelihoods of millions and helped preserve the culture and environment,” Khan said.

“I would like to inform the international community that the people of Pakistan are waiting for the tourists from around the globe anxiously to extend their hospitality for visiting their mountains, deserts, rivers, forests, and coasts,” he said.

“Pakistan has diverse landscapes from mountains to sea along with a dynamic history. Pakistan has limitless potential for tourism which the world has yet to discover,” the PM added.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Sunday said that Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leaders have started approaching the government officials in the backdrop of their leader Nawaz Sharif’s virtual speech at opposition’s recently held All Parties Conference (APC) in which he criticized the security establishment.

“They are contacting us after that speech,” Faraz told the media, indicating that the opposition leaders are trying to mend fences with the government and establishment as part of their ‘damage control’ measures after Sharif’s controversial speech.

“His (Sharif’s) so-called revolutionary stance is based on hypocrisy.

There are some people in PML-N who understand the situation—that he (Sharif) is using them for personal gains so that are distancing themselves with Nawaz Sharif and PML-N,” he added.

Faraz endorsed Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid’s statement that more divisions within ranks of PML-N would surface soon.

“The hue and cry the PML-N top leadership is creating has everything to do with serious corruption cases against them pursued by NAB (National Accountability Bureau). They are feeling the heat and crying foul,” he said adding that the PML-N was trying to sent this government packing but its ‘conspiracies’ were bound to fail.

The minister said the government would not be blackmailed by opposition. “If they want to resign, they should go ahead and do that. We would be very happy to hold fresh elections. These blackmailing tactics would not work on us,” he said.

“These days the PML-N’s ‘reorganization’ efforts are in full swing. Rana Sanaullah (PML-N Punjab chapter President) should be asked what kind of reorganization was Talal Chaudhry engaged in at 3 am that landed him in the hospital,” he said referring the incident of alleged torture on PML-N leader reportedly by the brothers of PML-N Member National Assembly Ayesha Rajab at her residence in Faisalabad some days back.

In another development, PML-N Member Provincial Assembly, Punjab, Jaleel Ahmad Sharaqpuri said he would not support Sharif’s stance against state institutions.

The lawmaker’s party membership was suspended a day earlier on Saturday.

Meanwhile, information minister said that performance in difficult situation is the hallmark of the Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In a series of tweet on Sunday, he said the reservations and allegations of the opposition regarding coronavirus situation proved wrong.

The information minister said from health to livelihood, government policies yielded positive results. He said statistics of coronavirus cases and recoveries vindicate successful vision of the PM.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020