Pakistan is opening up for tourism and the government of Pakistan is focusing on promoting ‘Sustainable Tourism’ where the environment and local culture are respected and preserved while generating economic activities for local communities. This concept was emphasised by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan at the Tourism Summit held in Islamabad April this year.
The European External Action Service and the Embassy of Pakistan in Brussels jointly organized an exhibition highlighting the selected elements of sustainability through the photographs arranged in sub-categories touching upon the protection of the environment, historical and cultural heritage and the promotion of local economic opportunities.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Pakistan’s foreign minister Mr Shah Mahmood Qureshi and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Ms Federica Mogherini on 25th of June and will run for 3 weeks.
Pakistan’s nature is stunning from mountains over 8,000 metres including world’s second highest peak K2, to beaches and deserts. The Karakoram Highway is a popular and challenging tourist attraction, especially for cyclists and motorcyclists, running for approximately 1,300 km, with its maximum elevation at 4,714 metres. The Highway connects the Gilgit–Baltistan region to the ancient Silk Road, and twists through three Great Mountain ranges – the Himalayas, Karakoram and Pamirs along the famous Indus and the Hunza rivers.
Pakistan also has rich cultural and historical heritage. Conservation of historical sites and architectural masterpieces is a priority for Pakistan. The Altit and Baltit Forts in Hunza are being renovated with the help of UNESCO. The Shahi Fort of Lahore is a world heritage site. The Wazir Khan and Badshahi Mosque in Lahore and Shrines of Baba Farid and Shah Rukne Alam of Multan all constitute the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan and require continued support for preservation.
The culture and traditions of Pakistan’s ethnic communities are important attributes of Pakistan’s diverse cultural heritage. The Kalash tribe residing in Chitral Valley of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan are unique in the world.
Tourism also helps generate business and employment opportunities in the hospitality industry, and demand for arts and crafts, and local products. Pakistani Truck Art is a distinct, flamboyant folk art which is seen on trucks on the roads of Pakistan, reflecting the lives, ambitions and aspirations of truck drivers and artists.