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Monday, July 15, 2024

Eco-destructive tourism in Pakistan

Raja Shaheryar Khan, a Pakistan Army veteran, has raised the issue of eco-destructive tourism in Pakistan in a brief twitter thread.

In his thread, Raja Shaheryar Khan, pointed out that the northern areas of Pakistan, including the world-famous K-2, are falling victim to eco-destructive tourist activity resulting from commercial tourism. “Our northern areas all are becoming a dumpster for commercial tourists’ garbage”, he wrote while underscoring the gravity of the issue.

“Environment is more important than Tourism”, he pointed out the global cry for eco-tourism. Environmentalists across the globe have been raising their voices for eco-tourism. Eco-tourism is the idea of environmentally sustainable tourism, in which special attention is paid to safeguarding the nature and preserving the natural environment.

In his thread, Raja Shaheryar Khan, called for a mechanism to manage, monitor and contain the tourist pollution that endangers the natural environment and beauty of the tourist spots in Pakistan. He particularly emphasized on the mountains, which are considered a natural asset of Pakistan and attract thousands of foreign and millions of local tourists each year. Pakistan hosts the world’s second highest peak K-2 and 4 other of the worlds’ 14 highest peaks. Moreover, Pakistan’s northern areas are known as the Switzerland of Asia for their exceptionally beautiful landscapes. Mountains of Pakistan serve as the major attraction for foreign and local tourists.

Read More: Nestlé Pakistan, KPK govt. & World Bank committed to responsible tourism!

Raja Shaheryar Khan further mentioned that in 1992 he served as adjutant IHEC (Intl Hiking Exp Camp), deployed at 19000 ft near Gasherbraum Base camps. His team was responsible to ensure that the tourists did not litter the area by leaving any sort of garbage behind. He pointed out that it was tough even at that time when limited expeditions were allowed, however, now in the era of commercial tourism it is impossible to maintain such a manual check.

Therefore, Mr. Khan has recommended a strong and strict screening of expeditions carried out by a powerful body to monitor any diversion from SOPs. He recommends that heavy fines & banning of commercial tourism companies and mountaineers should be implemented against the violators of the SOPs. Indeed, establishment of such an authority is the need of time, otherwise soon the impeccable mountains of Pakistan will lose their natural beauty and no longer remain an attraction.

Read More: Analyzing the potential of tourism in Pakistan