PESHAWAR, April 2: The planetarium, established by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), was formally inaugurated by Provincial Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain here on Saturday.
He hoped that the planetarium would provide opportunities of entertainment and education to masses, particularly students regarding solar system.
The plan of establishing the planetarium in Hayatabad was approved some 10 years ago but it couldn’t be completed in time owing to worsening law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The planetarium technology was imported from Germany, said PIA deputy general manager Azeem Abbassi. “We have purchased this technology at $600,000 while Rs30 million have been spent on the establishing of rest of the infrastructure,” he said.
The first planetarium was established in 1984 in Karachi while the second was set up in Lahore in 1987. The planetarium in Peshawar was the third of its kind, he said.
“The planetarium will operate on no profit and no loss basis. We will charge nominal amount from the visitors including Rs60 from the children and Rs90 from general public,” Mr Abbassi said.
Addressing on the occasion, Mr Hussain said perhaps the planetarium was established late because of the fear, which engulfed the capital city for the last few years.
Through the planetarium, he said, PIA made it possible to watch planets and star closely but it would also help students to understand the solar system.
He said that planetariums were important and integral part of education as what the students read in books about stars and planets could be seen at planetariums.
He thanked PIA for establishing the planetarium and urged other national and international companies to invest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to put the province on the track of economic prosperity.
“The people of this province need more attention, they need to be brought out from the tense atmosphere through positive and recreational activities,” he said.The minister urged people to face terrorism boldly and courageously otherwise they would be remembered as coward in the history.
The dwellers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas had become psychiatric patients owing to continued militancy and they needed to be involved in sports activities, he said.
“We have successfully conducted the national games to convey a message to the world that Pakhtuns are peace loving nation,” he said.
Mr Hussain claimed that provincial government could provide security to any cricket team of the world if it wanted to play a match in Peshawar.
He urged PIA to establish planetariums in other cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.