INFLATION can be arrested within no time if we just invest in vocational training and tourism.
Being a nation of almost 190 million and ever increasing, not only we have huge demand for trained manpower within the country but abroad as well.
A very simple and practical solution is that mono and polytechnic institutions should be established at every union, tehsil council as well as district level. The institutions at union/tehsil council should include technologies according to geophysical and agricultural products of the area. The institutions at the district level should be a polytechnic and must include residential facilities (at tehsil council level as well).
These institutions should work in three shifts -- morning, afternoon and evening. A clear - cut career - progression plan of the instructor engineer and admin/support staff should also be devised and promotions must be linked with acquisition of higher, professional degrees.
Moreover, affiliation with foreign institutions and universities must be acquired and faculty/student exchange programmes should also be instituted.
Similarly, historical and recreational (at present developed as well as ‘potential’) sites might be identified at the union council level and classified from 1 - 5 stars (five being the highest like Moenjodaro, Taxila and Harrapa and one being the lowest) keeping in view the age, importance, etc.
In this reference an advertisement might be printed in daily newspapers, periodicals, etc., requesting average Pakistanis to identify the exact location, nature, etc., of the potential historic/recreational site.
Also, technical training officers and tourism officers (BPS 17 - 18 hotel management/marketing) must be appointed in every tehsil council and executive technical training officers and executive tourism officer (BPS 18 - 19 having master’s degree in engineering) must be appointed. Moreover, specific areas must be allocated for ‘recreational complexes’, including facilities such as hotels/motels, shopping centres, food courts, restaurants, theme parks, etc. The size and area of the complex would vary according to the ‘star/s’ of the site.
A separate ‘security force’ could also be constituted to control the law and order situation, encroachments and to specifically look after the welfare of tourists.
MAKHDOOM SAIF Islamabad