SWAT: Tourists have started visiting Swat again to enjoy the natural beauty of the scenic valley after restoration of peace.
The inflow of tourists was badly affected by the recent devastating floods that destroyed vast scale infrastructure in the district, followed by reemergence of terrorists. However, peace was restored through the resistance and unity of the people of Swat and tourists started visiting the district.
The tourists, who visited the scenic district recently, said that Swat was one of the top tourist resorts in the country as it was bestowed with natural beauty and its people were hospitable and welcoming.
“It was shocking news for us when we heard that some terrorists reappeared in Swat. Swat is so dear to us that we feel as if we belong to it. Swat is our second home because we visit it twice a year,” said Furqan Ali, a tourist from Rawalpindi. He said that he and his friends visited the valley in the winter and summer seasons.
DC says several events have been planned to promote tourism
The tourists said that Swat was the most visited area because of easy access, variety of tourist locations and very good people. “Whenever I visited Swat, I found its people welcoming and friendly. So, I was surprised when I heard that terrorists came to Swat, threatening the hard-earned peace,” said Faisal Karim, another tourist who was visiting Malam Jabba along with his friends.
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The tourists said it was a high season to visit Swat heritage monuments and enjoy its rich history and scenic beauty.
“We visited different archaeological sites and found them amazing. We came to Swat on Friday and stayed here till Sunday. We found perfect peace and hospitable people during our stay here,” said Concep Miro, a tourist from Spain, who visited archaeological sites in Swat. She urged people to visit Swat for heritage and scenic sites.
The district administration also urged tourists to visit Swat without fear as the valley was peaceful and they would be given all kinds of security.
Deputy Commissioner Junaid Khan said that snow festivals would be organised in different parts of Swat to attract tourists and promote snow tourism in the valley.
“We have already planned different events during the upcoming winter season to promote tourism in the valley. We will try to bring more than three million tourists to Swat this winter and will facilitate them to spend peaceful time here,” he said.
Regional Police Officer Sajjad Khan said that security situation in Malakand division in general and in Swat in particular was very satisfactory.
“Police conducted search and strike operations in the upper gorges of Matta tehsil. We have established permanent checkpoints in different areas to monitor miscreants,” he said. He said that no one would be allowed to sabotage peace in Swat. He added that tourists could come to the valley and enjoy its natural beauty and serenity.
Swat Hotel Association office-bearers also said that tourists would be offered special packages for stay in the hotels.
Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2022