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December 1, 2020

Bringing looted money back top priority


December 1, 2020


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said recovery of the looted money illegally transferred abroad was the government’s top priority.

He expressed these views in a meeting with economist Dr Shahid Kardar.

Federal Minister Hammad Azhar, Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Special Assistant Dr Waqar Masood were present.

Imran said the illegal transfer of money from developing countries was the main cause of their poverty.

The meeting focused on steps to prevent money-laundering, recover looted money and improve the overall economic situation.

Meanwhile, chairing a meeting of the National Coordinating Committee on Tourism, Imran called for making rules and regulations for timely solution to various issues including prevention of encroachments at the tourist places countrywide and proper arrangement of sanitation and construction as per the approved map.

Special Assistant Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari and senior government officials attended the meeting. Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, Advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister for Tourism Asif Mehmood and chief secretaries of all the provinces, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, participated through the video link.

The meeting was attended by the Punjab government on upgradation of Taxila and Lahore Museum, development of Gurdwara Panja Sahib with financial support of the World Bank, opening of Attock Fort for tourists, development of mobile app for 511 tourist destinations across the province and removal of garbage from these places.

Details of outsourcing 144 government residences by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, demolishing encroachments on tourist destinations, developing new tourist destinations and providing loans to local people to build houses for tourists with their homes were shared with the forum. The meeting was also briefed about the steps taken by Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan for promotion of tourism.

A briefing was given on geo-mapping of 868 tourist destinations in Sindh, desert safaris in Thar Desert and steps taken to promote tourism activities in Lake Kanjhar.

Apart from setting up 5 beach parks in Balochistan, a briefing was given on various initiatives for promotion of tourism.

Imran said Pakistan was rich in natural resources in terms of tourism. He said promotion of tourism would help improve the country's economy and alleviate poverty.

He directed restoration of the historic tourist sites to their original form. He also directed construction of chairs or pedestrian tracks instead of vehicles for access to all the tourist spots to restore the natural beauty of the place.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed provision of financial assistance to fishermen besides taking steps for their uplift.

He stated this in a meeting with Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, who updated him on the overall situation of ports. The meeting also discussed extending soft loans to fishermen under the Kamyab Jawan Programme. Karachi metropolitan situation also came under discussion.