ISLAMABAD: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Director General for South Asia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal Tuesday said the government was making all-out efforts to promote tourism sector, especially religious one in the country.
Speaking at a seminar “Heritage Diplomacy; A Gadget for Religious Peace, organized by Regional Rapport here at National Library, He said Pakistan had many sacred religious sites and these sites had potential to attract foreign tourists.
He said Pakistan always welcomed religious tourism and facilitated foreign visitors. Since coming into power, the present government was making efforts to promote tourism, especially religious tourism of Pakistan, he added. To realize the potential of tourism, the government had taken a number of steps including liberalization of the visa regime and developing tourism infrastructure.
He said the opening of Kartarpur Corridor was the single most important milestone, unprecedented in the history of South Asia.
He expressed the hope that this project would materialize soon and pilgrims from across the border would be able to visit the holy site. “We must learn to coexist and cherish diversity,” he added.
Various governments had undertaken a number of steps whereby heritage diplomacy and culture had been promoted, he said and added in 2018, the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting had announced the first ever film and culture policy of the country.
Under the policy, the focus had been shifted to building cultural infrastructure in the country, promotion of visual and performing arts, promotion of music and other arts, development and preservation of book and culture as well as archeological places, he added.
Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) Director General Jamal Shah, in his presentation, highlighted the importance of cultural heritage in the country.
He said cultural heritage creates awareness and plays a crucial role in the promotion of peace.
Center for Culture and Development Executive Director Dr. Nadeem Omer, in his paper titled “Heritage as Soft Power”, highlighted various aspects of the heritage.
He appreciated the organizer of the event, saying that such events would create awareness for understanding the importance of cultural heritage.
Folklorist, Scholar, and Founder of Lok Virsa Dr. Uxi Mufti, in his paper, highlighted the intangible heritage in a modern perspective.
He said intangible heritage should be preserved and promoted to achieve the benefits of rich heritage.
Earlier, Regional Rapport Executive Director Almas Haider Naqvi welcomed the guests in the programme.
Chairman of Industries Research Cell Rauf Azad Kakepoto and a large number of people from different walks of life also attended the event.
Brexit: Falklands’ economy and Spanish fishermen threatened
MADRID: A no-deal Brexit would deal a severe blow to the economy of Britain’s Falkland Islands which is heavily dependent on squid exports — and to Galicia in Spain where almost all of the mollusks are sent.
Fully 94 percent of the catch, mostly squid, exported from the contested South Atlantic archipelago known to Argentina as the Malvinas and occupied by Britain since 1833, is sent to the port of Vigo in northwestern Spain, some 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) away.
There the processing of squid is carried out or shipped directly to other European nations. About a third of the squid eaten in continental Europe comes from the Falklands, according to the archipelago’s government.
Fishing accounts for 40 percent of the economic output of the island group which was at the heart of the two-month war between Britain and Argentina in 1982. And Galician trawlers staffed mainly with Spaniards dominate the sector.
This trade is profitable because no customs tariffs are slapped on the squid since both Britain and Spain belong to the European Union — but that would end if Britain leaves the bloc without any agreements in place about what their relationship would be in the future.
In that case, World Trade Organization (WTO) custom tariff which ranges from six to 18 percent depending on the nature of the product would apply, according to Richard Hyslop, senior policy advisor to the Falkland Islands government.
“It’s critical that we retain our tariff-free access (with the EU),” Teslyn Barkman, who is in charge of managing natural resources and Brexit related issues with the archipelago’s government, told AFP by telephone, adding it was a “life or death” issue for the Falkland’s economy.
Tokyo bourse opens modestly higher
TOKYO: The bourse opened here marginally higher today with help from a cheaper yen, but investors were cautious ahead of Easter holidays on overseas markets.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.05 percent or 11.42 points at 22,289.39, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.09 percent or 1.48 points at 1,632.16.
Bahawalpur: FOB compiles reports for reforms
BAHAWALPUR: The Secretary, Federal Ombudsman Secretariat and National Commissioner on Children have said that the office of the Wafaqi Mohtasib had compiled reports to recommend recommendations to bring reforms to address maladministration in government departments.
Secretary, Federal Ombudsman Secretariat, Dr. Jamal Nasir and Senior Advisor/ National Commissioner For Children, Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi were addressing a news conference at the regional office of Wafaqi Mohtasib here in Bahawalpur.
They said that following the Swedish ombudsman system, the office of Ombudsman was established in Pakistan to ensure the provision of relief to people in connection with their complaints against federal government departments.
They said that during the last few years, the office of Wafaqi Mohtasib disposed of 75,000 complaints/cases. “Most of the complaints were registered against Wapda, electric companies, Sui Southern and Sui northern gas companies and National Data Registration Authority.
They said that with reviewing the registered complaints, the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat had also been compiling reports to recommend recommendations for bringing reforms in federal government departments and agencies to address the issue of maladministration and corruption.
They said that the office of Federal Ombudsman had also powers to listen to complaints against National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
They, however, said that if applications/petitions were submitted in courts against NAB and FIA, then the courts would listen to those cases and would dispose of them.
They said that the Federal Ombudsman had powers of the judge of Supreme Court and he could take suo moto notice against any federal government departments and agencies. “The Federal Ombudsman after founding negligence of officials of federal departments can recommend inquiry and other departmental actions against them,” they said.
They said that 13 offices of the Federal Ombudsman were working in the country including Bahawalpur office which could listen to complaints against federal departments and agencies lodged by people of Bahawalpur, Rahimyar Khan, Lodhran and Bahawalnagar.
They said that Bahawalpur and other neighboring districts had populations in millions, adding that but, the average number of registered complaints with the local office of the Federal Ombudsman in Bahawalpur was 100 per month. They requested the media to highlight the importance and role of Federal Ombudsman so that maximum number of people could move to the local office of Federal Ombudsman in Bahawalpur to get relief on issues and problems pertaining to federal government and departments.
Meanwhile, according to a report issued by the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat Regional Office Bahawalpur, 624 applications/complaints were registered against federal government agencies including Multan Electric Company (MEPCO), Pakistan Post Office (PPO), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan (SLICP) and others. The Bahawalpur office of Wafaqi Mohtasib had disposed of 602 of them.