Govt taking steps to promote culture across world: Ahsan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said the government plans to establish tourism and sport authorities for promotion of games and tourism, in order to project rising Pakistan’s beautiful culture worldwide.

Addressing the 3-day Islamabad Spring Festival, the minister said these authorities would mainly focus on attracting foreign tourists by promoting cultures of the provinces and their traditional foods.

He informed that the first-ever Islamabad Spring Festival was organized this year and  such events would be organized annually in an improved manner to project the city as the  campaign was underway to attract tourists from across the world.

The minister said that Islamabad was among the most beautiful cities of the world, which was purposefully built as a capital city and has the serene landscape and good atmosphere, adding the festival would surely provide a proper tourism facility to citizens.

Ahsan Iqbal said Islamabad Spring Festival would definitely ensure best tourism facilities and opportunities to citizens, adding cultures of the provinces would be highlighted, which would eventually help in promoting soft image of the country.

He informed that sports competitions, cycling race, food festivals would be organized, where as military bands including Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy and Islamabad Police would perform and entertain the participants.

During the second day, tree plantation campaign at Margalla Hills will be launched in order to make these hills greener, he said and called upon the youth of the city to come forward and become the part of the campaign to keep their city clean and green.

He informed that the government had initiated several developmental projects worth billion  of rupees in federal capital for the development and beautification of the city, adding it has  allocated Rs 2.3 billion for the establishment of water treatment plant for purification of Rawal  Lake and Korang River to provide clean water supply for the residents of twin cities.

Ahsan Iqbal said that work on rapid mass transit system has been initiated in order  to provide best transportation facilities to the people, adding work on feeder bus service  would also be launched shortly. In order to provide pure, clean and complete hygienic food to the residents of Islamabad,  a bill for establishment of authority had been finalized and it would be soon presented in the  parliament for approval. A special horticulture wing would also be established for the beautification of roads and markets, he added.

Replying to a question, the minister said that government strongly believed in the freedom  of expression and it condemned any attempt to suppress the freedom of expression and culture  of intolerance and violence.

The minister said freedom of expression was prerequisite for free and fair election and  smooth transition of powers to third respective elected government.

To another question, the minister said that respect of law was an obligation for each and  every one living in the country, adding no one would be allowed to take law into its hands. He said that Chinese people, working at different developmental projects under  China-Pakistan Economic Corridor were the guest of the country and their safety and  security was the top priority of the government and people.