The United Kingdom has relaxed its travel advisory to Pakistan paving the way for international tourism to the country. The British government has stated that the security situation in Pakistan has improved considerably following actions by the government and security forces.
Pakistan has certainly made tremendous strides towards improving the security situation. In June last year, British Airways resumed operations to Pakistan after eleven years of suspension. There are now 22 direct flights from Pakistan to UK every week which shows that relations between both countries are strong. In 2018, there were an estimated 484,000 visits by British nationals to Pakistan. The UK has changed its travel advisory in almost five years allowing its citizens to travel by road to northern areas of Pakistan.
In October last year, Pakistan welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton. The royal couple came on a five-day visit with dozens of engagements. They even visited the scenic Kalash Valley in Chitral which has now been cleared for travel. The new British high commissioner said he made travel advice a priority to allow British nationals to see more of what Pakistan has to offer.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has hailed the decision as ‘good news’ for Pakistan as he aims to bring in tourism and investment in the country. The change in policy with the eased advisory would certainly pave the way for enhanced travel and connectivity between the two countries. Pakistan’s tremendous sacrifices in the war against terrorism have finally been recognised.
Pakistan suffered severe economic losses and was ostracized as a safe haven for terrorism. It was labeled as the world’s most dangerous country, but now the world has acknowledged the improved situation. Pakistan was recently cited as the top travel destination and had made it to list of countries for travel in the year 2020.
Others countries should also follow suit and revisit its travel advisory for Pakistan. It is expected that France and Germany might be next to follow suit. Foreign travelers to Pakistan have praised the country’s natural beauty, warmth and hospitality of its people. It is now our responsibility to show this to the rest of the world.
The government should focus on improving facilities for tourism, and all create a promotional campaign across the world to showcase Pakistan as an attractive travel destination. The eased travel advisory by the UK would certainly help in achieving this goal to regain the past glory of Pakistan.