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Malam Jabba: Hub of tourism in Pakistan.

By SYED ANWAR SHAHSWAT:Known for its scenic beauty, Swat is also called the 'Switzerland of Pakistan'. While the valley has nearly always remained a major tourist attraction, its local economy mainly depends on tourism.

Located about 300 kilometers from Islamabad and 42 km from Saidu Sharif, Malam Jabba is a complete adventure tourist destination, and perhaps the finest skiing resort in Pakistan.Malam Jabba has two Buddhist stupas and six monasteries that are spread across the resort.

The presence of the monuments at such a height clearly indicates that the area was settled over 2000 years ago. Malam Jabba also offers two exciting trekking trails that offer excellent scenery.

The Shangla Top is a trek that is about 18 kilometers from the resort.In the year 2005, the government started losing its control over the valley and later in 2007 it completely fell to non-state actors.

While the government was able to reestablish its writ, no one believed that the charm Swat once had for tourists would ever get restored.But today, with investors pouring money into the valley's local tourism, it has once again become a major tourist attraction.

While the Pearl Continental Hotel, Malam Jaba is starting its operations in July 2018, a major international skiing competition is also being held on Jan 17 at the Malam Jaba resort that has been rebuilt by the Samson's Company.It's pertinent to mention here that militants had burnt down the PTDC motel built with Australian collaboration, had destroyed the chairlift cable and an office of the meteorological department in Malam Jabba back in 2008.Yaqoob, the ski resort's manager told Pakistan Today that more than one-hundred-thousand tourists come to Malam Jaba every month during winters.

Owing to it, the local business has improved, he added.The manager at the resort further said that the event will not only project a better image of the country but will also help restore the faith of the international community in Pakistan being a safe destination for both the investors and tourists.

While the ongoing projects indicate that the valley is on the right track to development, the initiatives should be encouraged and supported by all stakeholders of the board as any controversy regarding any investment would roll back the efforts which the KP government has made till now, and will leave the people of Swat behind as those who will lose the most.

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Publication:Pakistan Today (Lahore, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 15, 2018
Words:451
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