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Swift and Swith.

Byline: Mohisn Fazal

Pakistan is blessed with enormously rich culture and is gifted with natural and man made assets, rich heritage and hospitable people. Such gifts are spread over the entire country and each province is blessed with natural beauty. Pakistan has attractions for all kinds of tourists.

The Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) is owned by the Government of The Punjab and its main objectives are to promote and develop tourism industry in Pakistan. Since its establishment in 1987, strenuous efforts have been made to promote tourism and to provide an infrastructure for the facilitation of tourists activities in Pakistan.

Although the desired results in tourism sector have not yet been achieved but despite all difficulties, the TDCP has continued to work for its objectives. Due to its continuous engagement a significant improvement in local tourism trends has been noticed and is being appreciated at local and international level.

In the quest to promote adventure sports, TDCP took several steps and managed to successfully organize Cholistan Jeep Rally for the first time in Pakistan which received tremendous response. Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally is an off road race organized near Derawar Fort in Bahawalpur. Around 100 Drivers and teams from all over Pakistan participate in the rally and approxmately 100,000 visitors witness the rally every year.

To keep up the pace in similar direction a, 'Motor Bikes and 4 x 4 Rally' was organized in November 2013 at KahAC/n River Bed, near Rohtas Fort, Jhelum. This venue was selected due to its historical background and to promote tourism in this part of the country.

The gigantic fort of Rohtas is symbol of strength and determination of its builder Farid Khan who is known in the annals of history as Sher Shah Suri. The Fort was built during 1541 to 1543 to prevent possible return of Mughal emperor Humayun, who after his defeat at Chaunsa (India), had fled to Iran. The other purpose was to subdue the turbulent local Gakkhar tribes who held the control of the valley and were the old friends of the Mughals.

Tilla Jogian is located adjacent to Rohtas Fort which was found in 100 BC. For thousands of years, it was place of sun worship for the Hindus. Tilla Jogian in Punjabi means the Hill of Saints. Tilla Jogian also finds mention in the epic love poem Heer Ranjha of Waris Shah.

The 'TDCP 1st Rohtas Motor Bikes / 4x4 Rally' was held on 2nd and 3rd November 2013. Large number of adventure and motor sports lovers from all over the county participated in this rally. It was very successful event, as the participants as well as common people took keen interest in the event and enjoyed the thrilling display of driving. Nadir Magsi (Food Minister Sindh) emerged as victorious in jeep rally along with Asad Khuhro, Mian Shakeel Ahmed and Mian Rafique Ahmed in their respective categories. Similarly, in Motorbikes race, Naeem Ahmed Khan, Mir Waiz, Kamran Sharif and Mian Shakeel won their races in respective categories.

At the end of rally, Chief Guest Mr. Rana Mashhood, Minister for Tourism and Education distributed cash awards and trophies among the winners in a colourful ceremony.

Pakistan has lot of potential for tourism and people are passionate about adventure sports. With more events coming up in future, it shall help to create a soft image of Pakistan inland and abroad.

The writer is Regional Manager of TDCP.
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Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 31, 2013
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