Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Travel Sponsorship in Pakistan

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Since about the late 1980s, Pakistan began to lose out on the tourism business. We became more and more Islamic and exclusivist. Then the security situation took a nose dive. First of all, the dictator organised, orchestrated failure of the state. It was in those days that the police was instructed to not entertain complaints of petty theft – not that the police was any better before this. This snowballed to an uncontrolled extent and we now have a situation where a young couple honeymooning in Lal Suhanra having had their bag stolen with cash and credit cards were told by the police, ‘Ethay ki lain ai cee? Ghar araam nahi hai tuhano?’
No one should be interested in sponsoring a journey in Pakistan. This is mainly because of the security situation. A mountaineering expedition is another thing. Right now – and I don’t know if it will actually come through – Toyota Indus Motors are working out details to sponsor the Shimshali women’s mountaineering expedition to Muztagh Ata (7000 + metres) in China. This was as a result of my article on the past exploits of these daring young women in The News on Sunday.

Pakistan does not have a tradition of sponsoring anything other than cricket or music shows. End of story. There is no chance that a travel writer even with something to show for him/herself will ever get sponsorship. I came up with some really wild travel ideas and presented them to ad agencies, but it never worked.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:13,


At 3 April 2013 at 21:06, Blogger Ayyub Kulla said...

Long extents of dictatorship has given miseries to Pakistanis, not only police but all institutions have roughly altogether reduced to rubble. It has caused economic failure of the state departments of many ministries and unfortunately now our number is 13th on failed state lists. Certainly, it is frightening. Apart from other economical measures state must revisit its tourism policy. We got example of Switzerland whose one of the main starting place of income is tourism and believe me Pakistan has better potentials in this industry. We really don’t know how beautiful and picturesque Pakistan is. It just needs bit of attention from the concerned department.
We can have start from the idea put up by Mr. Salman Rashid. There are loads of national and multinational organisation that can do it say by sponsoring few projects. They just need to be convinced and a green signal from the government is of primary and vital importance. The overseas Pakistanis can help a lot having healthier situation and put in their efforts to get back to the tourism in Pakistan of 70s. It will generate plentiful job opportunities badly needed to our youth. After the upcoming elections this suggestion should be one of the targets. Mullahism turned into terrorism is a big hurdle in achievement of this goal but once the decision makers get committed to the cause the results will be pleasing for the industry and ultimate beneficiaries will be obviously the people of Pakistan. Let us have optimism that it doesn't fall on deaf ears.


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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days