Roundtable Discussion on Senate Resolution # 371 January 24, 2018

  • Publication Date: Fri, January 26, 2018

    The Senate of Pakistan passed a resolution on 18th December, 2017 unanimously for the Promotion of Religious Tourism in Pakistan. In order to discuss the way forward, the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) organized a Round Table discussion on Facilitating Religious Tourism, Trade and Investment in Pakistan on 24 January, 2018 at PIPS. The event was chaired by Honorable Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja, who was the mover of the Resolution as well. Honorable Parliamentarians, Officers from various Ministries, Academicians, Media Personnel and Members of civil society organization were invited to the event who shared their views about various dimensions of this resolution. The discussion helped to identify measures that could promote religious tourism, trade and investment in the country in accordance with the Resolution. The participants further agreed that fostering religious tourism could attract foreign investment and play a crucial role in promoting the soft image of Pakistan. Honorable Senator Karim A. Khawaja highlighted that after Pakistan came into being, migrants settled in 70 different countries and were keen to visit their religious sites in Pakistan.  Pakistan should capitalize on this opportunity to increase trade, commerce and tourism by facilitating them to visit their pilgrimage sites in Pakistan.. They were of the view that facilitation of visas for the pilgrims who wished to visit their holy sites in Pakistan would be a step in the right direction and suggested that the government should encourage people to people contact with other countries to foster peace and development. They further recommended that the Evacuee Trust Property Board, should have representation from non-Muslims, as the institution was dealing with the administration of evacuee properties attached to educational, charitable or religious trusts left behind by Hindus and Sikhs who migrated to India after partition. At the conclusion of the round table discussion, the Executive Director PIPS, Mr. Zafarullah Khan thanked all the participants for their valuable suggestions and emphasized on the need to encourage such initiatives in order to highlight the positive image of the country.