kalam pakistan wallpaper

Kalam in Pakistan’s Swat valley used to be known as the Switzerland of Pakistan. With its pine forests, snow-capped mountains, cool ravines, mountain-trekking, lots of fishing, and the rainbow trout, the place was once the ‘jewel of the country’s tourism industry.’ It had hotels with names such as Heaven Side and Diamond Hills.

Very recently, Taliban militants that had taken over the Swat valley for two years were finally expunged from the place. The locals hope that the once thriving tourism industry will be revived. In the meantime, no foreign tourist would dare enter the place, and the citizens content themselves with receiving food aid and relief goods.

The erstwhile hotel owners themselves have fled the place to seek safer ground. There used to be about ‘350 to 400 hotels scattered throughout the town and nearby valleys.’

Pakistan has been reeling under negative international image as the heartland of Islamist terrorism, with the Taliban having undertaken kidnappings and beheadings.

Pakistan’s tourism industry has been one of the bigger casualties in the fight against radical Islamists. In 2008, less than 400,000 foreign visitors arrived in Pakistan. ‘The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 put Pakistan 113 out of 133 countries.’

Pakistan is aware that it can expect growth in its economic activities such as tourism only if political normalcy has returned to the country.

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