March 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
Chitral Times Report
SWAT:As a significant development to boost tourism activities in Malakand region, the government has reopened Saidu Sharif Airport, Swat for commercial flights, and after 17 years of long interval national flag carrier (PIA) restored its flights operation to Swat Airport. The first flight of the national Airliner PK-650 touched the ground on Swat Airport carrying passengers from Islamabad on Friday. Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan, Federal Ministers Ghulam Sarwar and Murad Saeed were also onboard the inaugural flight to Swat Airport. Initially two flights in a week will be operated for Swat which would be connected with flights from Karachi and Lahore to Islamabad. Besides elected public representatives, high ups of divisional and district administration and civil aviation authorities warmly welcomed the passengers at the Airport.
A ceremony to this effect was also held at Swat Airport with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan as chief guest. Talking to media on this occasion, the Chief Minister felicitated the people of the region on restoration of commercial flights for Swat Airport after hiatus of 17 years and said that the incumbent government yet fulfilled another promise made with the people. He termed the initiative as of vital importance for rapid development of the region and said that it would prove to be a milestone in promoting tourism activities as well as providing employment opportunities to the local people. He said that the incumbent government was going all out to promote tourism in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and added that provincial government had devised a viable plan for the purpose under which multiple developmental activities were underway in the province. He said that the government was not only working on the development of existing tourists sites but work was also in progress on the identification and development of new tourists sites in the province.
He said that new tourists sites including Jarogo Abshar would soon be opened for the tourists adding that a number of integrated tourism zones were also in pipeline in the different regions of the province whereas work on the access roads to tourists sites was in full swing which on completion, would facilitate the tourist with easy access, and connect different tourists spots in the region. Touching upon the mega developmental projects of the provincial government, Mahmood Khan stated that Swat Motorway Phase-I had been completed and opened for all types of vehicular traffic whereas significant progress had also been made on the Phase-II of Swat Motorway project; ground breaking of Phase-II would be performed shortly. He said that PC-1 and feasibility of Dir Motorway would also be completed soon adding that hopefully, Prime Minister Imran Khan would perform the ground breaking of Chakdara-Chitral-Shandoor road project next month.
Similarly, he added that a project worth Rs. 14 billion had been planned to provide clean drinking water from river swat to Mingora City. Talking on this occasion, Federal Minister Murad Saeed said that initially, domestic flights had been restored and later on international flights would also be started for Swat. Talking on this occasion, Federal Minister Ghulam Sarwar hinted at restoring commercial flights for all the closed airports in the province one by one. The Chief Minister and Federal Minister on the occasion paid tribute to the sacrifices of security forces, law enforcing agencies and people in the war against terrorism. Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated newly established tourists facilitation counter at Airport and planted a sapling under 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project.