PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial administration has launched a tourism police force to provide better security and services to people who are expected to arrive in the region on sightseeing tours in the coming months, officials said on Thursday.
Pakistan’s northwestern province has some of the most attractive tourist destinations in the country, which attract thousands of backpackers and families on vacation every year in the summer.
Provincial tourism authority noted that approximately 180 recruits were given tourism police uniforms on Wednesday. Afridi stated that the new force would play a vital role in enhancing the provincial tourism industry.
Addressing the ceremony, DG Abid Wazir said that the tourism police force would exhibit exemplary character and deal with tourists with respect. “Our young recruits are a positive image of the province to better facilitate and serve the foreign as well as domestic tourists,” he said.
He believes that this initiative will bring in more tourists and help generate more revenue. However, local police departments maintain that they already have a lot of work to attend to on regular days, making it difficult to give exclusive attention to tourists as well.
“The force is already helping to facilitate tourists,” said Saad bin Awais, who works as the media officer with the authority. “They will also help ensure smooth flow of traffic on Eid and other holidays while providing security to visitors.”
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has announced the formation of a new motorcycle patrol force.
The force will be a special wing of the province’s culture and tourism authority, and its personnel will be deployed at popular tourist destinations such as Swat, Chitral, Abbottabad and Mansehra.
Riaz Gujjar, head of the Lahore chapter of Pakistan Bikers’ Travel Association, praised the development, saying it would promote tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Sometimes we witness accidents in these tourist areas,” he said. “This initiative will hopefully change that and spur tourism.”
Gujjar maintained the government should widely publicize the development so the region also manages to attract foreign tourists.