Muzammil Dawar

Tourists have started returning to the North Waziristan’s scenic spot Razmak after the restoration of peace and decrease in Covid-19 cases.

The resumption of tourism is also spurring economic activities in the tourist spot.

Thousands of tourists throng to Razmak each year from South Waziristan, Kohat, Lakki Marwat and other parts of the province. Tourism department figures show that about 100,000 tourists visited Razmak on Eid last year.

Razmak bazaar is also dependent on the visiting tourists for generation of economic activities.

Mir Qadir, a Razmak trader said that their business activities have picked up after the Covid-19 cases have started to drop. He said that Covid-19 vaccination has also helped in the return of tourism to the town.

He said that town was slowly returning to life after lifting of Covid-19 related restrictions. “The travel restrictions done great harm to businesses in the area,” he said.

Mr Qair also said that besides security check points on the way to Razmak were also great hindrance to the tourism.

Absence of facilities for tourists in Razmak

Iftikhar Khan, a tourist from Peshawar said that North Waziristan tourist spots were matchless. However, he said that these places lacked proper facilities.

He said that Razmak was more scenic than Murree, Galiyat and Swat. However, he added that Razmak lacked a good hotel for tourists to stay for night.

Besides, he said that town also lacked proper eateries. “Government should provide facilities for tourists in Razmak” he said.

In Razmak, laborers are also dependent on tourism for their livelihood.

Hameedullah, a local laborer said that the lockdowns hit the town at the start of tourist season at the outset of pandemic. He said that this badly impacted them economically

Mr Hameed said that they earn enough to last a year when tourists are visiting the town unhindered.

A district administration official said that number of tourists visiting the town was so high that the roads are always clogged at peak tourist season.

Hakeemullah, Razmak tehsildar said that a large number of people also visit the town in winters and they can go up to Shawal and Makeen.

He said that they were checking Covid-19 vaccination certificates of the tourists visiting the town. Besides, he said that they also arrange vaccination of unvaccinated tourists.

Earlier in 2019, the then KP minister for tourism Muhammad Atif Khan had announced to spend Rs 9 billion on tourism in merged districts. However, locals demanded for immediate spending of this amount on developing tourists’ facilities in the region.

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