This is the face of the man who will singlehandedly turn around Pakistan’s tourism industry:
When asked how he intends to attract foreign tourists with his policy of ‘purging’ tourism from alcohol he replied, “our religion does not allow use or sale of liquor. Moreover, this is Islamic Republic of Pakistan and our Constitution also does not allow it either.” The minister said that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had stopped this culture of open selling of liquor but, later, General Zia-ul-Haq started these permits perhaps to facilitate foreigners. “By cancelling these permits and licenses of PTDC hotels etc we have reversed what General Zia-ul-Haq did. These hotels cannot offer or sale liquor even to foreigners.” He said when foreigners come to Pakistan they need to follow our rules and our system. Atta affirmed that he can not bar purchase or selling of liquor privately but he’ll make sure hotels don’t provide it. While dispelling the argument that this would affect tourism or tarnish the image of the country he said following Islamic teaching is not a loss but gain. “We do not care about international impression and believe they the foreigners will have to accept what is the law of the land.”
Well, how stupid of me for thinking that caring about “international impression” was actually one of the main jobs of the Federal minster for tourism.
Also, I love this statement about the dispensability of Swat. Swat is overrun by a bloody insurgency? No problem, we just need to develop some more tourist locations:
Secondly, the potential areas of tourism are Northern Areas of the country including many parts of NWFP like Swat.” He said that since tourists can not go to these areas “we are left with some areas in Punjab including Murree.” The minister also plans to find and develop some more areas for tourism in the country so that the gap created in tourism due to this war-like situation in the Northern Areas could be filled. He believes tourism needs priority and funding. “