February 21, 2023

Pakistan has been in the news recently due to a series of unfortunate events, including flooding that has affected almost every province in the country. South Punjab and Balochistan were the most affected regions initially, but the floods soon spread to other areas, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), where major cities like Mingora, Bahrain, Madyan, and Kalam were devastated.

The situation in Kalam and Bahrain was particularly dire due to the suddenness of the floods and the lack of warning from authorities. Locals and tourists had very little time to act, and the evacuation was rushed, with many people leaving their belongings behind in hotels in a hurry to save their lives. The sinking of the New Honeymoon Hotel in Kalam was one of the most prominent news stories to come out of the chaos.

The flooding also caused landslides in several areas, blocking roads to popular tourist destinations like Naran Kaghan and Hunza. Tourists have been stuck in Kumrat Valley as well, as the road to Kumrat via Lower Dir was damaged due to floods in Thal and nearby areas. One local resort sank in a flooded stream, but fortunately, no lives were lost. Reports of tourists being stuck in Kumrat, Kalam, Mingora, Bahrain, and Madyan continue to come in.

Despite the challenges, there are still some places that remain open for tourism in Pakistan. Kashmir and Galiyat, including Murree and Nathiagali, are relatively unaffected by the flooding and are completely open for visitors. While there have been reports of small streams being flooded in Kashmir, the overall situation is stable, and no roads have been blocked. Traffic in Kashmir is flowing, and no tourists are reported to be stuck in the valley.

It is important to note that this is a very alarming situation for the entire Pakistani nation, and it may not be the best time to go out for sightseeing. However, if you have already paid for a trip or have been planning a honeymoon for a long time, visiting Galiyat and Kashmir could still be an option. It is crucial to exercise caution and avoid venturing far into the wilderness, as prevention is better than cure.

Tourism is a significant industry in Pakistan, contributing to the country’s economy and providing jobs for many people. However, natural disasters like flooding can have a devastating impact on the sector, causing cancellations and loss of revenue. It is essential for authorities and tourism operators to work together to ensure the safety of tourists and minimize the impact of such events on the industry.

In addition to Kashmir and Galiyat, there are other places that can be visited in Pakistan despite the floods. The Hunza Valley, for example, has remained relatively unscathed, and its breathtaking scenery and rich culture make it a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists. The Karakoram Highway, one of the highest paved international roads in the world, provides a stunning view of the surrounding mountains and is a must-see for any visitor to Pakistan.

The city of Lahore, known as the cultural capital of Pakistan, is also open for tourism, with its vibrant bazaars, historical landmarks, and delicious food. The Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and offer a glimpse into Pakistan’s rich history and architecture. The city’s parks, such as the Shalimar Gardens and Jallo Park, provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

In conclusion, while the recent floods in Pakistan have caused significant damage and disruption, there are still some places open for tourism. It is crucial to exercise caution and avoid areas that have been affected by the floods, but with the right planning and preparation, it is still possible to have a memorable trip to Pakistan.