Pakistan has huge potential in tourism sector: Luqman Ali Afzal
CEO & Founder Monal Group, Luqman Ali Afzal speaks at a grand Iftar-dinner
Naveed Ahmad Khan Photos by: Ghulam Farid
ISLAMABAD: The CEO and founder Monal Group, Luqman Ali Afzal and his spouse hosted a grand Iftar-dinner at Monal Restaurant, Pir Sohawa Road, Islamabad proved to be the biggest ‘Iftar’ activity of the federal capital so far. Former Federal Ministers, senior political leaders, senior diplomats, distinguished businessmen from Rawalpindi & Islamabad chambers, senior bureaucrats, intellectuals and media persons attended in a large number. Luqman is quite famous for his hospitality and that was the reason the guests opted not to miss the grand occasion. The multi-dish reception was thoroughly enjoyed by the guests as Mr. Luqman provided personal care for every guest of the evening.
The guests kept on discussing political developments taking place in the country especially the Supreme Court Suo Motu regarding current political situation. Speaking on the occasion, Luqman Ali Afzal said that Ramadan is a month of self-introspection and restraint and it essentially highlights the importance of sharing and helping our less fortunate fellow human beings. He said that Iftar meals bring people together and promote coherence between different segments of the society.
There is no doubt that Pakistan has a lot of potential in tourism but in order to attract tourists, we need to set our house in order. For example, leave alone a foreign tourist, even if a local tourist wants to travel from Islamabad to Hunza, will he/she find decent clean toilets on this long journey? Will there be a nice restaurant where a family can eat or a workshop where he can fix his car if the brakes fail? So the answer is, unless and until we have our basic infrastructure in place, the volume of tourists will not increase. Our infrastructure has to be looked into before we open our areas to foreign tourists.
Regarding tourism and hospitality, he said if taken care of properly, the tourism and hospitality industry has the potential of contributing to the national economy to great proportions. Look at our regional countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal and even Uzbekistan, where tourism and hospitality industries contribute significantly to the national exchequer. Mr. Luqman became the first Pakistani to be awarded a Pride of Performance award for ‘entrepreneurship’. The guests greatly appreciated SCP’s decision to restore the Monal Restaurant as every Pakistani takes great pride in it.
Monal is not only a restaurant but also a great tourist point. With its “spirals and wood” the architectural splendor of The Monal blends unobtrusively into the natural beauty surrounding it. And yet the building is designed to offer luxurious dining in a sophisticated environment. Awaiting you are four spacious parking lots that can hold up to 250 cars, with reserved parking slots for persons with disability. Once you enter from any of the two entrances, one of which is a ramp to facilitate prams and wheelchairs, our executive staff receives, guides and serves you with the courtesy and hospitality that is an-old tradition of the region.