Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival or PIMFF is a positive initiative for a country like Pakistan, which holds immense tourism potential.
This first Film Festival of its kind will be held in Lahore, on June 13-14, 2015. Where the Himalayas meet the Karakorams and the Hindukush, Pakistan is home to one of the most beautiful clusters of mountainous lands that inhabit any of the surrounding lands. Mesmerizing Glaciers glue countless sets of eyes to its contents and doesn’t seem to let them go anytime soon. In recent years, however, Pakistan has not enjoyed the tourism it once had, and with the development of the festival the region looks to regain those glory days. Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival is in fact an effort to remind the world about tourism potential of Pakistan.
Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival, also known as PIMFF, is the event which will accomplish such a rise in tourism very quickly. To be held at Alhamra Arts Council Lahore the film festival will look to enjoy a massive crowd of people who support tourism. Put into action by Eyebex Films along with Punjab Government, the festival will attract the crowds Pakistan once had in the past. This event will be the first annual festival in existence. Such an event garners attention worldwide and will be recognized by a multitude of entertainment groups.
In all, 80 countries have submitted well over 500 entries for the screening. Selected entries are to be featured at the festival. With over 32 of these entries selected to participate the outcome has already been labeled a huge success. Before the event is screened, it is widely known that sellout crowds are expected on ground. Also featured at the festival will be countless discussion forums, non-commercial but related films, and an unimaginable selection of photographic exhibition proportions.
Established by Eyebex Films out of Islamabad, the festival will include a variety of different features to grace the big screen. These include tourism films of the ages, travel documentaries of very high quality and adventure shots which will imprint the beauty of Pakistan. Wajahat Malik, Managing Director of Eyebex Films and Maryam Cheema the Festival Director, form an all important team whose goal is to bring in the well deserved travel attention from across the world.
The International Mountain Film Festival is of the purpose of generating tourism to the area which has seen little of late. The festival looks to make those aware of the past struggles as well as the beautiful land that still captivates the masses. Tour operators will be on site to take select few through the travels of the ages. Photographers look to capture an image of the land previously not captured.
Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival is one of the few festivals in existence presently. The only other significant competition is that of Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival residing out of Asia. The festival already operating for years has been successful in bringing in countless crowds to its many showings for the purpose of growing awareness of their own mountainous plots and inspiring film adaptations. Pakistan has now taken the leverage of the standings bringing such a development to the mountain cliffs. Pakistan International Mountain Film Festival looks to gain the spotlight from which past successes have been available, and the stage is set.
The Department of Economics at LUMS (Lahore University of Management Science) organized International Conference on Pakistan-India Trade Normalization Issues. During the two day and six sessions long conference the findings of policy papers researched at LUMS over a period of two years were publicized. The conference reconnoitered numerous aspects of Pakistan-India trade relations and observed ways to comprehend the potential of trade between India and Pakistan. In addition to LUMS, researchers from SDPI, USAID, Farmer Association of Pakistan (FAP) and ICRIER (New Delhi) also presented their verdicts.
Born in Karachi, Benazir Bhutto quickly distinguished herself as a bright student and after completing her A-levels from Karachi Grammar School, she went abroad for further studies. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Harvard’s Radcliff College, she went on to Oxford University for further studies.
Bhutto actively stepped into politics after her father’s death and was detained for three years. After her release she resided in London but continued to participate in politics from there with her two brothers. When martial law was lifted, she returned to politics and anti Zia protests and demonstrations were taken to a whole new level as the public was very supportive of Benazir Bhutto and were energized by her return, finally a serious challenger for Zia was there. With the public backing her every protest. The senior leadership of the Pakistan’s People party thought it was wise to let her contest for party leadership. She was thus, elected as the co-chairman of the PPP along with her mother. It was a brilliant decision, as at the age of 35, Benazir Bhutto swept the general elections and became the first woman Prime Minister of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan as well as the first women Prime minister of any Islamic state. It was an unprecedented honor and a victory that highlighted her capabilities.
Although threatened by terrorist groups to steer clear of her homeland, Benazir, or affectionately known as BB, struck a deal with President Musharraf and returned to Pakistan after staying at Dubai. Thousands of rejoicing PPP and democracy supporters gathered to meet her, but a suicide bomber struck her motorcade. Unfortunately Benazir Bhutto was murdered due to an attack on her by terrorists while she was campaigning for Pakistan People’s Party for 2008 elections.
The industrial sector of Pakistan accounts for almost 24% of the GDP. The largest industry in the country is cotton textile and apparel accounting for almost 66% of the exports and about 40% of the employed labour. The other major industries include cement, edible oil, fertilizers, steel, tobacco, chemical, sports goods, machinery and food processing.
The Government is trying to diversify the industrial base and improve our export capacity. Privatization of parastatal units is being done on a large scale and growth has accelerated in the overall industrial output.
Lets take a look at the important industries of the country.
Cotton Industry of Pakistan
Cotton industry is the leading industry of Pakistan. We are not only self sufficient in fulfilling the local demands of cotton goods but are also exporting to other countries and earn foreign exchange through this sector. Due to the perfect climate and soil 1.3 million out of 5 million farmers in Pakistan cultivate cotton. On the average around 30 to 40 percent of the cotton is consumed locally and the rest is exported in raw or finished form to many countries of the world.
In the past most of the raw cotton was exported but now more emphasis is being given on the export of finished products as value added commodities bring in much more earnings for the country. Pakistan earns 55% of its foreign exchange through exports of raw cotton, cotton yarn, cloth and garments and other cotton products, which together make up about 70% of Pakistan’s total exports per year.
Pakistan is the 5th largest producer of cotton, 3rd largest exporter of raw cotton, 4th largest consumer of cotton and the largest exporter of cotton yarn.
Cotton industry has four main processes, including:
- Ginning: Cotton lint is separated from the seeds.
- Spinning: Cotton fibres are turned into yarn.
- Weaving: Cotton yarn is woven into cloth.
- Garment-manufacturing: The woven cloth is finally given shape of clothes.
Pakistan has shown remarkable growth in the production of cotton products. Spinning industry has shown great improvements in its production during last five years and an increase in its capacity from 5.27M.spindles and 77000 rotors in 1990 to 8.63M spindles and 132000 rotors in 1995. Same is with the production of yarn; it also showed an increase in its production from 1055.23M.K.Gs in 1990 to 1415.20M.K.Gs in 1995.
Currently there are 493 textile units working in Pakistan, out of which 53 are composite units, 410 are the spinning mills and 30 are the waste spinning units. There are around 700 spindles, 27,000 looms in the mills sector, and 250,000 in the non mills sector, 700 knitwear units, 4000 garments units, 650 dyeing and finishing units and around 1000 ginneries. These units are mostly in the Province of Punjab. Large numbers of textile mills are also present in and around Karachi, as it is a metropolitan city and have a sea port with transportation being much simpler than other cities. Other main cities for this sector are Faisalabad and Hyderabad and both have mills close to the cotton producing areas.
Cotton industry is facing many problems that include inconsistent production of cotton crop, improper system of stabilizing the prices of cotton and yarn, lack of timely modernization of the industrial machineries, lack of skilled labour and the most prominent current problem is load shedding of electricity and natural gas. Pakistan is also facing a decline in the production of cotton in the last 4-5 years and the local consumption is increasing as compared to India whose production gained prominent increase in the same period.
It is also facing a recession phase because of its prices. It is under a fierce competition with the countries with low cost prices as Pakistani products are comparatively high in price due to high cost of electricity, instable political and financial circumstances and untimely changes in the terms and conditions of exports.
Cement is one of the most important industries of Pakistan. Limestone and gypsum are the main raw materials for manufacturing of cement and they are present in abundance in Pakistan along with good supply of Natural gas. This great potential makes the country capable of producing cement not only for local use but also for export as well. Pakistan cement industry has exporting cement to the neighbouring countries like U.A.E, Afghanistan, India, Iraq and Russia.
At present there are 22 cement plants are operating in Pakistan with the production of approximately 9.403 million tonnes. Out of these 22 cement plants, 17 are private and 5 are publicr. 11 new plants are also in planning stage and the capacity of these plants is estimated around 12.988 million tonnes. The industry has achieved a growth of 32% with the domestic demand increasing by around 24.95% and the exports by nearly 111.86% according to the financial year end June 30, 2007 ratings. Recently the country has been able to export to some of the African countries as well.
Cement industry is divided into two main regions; the northern and the southern region. Northern region is producing 35.18 million tonnes and southern region is producing 8.89 million tonnes of cement per year.
Per capita consumption of cement is an indicator of rate with which any country is developing. Unfortunately per capita consumption of cement in Pakistan is less if we compare it with other developing countries. It is about 131 kg per person annually; whereas world average is about 270 kg. This less consumption is due to the negligence given to the construction sector. However in last few years consumption of cement showed some rise due to increased commercial activities, infrastructural development and increasing demand of constructing houses.
Local demand for the year 2007-2008 was 20 million tonnes. Pakistan has started exporting cement few years back and has earned repute as a premium quality cement producer in the global market in this short period. Pakistan exported around 7.716 million tonnes of cement in 2007-2008 and earned a foreign exchange of 459 million dollars. There is surely a great potential of growth in this industry in Pakistan.
Nature has endowed Pakistan with vast deposits of minerals. World class gems are found in the north and north western parts of Pakistan. Located in the shadows of the three mighty ranges (Himalaya, Hindu Kush, and Karakoram) these areas have rich deposits of precious and semi precious stones. Emeralds of Swat, rubies of Hunza and Azad Kashmir and topaz from Mardan as well as a wide variety of quartz, peridot and other gems are much sought after in international market.
Quartz is also mined from Balochistan and so is chromite. Gold, Silver and copper have also been discovered in Balochistan. Balochistan also has the largest supply of natural gas which is supplied through out the country.
Khewra salt mines the world’s largest deposit of rock salt is situated in the plains of Punjab. Marble in various shades and colors has been mined too. Pakistan is particularly famous for its onyx productions. Iron ores and fireclay have also been discovered along with other non metallic minerals.
Thar region of Sindh has vast deposits of coal and crude oil has been found in Sindh as well.
Of all these minerals and precious stones, only petroleum, coal and natural gas enjoy the patronage of the federal government the rest are under the provincial government. The government also leases out deposit rich areas to foreign and local companies for mining.
Pakistan is one of the major suppliers of surgical instruments in the world. Of the surgical instruments produced in Pakistan 95% are manufactured in Sialkot.
The Surgical industry in Sialkot city of Pakistan started off with the repairing of scissors and other ordinary instruments during the British era. In 1905 some local craftsman repaired surgical instruments for an American Missionary Hospital in Sialkot. Encouraged by the positive response from the hospital staff, the locals started manufacturing some basic instruments on a small scale. The industry made a breakthrough in the International Market when it received orders from Egypt and Afghanistan. The 2nd World War further strengthened the surgical industry as now Sialkot was supplying instruments to the British and the Allied Forces.
The partition of India did not affect the industry much as most of the workers being Muslims opted to stay back in Sialkot. The industry slowly edged its way to progress and has become a big contributor in the country’s economy. Pakistan now produces sophisticated surgical instruments. Currently Pakistan is supplying surgical instruments to 140 countries of the world. Around 150,000 to 2, 00,000 people are employed in this industry.
Sialkot is situated in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. It is the 2nd largest foreign exchange earner after Karachi. There are a number of medium/small cottage industries which not only provide employment to the people but also contribute to the country’s revenue. The hard work, skills and craftsmanship of the locals have earned a good name for the country. Among these industries, Sports Goods Industry tops the list.
The sports industry originated in Sialkot during the British era in 1895. Cricket bats were being built and exported to other parts of Asia in 1903. Foot balls were also being supplied and in 1920, the British army acknowledged the skills of the local manufacturer by awarding the British Empire Sports Award.
Sialkot is famous throughout the world for its high quality sports goods. The soccer balls manufactured in Sialkot came in to lime light when the “Tango Ball” from Sialkot was used in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Since then there has been no turning back and now the Pakistani soccer balls are very much in demand. In the years 1994 and 1998, it earned the honor of supplying official soccer balls to the FIFA World Cup. Almost all the major sports brands like Addidas, Puma and Nike employ the services of manufacturers of Sialkot Sports Industries.
Besides soccer balls, cricket bats, hockey sticks and gloves and other sports accessories are also manufactured and exported abroad. The sports goods made in Sialkot are a masterpiece of perfection and quality.
Khewra salt mines are located in the Jhelum district of Punjab, Pakistan some 160 km from Islamabad. They are the 2nd largest salt mines in the world and the oldest in South Asia. The Khewra Salt Mines date back to 326 B.C. The salt mines were named Khewra by the Sikhs after they took over Punjab from the Mughals.
Khewra Salt Mines are 350meters above the sea level and are 750 meters deep into the mountains. The annual output is 325,000 per annum.
Khewra Salt Mines were developed as a tourist spot and has an estimate of 35000 to 40000 visitors annually. The main terminal of the mine is decorated with electric bulbs. When these bulbs are lit, the salt crystals reflect light and give the effect of hundreds of glittering stars. There is a beautiful mosque made of salt bricks called the Badshahi Mosque. Many other famous monuments like The Great Wall of China, Minar i Pakistan, Sheesh Mahal, Shimla Hills and The Mall are replicated in salt bricks. Light bulbs are placed in the spaces between the bricks. The salt bricks give off white, red and pink colors when lit.
An electric railway also operates within the mines. It carries visitors from the main gate to a distance of 500m within the mine. There is a fully operational Post Office too.
Another awesome sight is the rock crystal formation. A hospital has also been opened within the mines were allergies and asthma are treated.
Khewra Salt Mines are a fascinating place to visit. Make sure to visit this wonderful place next time you visit Punjab Province.
Pakistan has a total area of approximately 803,940 square kilometers out of which only 40% is deemed suitable for agriculture crop growth. The rest of the 48 million hectares that have been classified as unsuitable are a collection of mostly deserts, mountain slopes and urban settlements, like cities and towns. This is a matter of concern for Pakistan because the occupation of growing agriculture crops is the primary interest of Pakistanis. As a result, most of the Pakistani authorities include the mountain slopes along with the urban settlements in their division of useable land on the premise that they might be used for cattle grazing.
But things are definitely looking better for Pakistan. There has been a growth of 50% in the amount of agriculture crop area in the period of time after independence. A primary reason for this is the recent availability of agricultural irrigation. This has helped in making a larger field space fit for farming. Quite a substantial amount of land has been lost to urbanization but the incorporation of new land due to better modes of irrigation has definitely made up for it.
The population of Pakistan is roughly 165 million which is contained in an area which is slightly smaller than twice the size of the state of California. Being a grain producing country, the plains have high density of population. There are a host of countries which border its boundaries. India, China, Afghanistan and the like are included in this list. As with most of the Asian nations, agriculture is the primary source of income out here. Pakistan’s agricultural economics emphasizes that the single biggest sector of GDP is agriculture. Almost half of the total labor force in the entire of Pakistan is employed with the agriculture sector and draws almost 22% of its GDP from the same.
The rural areas of Pakistan account for approximately 67% of the entire population and are dependent on the agricultural sector for their livelihood. Urbanization is on a rise. This dependence may be in a direct or indirect form. Agricultural economics is heavily determined by Pakistan’s methods of farming as these products are the main source of foreign exchange earnings for itself. There has been a decline in the size of the farm that landowners have owned till date. In the 1970s the average size of the land used to be 13 acres while this has dwindled down to 7.7 acres in the present day.
The primary occupation and source of GDP for Pakistan is agriculture. There is a total land of 79.6 million hectares out of which, approximate 22 million hectares are devoted to the purpose of farming. Beyond that, only 18 million hectares are irrigated which give rise to the problem of proper yields. As a result, the Pakistani authorities are always in the process of finding out novel methods of producing agriculture fertilizers. The uses of farm inputs, until now, are highly insufficient. Low yields are obtained.
Fertilizers are very important for improving the productivity of a land. There are essential nutrients which can be extracted by the use of the same. The widespread use of agriculture fertilizers in Pakistan is slowly gaining momentum as people have realized the advantages of doing farming in an intelligent manner. Fertilizers were first introduced in Pakistan in 1950. The use of the agriculture fertilizers has gone up very fast as is evident from the fact that the use was 5kg/ ha in 1966-67 while in 2003-04 it went up to 133kg/ha. But this needs to be further improved because the use per hectare is still very low as compared to other nations.