LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said he did not mean for everybody to land in Murree all at once when three days ago he had lauded an uptick in tourism in the area.
“By lauding an uptick in tourism in Murree, we did not mean for everyone to land there at the same time,” he said, while addressing a press conference in the Punjab capital, where he had earlier attended a PTI meeting.
The information minister said millions of tourists flocked to Murree in less than 48 hours despite the issuance of a warning by the local administration in which it asked travellers “not to bring their vehicles towards Murree”. Chaudhry said that it was difficult for the administration to manage such a large number of tourists; however, “things are getting better” and trapped people are being evacuated. The minister said that among the stranded vehicles most of them are those that entered Murree within the last 48 hours.
He said that at present there is no situation of “utter devastation or the like”, and recognised the need to “learn from this and manage things better in the future”. It may be recalled that in a tweet posted on January 5, Chaudhry had said that about 100,000 vehicles have entered Murree and the rents of hotels and residences have surged. He had said that the increase in domestic tourism reflects the “prosperity of the common man and increase in income.” However, following the deaths of at least 20 people, people were quick to question the minister regarding his tweet.
Addressing Chaudhry and Prime Minister Imran Khan, PTI leader Ahmad Jawad ridiculed the information minister.