PESHAWAR: A seven-member group of Italian photographers, which is on a week-long tour of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has termed the province a must see destination for tourists as cultural diversity and hospitality provided them with a charming sight to experience after mingling with the local people.
The group came here to find some eye-catching images for their photo exhibition and right there it fell upon a treasure trove in the north of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Interacting with this scribe on arrival in Peshawar city on Friday, the tourists said they witnessed a satisfying image of the people in KP, altogether different from what was being portrayed in the media that forced them to change over their lens.
“Images caught by our cameras are so wonderful that they surly would win us first award at the display,” the group hoped.
They said KP was not on their checklist in their initial trip schedule to Pakistan’s northern areas, it was only Gilgit-Baltistan, but a little digging into history it came up that curiosity should be satisfied and strolling through the old Peshawar city really made them feel better and quite at home.
“People’s response in terms of hospitality was quite amazing and smile on the faces of old and young men and women was noteworthy and welcoming. There was not even a remote sign of terror. We went around the entire city, including Qissa Khwani, Namak Mandi, Masjid Mahabat Khan, Gor Khatri and several other places,” narrated Nicola Ducati, a member of the visiting group.
The tourists observed that earlier they had toured the Central Asian States, Afghanistan, India and Gilgit-Baltistan, but the scenic beauty and people’s response in KP impressed them very much.
“On our return to home country, we will float the idea to visit the land of multicultural people,” they observed.
Starting their journey from Gilgit-Baltistan 14 days ago, the group was in fact in search of catching up with some rare images of sights, people and their old traditions still in practice so that they could put them up for an international photo exhibition to be held in Paris next year.
“It could be no other place, but KP where its north – Chitral, Swat and Peshawar – presented plenty of it what the camera required to fill its belly with the most charming and inspiring images, firsthand experience of mixing with local population around cities and its busy streets remained enough stuff,” explained Riccardo Melzi, a group leader.
Ms Aurora Arcese, member of the visiting group, said that Pakistan’s north was blessed with extraordinary natural beauty and people with diversifying cultural panorama, colourful dresses and tasty foods that rendered them awestruck.
Ehsanullah, a GB-based tour guide, said over 50 per cent of foreign tourists rescheduled their trip after arrival in Pakistan, but unfortunately visit to the historic Khyber Pass was not permitted. He said if hurdles were removed the Peshawar city would be flooded with foreign visitors.