Pakistan's cultural heritage needed to be preserved for the future generations, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday, as he inaugurated Al-Biruni Radius — a tourism project for revival of the country's heritage — in Jhelum.
PM Imran Khan, who was accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Bazdar, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry, as well as his aide on overseas Pakistanis, Zulfi Bukhari, also inaugurated the Heritage Trail at the 'Al-Biruni' point of Jhelum's Nandana Qila.
Tourism, the premier noted, "provides the most employment" and its promotion would do the same for Pakistan's youth. "Tourism is made successful by the locals," he said, promising to develop the region and put it on the world map.
"Cultural heritage needs to be preserved for future generations," the prime minister underscored. "We will make Jhelum's Baghanwala a model village," he vowed.
Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI inaugurated tourism project #AlBeruniRadius - Heritage Trail.— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) February 28, 2021
The project aims at preservation and conservation of the archeological sites within the radius and the socioeconomic uplift of the surrounding area. pic.twitter.com/AhNX8ChqL3
Speaking of Al-Biruni — formally known as Abu al-Rehan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni — the premier said the Persian scholar measured the Earth's circumference for the first time at the site.
Known for his travels and writings, Al-Biruni lived from 973 to 1052, becoming the Islamic world's most original polymath.
Bukhari also briefed the prime minister on the developments, saying an observatory would also be set up in the area.
Later, PM Imran Khan visited the Tilla Jogian National Park, where he planted an olive tree, and was briefed on measures related to wildlife and environmental protection in the Salt Range National Park.
According to a statement issued Sunday afternoon by the Prime Minister's Office, the inauguration of the two new national parks was part of "furthering the vision of combatting environmental degradation and protecting biodiversity".
In an earlier update, the PM's Office said on Twitter the prime minister was keen on the preservation and conservation of the site, which was to be converted it into an international tourism site.
The site's archeological significance dates back to the 11th century when Al-Biruni quantified the circumference of the Earth during his stay there. The Persian scholar later wrote a famous book about the region and mentioned Nandana as a great center of learning.
The historical Nandana Fort is located in Jhelum's Pind Dadan Khan tehsil.