KP govt to hold Shandur Polo Festival in July


PESHAWAR, May 15 (APP): The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government would organize the three-day annual mega Shandur Polo Festival in July.
This was announced during a meeting held with Secretary Sport, Tourism, Archaeology, Museums, Culture and Youth Affairs Mohammad Tariq in the chair.
Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) Managing Director Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, Senior General Manager Chief Planning Officer Hayat Ali Shah, Assistant Tourism Officer Haseena and other officials attended the meeting.
Secretary Tourism Mohammad Tariq said that the festival would provide an opportunity of great thrill and enjoyment to the tourists, spectators and fans of the polo game.
He said this year the festival would be unique as the local artisans and skilled entrepreneurs would be provided opportunity to showcase their products besides polo game, traditional music and dances and adventurous activities in the gala.
The official said rafting in the Shandur lake, paragliding, archery and kite flying would be other features of the event to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
In addition to setting up camping village, stalls would be established to highlight and promote the artworks of the Chitral and Gilgit local artists and skilled people.
The game has got international fame, which is being played at the highest polo ground of the world at Shandur Pass in Chitral.
The provincial government through Finance Department provides funds to TCKP for arrangements for the event, which are released to the district administration Chitral.
The role of TCKP is that of a catalyst for promoting the festival through publicity campaign and it also establishes a tented village, tourism information centre and stalls during the event.
It also provides boarding and lodging facilities for both foreign and domestic tourists.
As Chitral is the most peaceful region, it attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists annually, especially during the Shandur and Kalash festivals.
This year, the number of foreign and domestic tourists will be great as compared to the previous years as peace has been restored in the province and the condition of acquiring no objection certificate (NOC) for the international visitors and tourists had already been withdrawn.
The foreign tourists can now visit the event and other scenic spots in any part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if they just have a tourist visa.