PESHAWAR: The four-day Qaqlasht festival kicked off at the 8000 feet high tourist resort Qaqlasht on Thursday, 12 April.
Chitral Deputy Commissioner, Irshad Sudher, along with famous artiste Abdul Wali Khan Dowal and noted sitar player Mir Wali inaugurated the festival by unfurling the flag.
A large number of people, touristsand students from different educational institutions attended the event on the first day.The students presented national anthem and sang national songs.
Speaking on the occasion, DC Irshad Sudher said that Chitral was paradise for the tourists and visitors. He said the scenic district had a treasure trove of culture, beautyand above all an exemplary peaceful environment for tourist to enjoy.
He called upon the national and international tourists and visitors to come and enjoy natural beauty of lush green valleys, snow-capped mountains, rivers, landscapes, rich cultural heritage, springs, streams and serene spots.
The festival is also showcasing different sports competitions including polo, sports for the physically challenged persons, traditional food stalls, cultural show, tug-of-war, skate shooting, marathon race, volleyball, cricket, football, archeryand music night.
Other games like falcon prey, hockey and other activities like buddy dik, quiz competitions, mushaira and paragliding are other features of the festival.
Earlier, Mastuj Tehsil Nazim Fakhruddin welcomed the guests and participants and highlighted the importance of the festival.
Sultan-ul-Mulk, Chairman Jashan-e-Qaqlasht committee, briefed the participants about the programmers and activities to be held during the four-day gala.
He said a grand music night will be held on April 14 in which the visitors and tourists will be entertained with traditional dances and chorus.
He said music of reed instrument and that of pure Chitrali sitar will also be organised besides folk dance ‘chongrighishi’ and ‘tataliwawali’, and ‘mamashish’.
Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP), district administration Chitral have jointly organised the festival while Sarhad Rural Support Programme, cellular company Telenor, Agha Khan Rural Support Programme, tehsil municipal administration Mastujare sponsoring the colourful event.
Jashan-e-Qaqlasht is 2,000 years old festival of the people of Chitral. Qaqlasht festival is celebrated in the month of April.
The festival is organized with the objective to protect the indigenous Kho culture and to highlight and market it as tourism product so as to attract maximum national and international tourists to the region that could help reduce poverty by providing tourism-related job opportunities to the locals apart from promoting cross-cultural understanding and harmony.