PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Sunday said that Shandur Polo Festival had now become part and parcel of our culture that attracted thousands of tourists and fans of polo game to this part of the province.
Inaugurating the three-day annual Shandur Polo Festival at the world highest polo ground in Shandur in Chitral distirct, the chief minister said that concerted efforts would be made to further promote the historic polo game and lure more foreign and domestic tourists to the region.
Special Assistant to prime minister on media Iftikhar Durrani, Senior Minister for Sports and Tourism Atif Khan, provincial Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai, Tourism Corporation Managing Director Junaid Khan, IG FC, officials from Chitral Scouts, Gilgit-Baltistan, police and thousands of tourists, fans of polo game and local people were present on the occasion.
Mahmood Khan said that his government was taking tangible steps for the promotion of sports and tourism in the province. He said youth would be supported as they played a vital role in the development of the country.
The chief minister also reviewed arrangements for the festival and urged the organizers to come up to the expectations of tourists, players, fans of the game and local populace.
Earlier TCKP MD Junaid Khan briefed the chief minister about the arrangements made for the festival.
Senior Minister Atif Khan said that camping pods would be installed in Chitral scenic spots to facilitate tourists and visitors. He felicitated the organizers on making better arrangements for the festival.
Chitral A and B teams and Gilgit-Baltistan A and B teams are participating in the spectacular polo festival.
On the first day, the Ghizer polo team beat Laspur team in a thrilling match.
Jointly organised by the TCKP and Chitral district administration, the festival has attracted thousands of foreign and domestic tourists, fans of “King of games and game of kings” – polo – to watch the thrilling matches between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The festival is providing an opportunity of great thrill and enjoyment to the tourists, spectators and fans. The event has also sent a positive message to the outer world about Pakistan.
Besides the polo matches, the local artisans and skilled entrepreneurs are also showcasing their products while traditional foods, music and dances and adventurous activities are also parts of the gala.
Rafting in Shandur Lake, paragliding, archery, fireworks and kite flying are other features of the event, which are attracting domestic and foreign tourists in great numbers.