PESHAWAR: The Chitral polo team thrashed the Gilgit-Baltistan team in a thrilling finale and clinched the coveted trophy on the last day of the three-day annual Shandur Polo Festival at Shandur in Chitral.
Besides exciting polo matches, the mega event also showcased traditional, cultural and adventurous activities, including fireworks, music and dances at evening at the world highest polo ground at Shandur.
Corps Commander Peshawar, Lt-Gen Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood was the chief guest at the concluding ceremony. Corps commander and Senior Minister for Sports and Tourism Atif Khan later gave away trophy to the winning team and distributed prizes among the players.
Members National Assembly Abdul Akbar Khan Wazirzada, Malakand Division Commissioner Riaz Mehsud, IG FC, Tourism Corporation Managing Director Junaid Khan, officials of Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral Scouts and Chitral district administration were also present.
In the final match, the Chitral team beat Gilgit-Baltistan team with 6 goals against 5 and clinched the trophy of the polo tournament.
The first half of the match was very exciting as the Chitral team scored 5 goals in a jiffy while Gilgit-Baltistan got just two goals.
The players of Gilgit-Baltistan team tried hard and gave tough time to Chitral team in a bid to at least level the goals during the first half of the match.
However, they did not succeed in their repeated attempts to poll more goals.
In the second half, the Chitral team scored one more goal while the Gilgit-Baltistan team got three goalsafter a tough contest.
Shadi Khan of the Chitral team scored three goals and declared man of the match.
The spectators and fans of the game lauded both the teams for outstanding performance.
Besides the polo teams of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan, Laspur, Mastuj and Ghizer teams also participated in the polo tournament.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had inaugurated the festival on July 7.
Compared to yester years, the event attracted an increased number of polo players, fans, tourists, both foreign and domestic, and local populace from Chitral, Gilgit-Baltistan and adjoining districts of Malakand division this year.
Also, the visitors enjoyed several other features and folk games of the event in daytime including archery, paragliding, rafting in the Shandur lake and kite flying. Nights were kept brightened and enlivened with huge fireworks and traditional music by local artistes and singers.
A group of children from Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan enthralled the visitors with national songs on the concluding day.
In addition to music and cultural evenings and traditional dances, the local artisans and skilled entrepreneurs and other stakeholders showcased their products and traditional foods during the event.
A tented village established to facilitate the tourists and highlight and promote the artworks of the Chitral and Gilgit local artists and skilled people.
The provincial government had taken solid steps for organizing the Shandur Polo Festival in a befitting manner.
District Government Chitral, police, Pak Army and other institutions provided security to hold the gala peacefully.
The game has got international fame, which is being played at the highest polo ground of the world at Shandur Pass in Chitral.
Chitral is the most peaceful region and it attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists annually, especially during the Shandur and Kalash festivals.