Shandur polo festival to attract foreign tourists, says official

Updated May 24, 2019

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Arrangements for the festival were discussed during a meeting chaired by tourism secretary Kamran Rehman. — APP/File
Arrangements for the festival were discussed during a meeting chaired by tourism secretary Kamran Rehman. — APP/File

PESHAWAR: The three-day annual Shandur polo festival will begin at the world’s highest polo ground in Chitral on July 7.

Arrangements for the festival were discussed during a meeting chaired by tourism secretary Kamran Rehman here on Thursday.

An official statement said the Shandur polo festival would be organised in a befitting manner to attract both domestic and foreign tourists to the scenic region in large numbers.

“This year, the number of foreign and domestic tourists will be great compared to the yesteryears as peace has completely been restored in the province and the condition of acquiring no objection certificate for the international tourists has already been withdrawn,” the secretary said.

He said boarding and lodging facilities would be provided to both foreign and domestic tourists.

The secretary said scores of foreign tourists recently visited Kalash valleys and enjoyed the Chilimjusht festival.

He said the district government of Chitral, police, Pakistan Army and other institutions would help organise the event at the world’s highest polo ground in a peaceful manner.

The secretary said the relevant departments had been told to renovate polo ground, ensure smooth water supply and transport facility, provide other facilities to the teams, fans and tourists, and hold meetings with stakeholders.

He said Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral teams would participate in the event.

The statement said rafting in Shandur lake, paragliding, archery and kite flying would attract domestic and foreign tourists to the event in large numbers.

It added that besides a camping village, stalls would also be established to highlight and promote the works of Chitral and Gilgit’s artists and skilled people.

The Tourism Department has already launched a campaign in print, electronic and social media to promote the festival.

The statement said foreigners with valid tourist visa could go places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Chitral.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2019