Peshawar: Gilgit-Baltistan has decided to end its boycott of Shandur Polo Festival, the three-day sporting event held every year at the world highest polo ground located in Chitral, a district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
It is to be mentioned here that last year Gilgit-Baltistan stayed away from the internationally acclaimed Shandur Polo Festival, due to the lingering row over the ownership of the ground and meadows of Shandur. Gilgit-Baltistan claims ownership of the ground and pastures, saying that these had been integral part of Gilgit-Baltistan since British era.
Member reconciliation committee, Sardar Hussain, said on Wednesday that Gilgit-Baltistan had decides to end the boycott of the festival and would participate in the event. Sardar, who is a local PPP leader from chitral, said GB decided to end its boycott of the event after successful negotiations between the reconciliation committees of GB and Chitral. The three-day sporting festival is held every year during the second week of July at Shandur, the world’s highest polo ground located at 12,000 feet above the sea level. The main feature of the festival is the free-style polo match between the teams of Gilgit and Chitral.
Besides exciting polo matches, the festival also features folk music, dancing, horse back riding, mountaineering, hiking and exploring, attracting large numbers of tourists from across the country and abroad. Besides the festival, the picturesque valley of chitral offers great attractions for the tourists amid its exemplary peace and tranquility. The valley also houses the pre animist pagan tribe of Kalash people, who are believed to be the descendants the army of Alexander the Great.