Afghan, Tajikistani teams to be invited to polo festival

GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan tourism minister Fida Khan on Thursday said the teams of Afghanistan and Tajikistan would be invited to the annual Shandur polo festival to celebrate it as an international event.

The minister told Dawn that preparations for the three-day event to be held in the second week of June were in full swing.

He said the event would be colourful this year to attract foreign and national tourists.

The minister said the Shandur polo festival would held at an altitude of more than 10,000 feet above the sea level in Laspur valley’s lash green pastures located on the GB-KP border.

Since GB and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have a dispute over the area, the festival is organised jointly by the two governments.

Mr Fida said the festival as an international event would promote tourism in the country.

He said all arrangements for the festival would be finalised after he met his KP counterpart.

The minister said 20 new horses had been bought for GB polo teams, while players and horses were undergoing training.

He said besides free style polo competitions between GB and Chitral teams, paragliding and cultural programme would also be part of the event.

Mr Fida said the inclusion of more items in the festival had been proposed to make the event more colourful.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2019

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