CHITRAL: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has earmarked Rs120 million for the repair and extension of eight polo grounds in Upper Chitral and seven in Lower Chitral district.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA Wazir Zada told mediapersons here on Saturday that polo was the major traditional game of Chitral, which also attracted local and foreign tourists to the area.

He said that during the former princely state every major village of Chitral had a polo ground as its integral part, but afterwards successive governments did not pay heed to the maintenance of the facilities.

Mr Wazir Zada claimed that it was the PTI government which started efforts to revive the traditional game of polo as part of its endeavours to bring about revolutionary changes in tourism sector. He said that the government was taking practical steps to rehabilitate the grounds in 15 villages across Chitral.

He said that the polo grounds of Chitral city, Drosh, Garam Chashma, Gobor, Susoom, Prayeet and Barenis in Lower Chitral and that of Reshun, Barum Oveer, Gohkeer, Kosht, Rayeen, Booni, Laspur and Sonoghur had been included in the rehabilitation project.

He said that in the second phase more polo grounds would be rehabilitated while the players would be provided financial assistance so that they could carry on with this costly game in which one had also to take care of his horse.

The MPA said that Chitral was a major tourist destination and polo had been included in its development plan as the foreign tourists found their tour incomplete without watching the wild and thrilling type of polo match.

He said that a major event of winter sports would be held in February in Madak Lusht valley, which also included skiing and other snow-related folk games.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2019

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