Visitors, polo teams assured of facilities

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtun- khwa Senior Minister Muhammad Atif Khan said on Saturday that every facility would be provided to the foreign and domestic tourists and participating teams to make the annual Shandur Polo Festival a success.

“The provincial government is trying to hold the three-day gala in a befitting manner to attract more tourists and visitors to the traditional game,” he told a meeting held in connection with the arrangements for the Shandur festival here.

MPA from Chitral Wazirzada, Secretary Sports & Tourism Rashid Mehmood, Chitral Deputy Commissioner Khurshid Mahsud, Polo Association president Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk and other stakeholders attended the meeting.

The participants discussed a number of suggestions, including contacting private and multinational firms, to hire their services for the festival.

A committee comprising officials of Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chitral DC and other stakeholders was constituted to have consultations and take decisions for appropriate arrangements for the gala.

The senior minister, who also has the portfolio of Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Museums, Culture and Youth Affairs, said that the festival would provide an opportunity of great thrill and enjoyment to the tourists, spectators and fans of the polo game.

He said that Lowari Tunnel would be kept open round-the-clock, while special flights would be arranged for the transportation of tourists to Chitral from Islamabad and Peshawar airports before and during the festival.

He said the festival would be unique as the local artisans and skilled entrepreneurs would also be provided an opportunity to showcase their products besides polo game, traditional music and dances and adventurous activities in the gala.

The official said that rafting in the Shandur Lake, paragliding, archery and kite flying would be other features of the event to attract domestic and foreign tourists.

In addition to setting up camping village, stalls would be established to highlight and promote the artworks of people from Chitral and Gilgit.

The game is internationally known since it is played at the highest polo ground of the world at Shandur Pass in Chitral.

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