The Shandur polo festival is again in the news. This time, the provincial government of KP has been trapped in a mire.
After a seminar in Peshawar some irrelevant elements from Peshawar and Gilgit have changed the dates for the Shandur festival. The new schedule is 18 to 20th August 2015. In the month of August, there will be duststorm in Shandur and the scenic beauty will no longer be there. As the holy month of Ramazan starts from 19th June this year, suitable that for the Shandur polo festival will be 6-8th June. As for as the alleged underhand deal between some elements in Gilgit and Peshawar is concerned, this will create unrest among the people.
There will never be sharing of the festival arrangements between two districts. Chitral KP will always be the sole host because it has played host for the last 85 years. Participation of the players of Gilgit was never part of Shandur festival in history. It only started during the rule of General Zia ul Haq.
Shandur festival can be successfully held without the players of Gilgit and we wish this happens. I would like to recall the comments of ANP minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain on July 9, 2012 when he said ” We shall not give up a single inch of our land to anybody else.” Shandur will remain integral part of KP. Irrelevant people from Peshawar and Gilgit have no right to dictate their terms and conditions to the owners of Shandur.
Dr. Inayatullah Faizi