Shandur Polo Festival: Meeting reviews arrangements for 3-day eventBreaking

June 11, 2024

Chaired by Advisor to the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tourism and Culture Zahid Chanzeb, a high-level meeting on Monday reviewed the arrangements for the upcoming three-day annual Shandur Polo Festival to attract more tourists to the spectacular event starting from June 28. Secretary Tourism Mohammad Bakhtiar Khan, Director General Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA) Barkatullah Marwat and officials concerned attended the meeting. Commissioner Malakand Division and Deputy Commissioners of Chitral Upper and Lower and Dir upper, Additional Chief Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan, local administrative officers and Sports Officials participated the meeting online. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur will be the chief guest of the Shandur Polo Festival that will begin on June 28. During the festival, polo teams from Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan will participate on this 12,000-ft high Polo Ground, the highest in the world.

In addition to the representation of the federal government of both provinces, foreign tourists are also expected to participate in this grand sports gala. After reviewing various aspects of arrangements as well as suggestions and recommendations put forth by the participants, necessary decisions were taken to finalize the foolproof arrangements in this regard. Zahid Chanzeb clarified that the KP government was paying special attention to the development of the tourism sector and the successful holding of Shandur Polo Festival would be a test case not only for the tourism department but also for the entire provincial government and administrative machinery of the government. The CM aide said that before the launch of this extravaganza, the clearance of all the relevant highways, security, availability of quality food items and fuel in sufficient quantity at the petrol pumps was the foremost duty of the concerned authorities and institutions. Not a single incident of negligence would be tolerated in this respect, he cautioned.

He also directed the concerned deputy commissioners to hold separate meetings with the players of the teams participating in the polo tournament and the locals and elite to take them into confidence to make the festival a success story in all respects.He also instructed the players to put the best logos on the shirts so that tourism and culture branding flourished in the province. “The increase in domestic and foreign tourists, the province’s income, especially foreign exchange, is expected to continuously increase,” he asserted. In the same way, he said, potable water, washroom facilities and good sanitary arrangements are also indispensable in all the vicinity of the festival. The officials assured the Advisor Tourism to work round the clock with all their abilities for the success of the Shandur Polo Festival and clarified that they will not disappoint the provincial government at any stage because the development of tourism will help the province prosper and flourish economically.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan