Home > Uncategorized > [Insight] Shandur Polo Festival: Symbol of Peace and Friendship in a time of grea turbulence

[Insight] Shandur Polo Festival: Symbol of Peace and Friendship in a time of grea turbulence


 

Shandur-Polo-Match-001

Amid grim news reports of Taliban attacks on poor, helpless, Chitrali travelers the Shandur Polo festival is carried out with traditional fervor and happiness.

Our comrades in the Paktunkhuwa province are undergoing a very tough and difficult period of their history when they are engulfed by violence of all sorts: the Taliban on the one hand and the imperial forces on the other. Poor, peace-loving and progressive people are caught up in the middle of this disastrous battle that seems to be going on without an end in sight.

Like many summers this year’s festival saw Polo teams from Gilgit and Chitral play the game with enthusiasm. This game is a testament of the cultural relationship and brotherly bond between the people of Giligit-Baltistan and Chitral. Sport has always been an arena of peaceful engagement and friendship and we hope that Polo would serve as a gesture of peace and we at GBPost happily like to share few photos from the festival

However it is regrettable that no Pakistani politician turned up this year to witness the occasion however it was left for a military general to be the chief guest: General Tariq Khan.

Few days back the district mayor, Maghrifat Shah had expressed his misgivings for holding this year’s Polo on the grounds of security but the festival ended peacefully, again a testament to our peace-loving people both in Gilgit-Baltistan and in Chitral. This is a point for us to be proud that we only want our rights from those who rule our region under the point of the gun.

“They are just creating a fear factor,” said Siraj ul Mulk, a member of the princely family of Chitral. “It’s precisely because of distractions like this that our people are not falling prey to the Taliban.”

We in GB region need people like Siraj who have a desire for peace and development in our region.

Photos by Declan Walsh

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