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G-B CM denies boycotting Shandur festival

GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman has denied that the region boycotted Shandur Polo Festival.

The announcement comes days after various sections of the media claimed G-B had boycotted the festival and decided to organise the event separately in Shandur.

“We haven’t decided to boycott the festival,” a statement quoted Rehman as saying. He added the festival will be arranged jointly by the G-B and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governments.

The chief minister said the festival will be a success as 10 Corps commander and Force Command Northern Areas commander are taking a keen interest in it.

Rehman added Frontier Constabulary personnel will supervise the event and a meeting of the staff concerned will be held after Eidul Fitr. The festival attracts thousands of national and international tourists every year in Shandur – a disputed territory between G-B and Chitral as it is claimed by both the regions.

Shandur festival has been organised since 1930. It is usually held in July but this year the dates had to be revised due to Ramazan.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2016.

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