The government of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has cancelled the famous Shandur Polo Festival this year in light of the damages caused by the recent flooding in the region, reports said.
The decision follows all the holdups and considerations concerning the festival that has attracted thousands of foreign tourists to Chitral in the past.
“This has been officially decided and the festival has been cancelled,” said Ghizer valley’s Deputy Commissioner, Sibtain Ahmed, on Saturday.
It is pertinent to mention here that the KP government recently considered holding the event from Aug. 24 – 26, as per the suggestion put forward by the GB government.
“The decision has been taken in light of the destruction caused by floods, mainly in K-P,” Ahmed said.
According to reports, organizers from KP lately visited Shandur to witness if the area was still appropriate for the polo festival.
On top of the damages caused by flooding, security issues are also said to be a factor in the decision to annul the event. It should be noted that terrorist attacks have augmented manifolds in both GB and KP in recent months.
A militant recently shot dead three security officials probing the assassination of foreign tourists at Nanga Parbat base camp in June.
Shandur Polo Festival attracts almost 11,000 people each year. Besides foreigners, an increasing number of Pakistani celebrities and public figures attend the event. Polo is the event’s central attraction, which is garnished by folk music, dances and a camp village.