Islamabad, July 5: An ownership dispute between the governments of Gilgit – Baltistan and Khyber – Pukhunkhwa deepened after negotiators failed to agree on a consensus decisions yesterday. Revenue Minister of GB, Muhammad Ali Akhtar, announced boycott of the tournament after KPK refused to accept four demands of the GB government. He also said that the horses and teams of Gilgit will be asked to return from Shandur.
Population Welfare Minister of KPK who represented his province in the negotiations said that resolution of the Shandur Dispute is beyond his reach and authority. He said that a high level committee has already been setup at the federal level to find a peaceful resolution of the long standing ownership row. He hoped that the festival will be held according to schedule.
The world famous Shandur Polo Festival (Mela) is scheduled to start on 7th July and culminate on 9th July. Polo teams from Gilgit and Chitral have been traditionally playing for the championship trophy held every year at Shandur, the world’s highest polo ground.
Shandur is situated between Ghizar district of Gilgit – Baltistan and Chitral district of KPK.