Gilgit, June 12: The government of Gilgit-Baltistan has decided to boycott the upcoming Shandur Festival. The decision was announced today at a press conference addressed by Sadia Danish, Information and Sports Minister Sadia Danish.
She said that the Chitral administration and the KPK government failed to favorably respond to a letter sent by the Gilgit-Baltistan government seeking equal share in the management of the world-famous polo festival.
She also said that the GB government will organize a mega polo festival in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, both, claim ownership of the Shandur, including the pologround, situated at more than 12,000 ft above the sea level.
The GB Information Minister said that KPK has illegally occupied parts of the Gilgit-Baltistan in Shandur and Kohistan. She demanded of the federal government to form a boundary commission to resolve the issue. She said the Shandur is part of Gilgit-Baltistan and the GBians will not go to their land as guests.
The tournament had been cancelled last year due to poor condition of roads in the wake of floods and rain related disasters.
The Shandur Festival is held annually in the second week of July. This year the date had been changed due to the month of Ramzan, in which the Muslims fast.
The Shandur polo festival was scheduled to start from 20th June, eight days from now. The announcement has come as a disappointment for polo enthusiasts who visit Shandur to see the teams from Gilgit and Chitral play against each other.