The government of Gilgit-Baltistan has taken back decision to boycott Shandur Polo Festival after success of talks with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa held in the Federal Capital this past week. According to details, representatives of both Gilgit-Baltistan government and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government agreed to organize the Shandur Polo Festival with equal rights. The talks were held after Gilgit-Baltistan boycotted the world famous event owing to monopoly being created by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Gilgit-Baltistan also had a number of reservations about royalties and management of the event.
According to a statement released by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and later the tourism department of Gilgit-Baltistan, the festival will now be held from 29th July to 31st July 2016 at Shandur top.
Earlier, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had that the event would be held from 23rd to 25th July.
The event will now feature matches between traditional polo rivals Gilgit and Chitral. Activities like traditional dances and paragliding will also be made part of the festival to entertain tourists.
According to an independent tourism analyst, the festival will now attract even more audience as a result of Gilgit-Baltistan’s decision to participate in the festival.
Over a thousand tourists and locals are expected to attend the 3-day long event. Both governments have taken steps to facilitate tourists who will stay in tents overnight.