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Shandur Polo Festival 2018 to be held from 7th to 9th July

The game of kings and king of games is back at world’s highest polo ground. The annual Shandur Polo Festival 2018 is set to be held on 7th, 8th and 9th July, 2018, at the Shandur Polo Ground.

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

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Shandur Polo Festival 2018

The annual rivalry between the polo teams of Gilgit and Chitral is back at the 3,734 meters altitude polo ground of Shandur. Pakistan Army, police, Federal Constabulary, Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts and other security agencies will help arrange the festival peacefully. Shandur Polo Festival 2018 will take place from 7th to 9th July at the Shandur Polo Ground located between the borders of Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Major decisions were made earlier this month at a meeting that was attended by the representatives of stakeholder organizations. Additional Secretary Babar Khan, Col. Saqib of Frontier Corps, Tourism Corporation Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) Managing Director Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, General Manager Sajjad Hameed, Deputy Commissioner Chitral Irhsad Sudhar, District Police Officer Mansoor Aman, Deputy Secretary Sports Jamshed Khan, President Chitral Polo Association Sikandarul Mulk, Director Culture Ajmal Khan and PIA official Fayyaz Ahmad were among the representatives who attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, the government of Gilgit-Baltistan has also made preparations to facilitate the teams and a huge amount of expected spectators. A tent village has been set up in Shandur where basic lodging facilities will be available.

Fida Khan, Gilgit-Baltistan’s Minister for Tourism Sports and Culture, has said that the festival will help in the promotion of tourism in the region.

Apart from freestyle polo matches, paragliding, traditional dances, and campfires have been arranged. Military-operated SCOM will also provide telecom services during the festival. Pakistan International Airline (PIA) will operate special flights to facilitate domestic and foreign tourists.

Total six teams will participate in the Shandurl Polo Festival 2018, 3 each from Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan. The final match will be played between two best teams from either side. Historically, Chitral has remained dominant in the tournament.

Shandur can be accessed via Gilgit as well as Chitral. After the opening of Lowari Tunnel, the route from Peshawar to Chitral has exceptionally improved, however, the road is in a poor condition between Buni and Laspur.

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Chitral

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Chitral as part of their Royal Tour in Pakistan

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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Chitral, Pakistan
PHOTO CREDITS: WIREIMAGE

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge flew from Islamabad to Chitral on their third day of Royal tour in Pakistan. This is the first royal tour of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton to Pakistan.

The two were welcomed with traditional Chitrali Pakol, a traditional Chitrali cap, and Chitrali Chogha, a traditional long coat in often presented to dignitaries, at the Chitral Airport.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Chitral Airport
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Chitral Airport where they were presented with traditional Chitrali cap and Chitrali Chogha. Photo: WireImage

The royal couple had landed in Islamabad on Monday evening as part of a 5-day long royal tour in Pakistan. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a busy first day in the capital where they had a meeting with Prime  Minister Imran Khan. Earlier, the royal couple visited Islamabad Model College for Girls, a government-run school in the capital city.

Later, the British High Commissioner for Pakistan Thomas Drew hosted a reception for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Pakistan Monument in Islamabad. The royal couple arrived at Pakistan Monument in an auto-rickshaw.

Duchess of Cambridge in Chitrali Cap
The Duchess of Cambridge at Chitral Airport wearing a traditional Chitrali cap and Chitrali Chogha.

The Duke had spoken of the challenges Pakistan faces from climate change at a reception at Pakistan Monument in Islamabad.

“Tomorrow we will be seeing some of these impacts first hand and meeting some of the communities adjusting to the new realities and new challenges that climate change has brought to their towns and villages,” he said.

He further added:

“I hope to learn what more we all can do to help prevent and mitigate this impending global catastrophe.”

William and Kate are also expected to visit Gilgit-Baltistan and the historic city of Lahore as part of their royal tour.

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Chitral

Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Chitral observes International Day of Peace

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AKHSS Chitral

Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Seenlasht, Chitral, organized student activities to commemorate International Day of Peace on September 21, 2019. As a responsible seat of learning imparting educational excellence to the youth in the region, the school focuses both on academic and co-curricular activities.

The activities aim to prepare its students to compete with the challenges offered by the globalized society of today and to make them responsive to the challenges faced by modern society. In doing so, the focus of the school is to bring international dimensions, themes, and activities into the teaching and learning processes of the school by incorporating the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) of the United Nations with the syllabus and students learning outcomes.

These objectives are being met by organizing student activities in collaboration with the British Council’s International School Award initiative and in partnership with national and international Schools. Observance of International Peace Day was one of the 21 such activities the school plans to perform during the academic year 2019.

The Day was observed after 2nd break where students participated in different creative activities to commemorate the world peace day. The guest speaker was Mr. Qazi Salamt, religious Scholar from Chitral and the chief guest was Mr. Sherdoom, manger ITREB lower Chitral and attended by other guests.

Specific activities included Observance of “Minute of Silence”, Presentation by students on the “Charter of Madina”- the earliest document on peace presented 1400 years ago by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH), student’s talk show on the topic, “Peace Education through Pakistan Studies”, student research presentation on “Noble Peace Prize”, and student’s sketch making competition on Noble Peace laureates.

The MoC shedding light on the importance of the day linked it with the theme of the Day for 2019 and said that “Climate Action”-the theme of this year, and campaign for the protection of the environment is in the priority list of the school. “The activities of the school including cleanliness campaign, plantation drive, observance of World Environment Day and World Wild Life Day to name a few, observed by the school this year by involving government departments, civil society and partner school is a witness of the school’s international commitment towards achieving the SDG’s of the UN”, added the comparer.

A faculty member of the School, Mukhtar Ali shared the objectives of the program. The guest speaker explored the notion of peace as propounded in the Quran and in the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He said that “Quran is actually promoting peace by discouraging enmities, fostering fair relations and unity through its various verses”. He shared that the notion of peace has been referred to in the Quran as a “blessing-Rahma”, and students should refer back to the holy Quran if they wish to know the philosophy of Peace.

The chief guest said that to bring peace in the society, the students should focus on their self-transformation and become responsible citizens at the first place and work towards the elimination of all sort of injustice and prejudice, which will result in the permeation of peace in the society. He invited the students to explore the three words, Islam, Musalman and Salam-the three words signifying the faith, its subscribers and their method of interaction-all referring to various dimensions of the notion of peace.

The venue of the program was decorated with students artworks depicting the theme of the day and various SDG’s of the UN. The school is planning to share these activities with a foreign school through the partnership mechanism as envisioned in the British Council’s International School Award initiative.

The program concluded with the words of thanks by the principal of the School Mr. Tufail Nawaz.

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