Barbed wire at Shandur- what a paradox!

Military vehicles at Shandur, five days before the festival.. photo credit Akhlaq Ud-din Qazi

CHITRAL: According to reports, barbed wire fencing and barriers are being set up at the highest in the world Shandur polo ground (12000 ft AMSL) for the on coming three day festival starting in a few days. This is not the first time, rather has been happening for the last three decades in the name of security. Before that Shandur polo was an open public event without any barricades and security barriers.

The point to think about seriously is that at what cost is ‘security’ being ensured at a polo match?. Can our country afford such luxury (aka ‘faaqa masti’) at a time when the country is about to go bankrupt. Who will be paying for the heavy fuel guzzling vehicles plying up and down in the name of security and protocol?.

In countries which solely rely on tourism e.g Thailand etc, where every inch of the cities are populated with tourists and visitors, one doesn’t see a single uniformed security person any where, although the security measures there are fool proof. Instead of fencing and displaying uniformed personnel they have an efficient network of spies and secret service persons in civil uniform who mingle with the tourists and don’t scare them. When there is a suspect of any sort needing apprehension the suspect is dealt with smartly and efficiently without disturbing the other people. Why can’t we adopt smart measures instead of following primitive ways.

As concerns Shandur, it should be left to private parties to arrange and manage the festival. No expenditure of any sort from the government should be allocated for it as most of the money is squandered/frittered. .. CN report, 27 June 2022

8 thoughts on “Barbed wire at Shandur- what a paradox!

  1. You can’t be more right CN. Barbed wire and armed uniformed men have taken away the essence for which people would travel from all over the world to see our original form of polo being played at the worlds highest polo ground. Our free style game used to match our free crowds who watched and cheered their favourite players without the need for any of the ” security” that we see these days.
    And you are so right about the un necessary expenditure being incurred on transporting this ” security” up and down Shandur Pass for no use or need of the public.
    I wish you had added the recent addition of fireworks which is totally alien to our pristine environment and very harmful to the wild life not accustomed to the bombardment of noise and light exploding in glaciated mountain slopes.
    Well done for bringing up this issue at the right time.

  2. Fencing in Shandur is simply awkward. One travels all the way up to over 12000 feet height only to be caged there for three days, is this not ridiculous; and yes, this time we expect that the tranquility of nature and wildlife will not be terrified by the unscrupulous fireworks.

  3. On one hand the people are being burdened with more and more taxes causing inflation every day, while on the other hand there is no let up in the extravagant expenditures in the name of so called security and protocol. We are not willing to learn any lesson, alas!

  4. Zbardast!. It has been more of a military show off rather than a polo festival for the last so many decades.. Public is harassed in the name of security.

  5. Tourism and security checks don’t go together besides our only attraction as a tourist destination are our scenic locations which are fast losing their appeal because we lack civic sense not to despoil the serenity of our natural spots. What precious little wildlife survives is being constantly threatened by our exploding population,add to that fireworks and soon the only animals one will see are our two legged denizens.

  6. The Shandur Festival became entertainment for military and civil servants of Pakistan. It is unfortunate that a country is near bankruptcy and unnecessary spending are at its peak by military and civil servants.
    A 10-grade proper educated student will think 1000 times before they do these types of nonsense work, they must think about their country.
    Simply, all the people of GB and Chitral must boycott these types of events. We have seen in polo tournament Chitral, that all the VIP chairs were for government employees. Ideally it could be for the promoters and investors who invest in Chitral.
    I can say the tournaments must be outsourced and must be source of income rather burden on our beloved country Pakistan.
    We are paying the salaries of these people, their spending increasing on luxuries, you cannot talk to them, they are different creatures. Where will be the end????
    The Shandur Festival has wiped away the entire tourist flow due to its miss managed way and showing the bad image of Chitral by military and civil people.
    I had a discussion with on hotel owner last week in Bumburet. He told that the SHO ordered to submit the tourist details to the police station on daily basis by the hotel owner personally. Is this is a tourism development measure?.
    It is important to highlight that the distance is increasing between a common citizen and the military and civil servants. They must think of their mistakes and think about the country.

  7. So, with these military and civil servants can Pakistan move forward? NO – Big No. How irresponsible are these people, how unfortunate is our beloved country? In a small district of Pakistan, they make corruption – why the vehicles were there why barbed wire have been purchased and installed? how many of these people’s families were there. We want proper accountability, look the condition of the roads, the hotels are empty, look the incident of Reshun and Mastuj.

    This is our right to question them – and hope the money have been allocated must be published, where it has been spent.

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