Suggestions for Shandur festival 2024

CHITRAL: Two weeks still to go for the Shandur Polo festival and the ‘preparations’ for it can already be visibly observed. Firstly, a festival set to be held on a 12500 ft plateau with natural environment all around need not have any artificial arrangements, which spoil the beauty of the place and the festival both. Military trucks can already be seen rolling up the road to Shandur, as happens every year on the occasion, since the time of Musharraf -What for? Is there a military operation going to be carried out there? If there is such a dire requirement of security for watching a polo game, which warrants movement of military personnel and hardware then it is better not to have such a festival in such an environment, or the concerned VIPs who need such ‘security’ should not participate. After all, the expenses in the name of ‘security’ is borne by the public exchequer and even a child knows that the country is bleeding with the wounds inflicted on the economy due to such ‘faqa mastees’ resulting in parabolic inflation and rise in poverty level.

Polo matches are held in the polo grounds of Chitral, Drosh, Booni etc where even VIPs participate as spectators but no such exaggerated arrangements of security are witnessed. Even at the time of writing this report a polo tournament is going on in Chitral polo ground with thousands of spectators but no overbearing security trucks or personnel in uniform etc are visible- then why at Shandur? The most probable reason is that VIPs of both Military and Civil nature wish to visit Shandur with their families and friends and thus a show of opulence and extravagance in the form of nauseating protocol is laid out for them and the mask to justify it is called ‘Security’.

It is hoped that this year the authorities both civil and military, would learn from past reactions of people to the unjustified protocol in the guise of security and bite a bit of the humble pie that is all what is left on the table for Pakistan. ..CN report, 13 June 2024

7 thoughts on “Suggestions for Shandur festival 2024

  1. “I completely agree with this suggestion! The Shandur festival is a cultural event that brings people together and showcases the beauty of the region. It’s essential to prioritize the safety and enjoyment of the general public over the security concerns of VIPs. The festival should not be turned into a VIP spectacle, where the focus is on their presence and security protocols, rather than the cultural celebrations. If VIPs feel insecure, they can choose not to attend, but the festival should not be compromised for their sake. Let the festival remains a joyous celebration for the people, by the people and of the people! And let’s also end the practice of using security as a pretext to privilege VIPs and their families, while inconveniencing the general public.”

  2. Sir all this gives a very negative image of Pakistan to the few foreigners who make it to shandur. The forces should neither go to shandur nor make their team participate in the event. Let it be a civilian affair with civil teams from both sides competing against each other.

  3. This VIP culture by officials is going way overboard in every way. It not only frustrates the local enthusiasts but also leaves a bad taste at the culmination of this lovely festival. Locals can take first step against their Civil officials and surely the Army will quit behind them..

  4. Very well written based on facts but who will listen to you as Pakistan is for ‘ashrafias’. “Ye watan tumhara hai, ham hain khamakha is mey…”

  5. Let us admit to one reason for the thriving ugly VIPsm at Shandur is that the people of Chitral are fond of VIPs. Surprising it may seem but true to the core that some locals visiting Shandur festival are equally eager to see VIPs and their protocol as they are eager about the game itself. May be a manifestation of longtime history of servitude and restricted living in the mountains.

    1. The editorial is good in addressing an important matter. All comments are pertinent but Farid ul Haq is the best.

  6. Learn from what happened in Azad Kashmir and change your protests from talk to action , Chitral despite being the biggest district of KP has been treated like a step child where officialdom and their cohorts call the shots.

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