The Shandoor Debate

by Sarwar Kamal, Chitral


The Shandoor polo festival is the only mega international event in Pakistan which is attracting thousands of foreign tourists every year. The word Shandoor Is derived from two chitrali native words. Shahan is the plural of king while door stands for home or house in Chitrali native language shahndoor has been a very famous picnic spot for different rulers of the chitral. The members of the royal family used to play polo here in Shandoor for centuries. Shandoor is termed as a piece of paradise on earth due to its natural scenic beauty and landscape. According to many local and foreign tourists it offers the most magical and romantic view in the word to its visitors. Shandoor polo ground is the Highest polo Ground in the word because it is situated and altitude of 12 thounds feet above sea level. This mega event in Shandoor is showcasing the real soft image and the culture of Pakistan at the world stage. We can say that the shandoor event is the real sprit and real face of Pakistan because this event is negating the negative general perception about Pakistan globally.

Shandoor has been an integral part of chitral historically, geographically and legally for centuries. The people of laspoor have been using shandoor as there pastures for centuries. According to 1975 gazette notification the ownership of the land of the shandoor territory belongs to chitral. From 1947 to 2015 chitral has been the sole organizer of numerous polo tournaments here on different occasions. As expected once again the anti state elements are very active to create an environment of anger and fear by targeting this graceful event. Since 2010 and there is an environment of tension and confrontation between the Chitral and the GB site over the ownership of the land of shandoor.

The position and stance of GB on moral and legal ground is very weak. The situation is getting very alarming. The situation took a dramatic change when the GB administration violated the sanctity of the territorial integrity and security of Chitral. They want to construct illegal shelters without the permission of the KP Government. The GB as a de facto province (having its own legislative assembly,having its own CM and governor, 32 billion rupees were allocated to GB from the faderation) miss used his powers and resources against chitral which is the most remote and backward area of Pakistan. These developments are provoking the peaceful people of laspur and chitral towards aggression. Through your esteemed newspaper I am addressing PM Nawaz Sharif and GB CM and Governor. That there was a great possibility of an unpleasant situation. It is high time that there should be proper investigation to expose the responsible people.

The KP Government and the elected members from chitral were not able to safeguard the rights of the people of chitral as far as Shandur is concerned. The provisional and the local Government Assembly at least can pass a unanimous resolution reflecting the feelings of Chitral as far as this issue is concerned. There may be several motives and objectives behind these aggressive designs. Our enemy India is always trying to destabilise Pakistan internally. Pak China Economic Corridor is game changer in the region. There is great possibility that the main architect behind this conspiracy is RAW.

The people of Chitral are the most peace full, educated, hospitable, and law obeying people in Pakistan. There peaceful coexistence and there interfaith harmony in chitral is also unprecedented in Pakistan. In my opinion our politicians don’t have the guts, capacity, ability, courage and the resilience to solve this issue. It is my humble request that the Army Chief should intervene in this matter to pacify things and to clear the cloud of uncertainty over the chitral as far as its security and peace is concerned we can sacrifice this event but we will not compromise as for as our right of ownership is concerned. We the people of chitral will defend our every inch of land. This event should be cancelled in the best interest of the people of chitral. The allocated funds for this event should be distributed amongst the flood stricken people of urchon.