Chitral: Captain of the winning Chitral team at Shandur polo festival, Shahzada Sikander UlMulk has spoken out against glaring VIPsm at Shandur festival. In a video message he said the government officials should not focus solely on their own comfort and convenience at the festival but instead do something for the comfort and convenience of the thousands of spectators who come from far and wide on their own expense to witness the game. The YouTube video is produced below
.. by? Col(r) Ikram Ullah Khan
It was a nice experience to watch on PTV the most thrilling and exciting polo match between Chitral “A” and GB “A” teams played at Shandur polo ground, the highest polo ground in the world. It was really refreshing both to the mind and the eyes to witness such a spirited competition. Both the traditional rivals displayed exemplary feat of agility and spirit of sportsmanship and good standard of professionalism.
In sports it doesn’t matter who wins and who loses as victory and defeat is part of the game but it does matter how the players behave while playing. It reminds me of a most famous saying which goes: “It doesn’t matter what happens to you but it does matter how you behave while it is happening to you”.
I am happy that both the teams have conducted themselves gracefully and have displayed a reasonably good standard of sportsmanship and professionalism which was very much expected out of them.
My special praise goes to GB team for evincing consummate skill and ingenuity, and for putting up a tough fight. They made a last-ditch attempt in the last few seconds to equalize the score but couldn’t succeed. Nonetheless, they proved that they are really doughty fighters.
I would like to congratulate Shahzada Sikendar Ulmulk and his team for their outstanding performance and bringing laurels to Chitral once again thus making us glow with pride. He has proved that he richly deserves the position he has been holding for the last four decades. He has lived up to our expectations and has succeeded in defeating his critics and antagonistic elements.
It may be pertinent to mention here that this year the number of spectators was overwhelming and surpassed the number of yesteryears despite the pathetic condition of Booni-Shandur road that has remained an unfinished project for the last three decades. It makes one’s blood boiled to see the dilapidated condition of the lone road leading to Shandur and onwards to GB.
This time worst kind of traffic jam was witnessed at different places on Shandur road due to roadblock and the travellers had to undergo traumatic experience that has conveyed a negative message to the tourists. Next time they will think hundred times before embarking upon a journey to Shandur via this road.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports needs to understand that Chitral has a tremendous potential for tourism and its future lies in the development of tourism. In order this to happen,? there is a dire need to improve the communication infrastructure.
The govt is requested to pay immediate attention towards this long lingering issue and take necessary steps to ensure that work on Booni-Shandur and Booni-Torkhow roads resumes without further delay. PTI govt has no option but to deliver and in order to put the swing of the pendulum in its favour, it will have to go the extra mile to convince the? public that it has both the will and the capacity to deliver.
Chitral: Shandur Polo festival had a throbbing climax when the Chitral A and Gilgit A teams fought it out neck to neck till the finish when Chitral put the ball through the goalpost in the dying moment of the match to win the Cup by a short head i.e a lead of one goal.
In the first half of the match Chitral team led by by five goals against two of Gilgit appearing the clearly stronger side. In the second half however Gilgit came on strong and equaled the score at 5-5. All this time Chitral was mostly on the attacking side but failed to convert many attacks into goals while the Gilgit players did not miss the chances they got.. The Gilgit players showed good stick work and control over the ball. However merit outshone finally when Chitral led by Shahzada Sikander Ul Mulk was rewarded with the winning goal, seconds before the trumpet blew. Izhar Ali stood out as top scorer from Chitral side scoring five out of six goals.
The final match was telecasted by PTV news. Prime minister was expected to witness the final game but his program got cancelled at the last moment due to his urgent commitments. Corps Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood was the Chief guest on the occasion.
One feature that was quite visible in the match as in previous Shandur festivals, was the good number of uniformed personnel visible witnessing the game as spectators. Military uniform is highly respected and venerated in Pakistan, however,? too many uniformed personnel in a civil festival looks a little odd. In countries where tourism is their main economy e.g Thailand, Turkey etc, there is strict vigilance by security staff, cameras etc on beaches and public places, but no uniformed person can be seen by tourists. All the duty personnel are in civvies and behave like tourists and mix with them while carrying out their vigilance. It is therefore hoped that this point will be considered in future Shandur and other festivals. .. CN report, 09 Jul 2019
.. by Col (r) Ikram Ullah Khan
It is learnt that Chief Minister KPK has traveled to Shandur today by chopper to grace the inaugural ceremony of Shandur festival as Chief guest. As Chief executive of the province, he should have traveled to Shandur by road to see the road conditions on the ground. It is pathetic on the part of PTI local leadership not to play its due role in this regard. People must get hold of them.
However, everything is not lost. Still they have a good opportunity to grab as PM is expected to grace the closing ceremony of the festival as? Chief guest. This is an opportune moment for our local political leadership to ensure that PM travels at least one way journey to Shandur to see for himself the dilapidated conditions of communication infrastructure in Chitral particularly the miserable condition of Booni-Shandur road which has been put into backburner since the day he has come to power. He is requested to look into the matter seriously and issue immediate orders to restart the project without further delay as it serves as a lifeline for the people of Chitral besides having strategic importance.
This is high time our local political leadership woke up from deep slumber and play its due role to redeem their past delinquencies.
Here I would urge Siraj Ulmulk sahib to chip in as a member of PM’s committee on tourism and prevail upon the PM to take practical measures to ameliorate the sufferings of the people of Chitral by taking immediate practical steps instead of mere empty political rhetoric so that it becomes visible to the people that they are living in “Naya Pakistan” otherwise people would be forced to think that “Purana Pakistan” was much better than this “Naya Pakistan”.
Chitral: As per the desire of polo fans, choice of the selection committee and general public of Chitral, Shahzada Sikander Ul Mulk was re- instated as captain of Chitral ‘A’ team to play against Gilgit Baltistan ‘A’ team. The deadlock over the issue prevailing for the last few days souring the atmosphere in Chitral turned pleasant when the decision was made at a meeting chaired by the Commissioner Malakand division. It is now hoped that the Shandur festival will be held in traditional spirit of unity and goodwill.. .. CN report, 04 Jul 2019
Chitral: A meeting was called by the district Nazim Chitral and MPA to review the preparations for the forthcoming Shandur festival. Elected Nazimeen, heads of different organisations, unions? and civil society members were present on the occasion. The most prominent point of consensus in the meeting was that it was an occasion when Chitral’s problems could be presented to the VIPs visiting the festival -? This is a display of a rather unhealthy and slavish mindset indeed and it has been the hall mark of Chitral for decades.
What has a festival got to do with presentation of problems? Are the VIP’s unapproachable on normal days or more still are our institutions useless and we have to rely on a VIP’s visit/whims to solve our problems? The answer unfortunately is Yes!.
Whether we like it or not we have to acknowledge that Chitralis as a people suffer from low self esteem. Instead of toiling out and standing for our due rights where needed, we prefer to stoop for aid, help, grant, assistance etc which in other words can be called an addiction for easy money.
The Shandur festival is a blessing for Chitral as it promotes the area and the sport. It should be left at being that. Flattering of VIPs or presenting a long list of problems to the visitors may pamper them for a moment but in after thoughts? it certainly does not leave a good impression on them. Let the visitors enjoy the festival and go. Problems should be taken up through proper channel of approach later on. .. CN report, 04 Jul 2019
Chitral: Despite the District Nazim releasing a press statement saying the Shandur deadlock had been resolved only to be denied by the President Polo Association saying he did not know anything about the settlement, it is hoped by all that the Imbroglio over the selection of polo teams would be resolved amicably any time as early as tomorrow when the divisional Commissioner is also likely to visit Chitral. Earlier in the day President Chitral Polo Association Shahzada Sikander Ul Mulk at a press conference condemned certain ‘uncalled for’ slogans raised by some unknown persons in the rally held by the Polo Association a day earlier. .. CN report, 03 Jul 2019
Chitral: Four polo teams comprising of civilian players listed for Shandur festival have announced their boycott of the event. Addressing a crowded press conference the president of the Chitral Polo Association Shahzada Sikander Ul Mulk flanked by senior members of the association and veteran polo players accused the Deputy Commissioner lower Chitral? of over ruling the decision of the selection committee and arbitrarily removing his name from the team despite the selection team approving him as captain of the A team. He also suggested that in future the establishment players form their separate teams and let the civilians choose their team as has been the practice in Chitral in the past.
Five of the eight members of the selection committee including Sub Maj ret Zafar Ali Shah, Sub Maj ret Faqir Muhammad, Muhammad Azam, Abdullah Jan and Nasir Ali were present alongside the President Polo Association. Earlier the polo players took out a rally chanting slogans of “boycott Shandur festival”. ..? CN report, 02 Jul 2019
Chitral: According to the list of Chitral’s teams announced for the Shandur polo matches against GB province, one evergreen player is most conspicuous by his absence -Shahzada Sikandar Ul Mulk. It appears, watching the Shandur Cup match without Sikandar would be like eating an egg without salt. Sikandar Ul Mulk has been an icon of polo in Chitral and in all merit if any one person deserved the credit for keeping polo alive in Chitral, nourishing it and getting it to this stage, it would be this man. As a captain he never let down his team and sweeping victories against Gilgit over all these years owe much to his master strokes, nimble stick work and most of all to his inspiring leadership.
Not discussing the reasons for his not playing in the Shandur matches, the 62 year old symbol of polo deserves the accolades and the appreciation he has earned after sacrificing so much for polo. Since childhood polo has been a passion with him and instead of pursuing higher studies, opting for the best of jobs he could have easily got or doing full time business, he devoted his full time to the promotion of polo in Chitral. He calls it “labour of love”.
It is expected that polo fans and the people of Chitral will give to him what he deserves -full honour, respect and acknowledgement. .. CN report, 01 Jul 2019
Chitral; A meeting of District Polo Association chaired by it’s president Shahzada Sikander Ul Mulk has threatened to boycott the forth coming District polo tournament and then the Shandur festival, if it’s demands are not met. Demands include payment of overdue compensatory allowance to polo players who are supporting the expensive game on own expenses.
A large number of polo players attended the meeting and fully agreed with the president of the association. The district administration was represented by Hayat Shah AD finance and Abdul Rehmat DSO Chitral who promised to convey the genuine demands of the polo players to the higher authorities. .. CN report, 03 Jun 2019