PESHAWAR - The famous three-day Shandur Polo Festival will commence from today (Friday) in district Chitral sans Gilgit-Baltistan team which boycotted the event.

The district administration has said that all the necessary arrangements for the smooth holding of the event has been finalised and it will commence as per schedule, despite the boycott by the GB team. The festival will be held at the highest (3,734 meters) polo ground of the world. Besides polo matches, traditional dances and other colourful events will also be held.

This year, the GB has refused to participate in the festival owing to ownerships dispute over the Shandur polo ground. The government of the GB was of the view that Shandur polo ground was a disputed area between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and GB. The GB government asked the administration of Chitral district to allow it to make arrangements for the festival. Deputy Commissioner Chitral Aminul Haq, while talking to media, has said that provincial government was determined to hold the event on its scheduled date keeping in view the enthusiasm of the game lovers and arrival of tourists to the venue in large numbers.

He said that the festival might be a low profile affair this year due to boycott of the GB team, but it would still provide the level of entertainment and joy the people had been waiting for.