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Politics spoils enjoyment at Shandur

 CHITRAL, July 10: The tourists in Shandur were irritated by the political speeches made during the interval of polo matches, saying they had gone there to enjoy the festival not to listen to the tedious speeches of politicians. Talking to this correspondent on the occasion of the final match of Shandur polo festival, the people of both Chitral and Gilgit expressed their resentment over the successive speeches of the ministers in the interval which lasted for more than an hour. Haider Ali from Gilgit said it was an obnoxious practice to make the hours of festivities a vapid one by the speeches which no one wants to hear. Categorizing the participants into three, he said one belonged to Gilgit, the other to Chitral and the last one included the tourists from different parts of the country and the foreigners. “The speech of the local leaders addresses only one of the three groups of audience due to their diversity of interests,” he said, adding a speech is quite irrelevant and boring and tiresome for the other two groups. Ajaz Alam from upper Chitral was of the view that politics should be kept away from Shandur as it is a place of joy and merry-making not politics and earning scores. He said the people going to Shandur traveling a long distance and facing the hardships of journey are politically inert and their only destination is enjoyment of the free-style polo match. We grow weary of political wrestling in the print and electronic media where leaders of different political parties hurl accusations on each other and self-aggrandize themselves, he said and no one would like to hear the same rubbish there, he said. Zafar Iqbal, a tourist from Peshawar city, said that he had heard of Shandur festival as a sports event only but he was astonished to hear the long speech of sports minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa followed by slogans of ANP activists in favour of the party. He said that it was for the first time that he heard of long and tiresome political speeches during a sports event when match was in progress and all this will not be a pleasant exercise for a foreigner on the occasion. The people present on the occasion were amazed to see that two ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa retorted each other on the very occasion when sports minister Syed Aqil Shah openly criticized the prime minister for not coming to Shandur. “Mr Salim Khan (minister of PPP) is falsely excusing the inclement weather about arrival of the prime minister while all you see that the weather is sunny today,” he responded to his colleague in the provincial cabinet. A tourist from Astonia, Felix, said the speeches were quite insignificant for him as she did not know their meaning. When the speeches elongated for more than an hour, the polo fans expressed their displeasures by hooting and whistling which forced the chief guest to shorten his speech.–Zahiruddin]]>

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