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Thousands enjoy three-day Broghil festival

CHITRAL, Aug 25: The three-day annual Broghil festival concluded on Sunday. The main events of the festival were yak polo, horse polo, buzz kashi, donkey polo, horse race, yak race, horse and cattle show, an exhibition of local cuisine and handicrafts of Wakhi culture and Wakhi musical concerts.

A good number of people from different parts of Chitral and Giglit-Baltistan thronged the venue.

The final of the horse polo was contested between the teams of Broghil and Ishkoman (Gilgit-Baltistan) in which the latter emerged victorious by one goal while in the most enthralling yak polo, Laskhkar Gaz village beat the Chikar village by 4 to 3 goals. The village of Chikar retaliated to their defeat in the yak polo and thrashed the Laskhar Gaz team by 5 to zero goals to clinch the title of donkey polo. The Buz kashi (completing of round circuit carrying a goat carcass by horse rider defending himself against the opponent riders) was won by Anwar Baig of Broghil.

The local cuisine exhibition by the local women attracted the people in which various items of Wakhi food were put at display while a local support organization PUNAR had arranged the items of local handicrafts. The horse and cattle show won a great applaud from the participants in which the live stock of the valley including yak, sheep, ram, goat, cow and ox were made to pass through the elliptical orbit.

The general officer commanding of Swat Division, Major General Javed Mehmud Bukhari, was the chief guest on the occasion who announced to include the festival in the calendar of events to be held every year.

He eulogized the efforts of Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a number of NGOs, including SRSP, AKRSP and Thrive, for extending support to Chitral Scouts to hold the event. On this occasion, he unveiled the plaque of ground-breaking ceremony of the construction of micro hydro power station by SRSP in the valley which happened to be the first ever facility of its type in the area.

The prizes were given away by general officer commanding of Engineers Division based in Swat, major general Akhtar Salim Rao while wife of local MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin conferred prizes on the woman participants of the festival. MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the problems of the valley and presented his solution to the issues leading to the amelioration of the neglected people. He said it was a memorable day in the history of the valley last year when the local people saw a motor vehicle for the first time in their lives while three of the five villages were still to be connected by road.

The chairman of PUNAR, Sher Wali Khan Aseer, demanded of the government to pay special focus on the development of the valley.– Zahiruddin

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