Gobor festival exhibits local culture, backwardness

CHITRAL, Sept 15: The three-day Gobor festival ended on Sunday evening with fanfare of cultural and youth activities in the remote valley of Lotkoh. The events of the festival consisted of the competition of traditional sports including polo, horse race, tug-of-war, mountain race and the non-local sports including football and cricket.

The traditional sport buzz kashi (completion of round circuit carrying a goat carcass by horse rider defending himself against the opponent riders) was the chief event of the festival. The festival had attracted a large number of people from all nooks and corners of Chitral district which provided them with an odd chance of visiting this remote but picturesque picnic spot.

The Gobor Bakh village won the polo match by beating the Kilish village by 4 to 3 goals after a hot contest while buzz kashi was won by Khan Gul of Merdin village. In the enthralling final match of tug-of-war, Gobor team came out victorious while football was won by Duba Garam Chashma. The festival was organized by the local people of the border area without any government support who wanted to make an opportunity to attract the attention of the government and NGOs towards the area which was totally deprived of the basic facilities of life including health, education and road communication.

The organizer of the event, Muhammad Hussain, a former councilor, said the area was the most neglected one despite its multi dimensional importance including trade, defense, culture and history. He said Gobor Pass was used one of the trade routes with Afghanistan from the year 1988 to 2002 and hundreds of millions rupees were accrued by the provincial government as octroi tax.

Regarding the cultural importance of the area, he said the area had been a gateway to Central Asia and the intruders left two distinct cultures (Yadgan and Shekhan) which coexisted side by side in this small piece of land. Mr. Hussain that one of the objectives of holding the festival was to save some of the important facets the two cultures which were drifting towards extinction in fast pace.

He demanded of the government to include Gobor festival in the calendar of events like Shandur festival and Chilim Jusht of Kalash people. Amir Wali, the chairman of Garam Chashma Development Project, said Gobor road was built by AKRSP in early 1980s by AKRSP as a mule track which is still used for small vehicles and not a single penny has been spent by the government. He said the festival will portray the poverty of the people and backwardness of the area side by side showcasing the culture of the rough and tough mountainous people.

Prizes were given away by Shahzada Amanur Rahman, a member of the former royal family of Chitral, captain Wajahat, the deputy commander of 146 wing of Chitral Scouts, and Mohammad Khalid, subdivisional police officer Chitral. They eulogized the efforts of the residents of Gobor for organizing the event using their own resources which opened the aloof and neglected area to others.–Zahiruddin

2 Replies to “Gobor festival exhibits local culture, backwardness”

  1. @Fardad Ali Shah: I stand by my story as I was invited by Mr. Muhammad Hussain, the organizer of the festival not GADO. It was really a one-man show and that man was Mr. Hussain who was found busy in doing arrangements all the time. It is not a matter of taking and giving credit to any body and there is no question of my being biased. I have written what I observed and what I was told by the organizer of the event.
    If the event was being arranged by your organization, then I am shocked over the haphazard arrangements which can be forgiven to the local villagers but not to an organization.

  2. Dear Sir.
    I went through your report thoroughly and came to know that you havn’t mentioned Garam Chashma Area Development Organization GADO in your report. This activity was conducted by GADO, clearly visible from the banners present in the area. NOC was granted to GADO to celebrate Gobor Festival not to the local people. The program was funded by AKRSP and Shahzada Aman-u-Rehman. The chief guests and other guests were invited by GADO. The whole publicity of the festival was done by GADO. At the end, I was shocked to read the whole newspaper that the credit of celebration of Gobor Festival went to the local people.
    I will request to do correction in your report. Always speak the truth and don’t keep biased attitude.
    Acting Manager GADO
    Fardad Ali Shah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.