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Polo deadlock resolved, Shahzada Sikendar retained as captain

CHITRAL: The deadlock between the DC Chitral and the polo association was on Thursday resolved on the intervention of Commissioner Malakand Division Riaz Khan Mahsud and Shahzada Sikendarul Mulk was retained as the captain of Chitral A team for the three-day Shandur festival starting from July 7.

The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Commissioner Mahsud, Deputy Commissioner Chitral Khurshid Alam Mahsud and officers of district administration along with a jury committee and the Polo Association Chitral.

The commissioner later told local reporters that the names selected by the selection committee had been retained according to which Shahzada Sikendar was the captain of the Chitral A team.

He said the polo association in future form a general body that would elect its cabinet and follow the by-laws so that the game of polo could be further promoted.

The polo association had announced to boycott the festival against the DC Chitral’s decision to remove Shahzada Sikendar not only from the captaincy but also from the team against teh decision of the selection committee.

The DC’s unilateral decision also drew severe criticism from the people of Chitral, especially the civil society, forcing the district administration to take it back.

The deadlock had also put the mega festival at danger in which thousands of tourists from various parts of the country and abroad are expected to take part.

The commissioner said the prime minister and the chief of army staff were expected to witness the festival while a large number of tourists would also attend the event. So it was imperative to hold the mega event with unity of all stakeholders.

He said the mega event could be used as an event for the development of the area.

It may be noted that the commissioner had also resolved a dispute between the deputy commissioner and Shahzada Sirajul Mulk, the elder brother of the polo team captain, when the DC sealed a restaurant set up in an abandoned aircraft of the PIA near Chitral airport by Mr Siraj.

On the intervention of the commissioner, the Fokker Friendship Restaurant was reopened within 24 hours of being sealed.

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