By Col (r) Ikram Ullah Khan
It was a nice experience to watch on PTV the most thrilling and exciting polo match between Chitral “A” and GB “A” teams played at Shandur polo ground, the highest polo ground in the world.
It was really refreshing both to the mind and the eyes to witness such a spirited competition. Both the traditional rivals displayed exemplary feat of agility and spirit of sportsmanship and good standard of professionalism.
In sports it doesn’t matter who wins and who loses as victory and defeat is part of the game but it does matter how the players behave while playing. It reminds me of a most famous saying which goes: “It doesn’t matter what happens to you but it does matter how you behave while it is happening to you”.
I am happy that both the teams have conducted themselves gracefully and have displayed a reasonably good standard of sportsmanship and professionalism which was very much expected out of them.
My special praise goes to GB team for evincing consummate skill and ingenuity, and for putting up a tough fight. They made a last-ditch attempt in the last few seconds to equalize the score but couldn’t succeed. Nonetheless, they proved that they are really doughty fighters.
I would like to congratulate Shahzada Sikendar Ulmulk and his team for their outstanding performance and bringing laurels to Chitral once again thus making us glow with pride. He has proved that he richly deserves the position he has been holding for the last four decades. He has lived up to our expectations and has succeeded in defeating his critics and antagonistic elements.
It may be pertinent to mention here that this year the number of spectators was overwhelming and surpassed the number of yesteryears despite the pathetic condition of Booni-Shandur road that has remained an unfinished project for the last three decades. It makes one’s blood boiled to see the dilapidated condition of the lone road leading to Shandur and onwards to GB.
This time worst kind of traffic jam was witnessed at different places on Shandur road due to roadblock and the travellers had to undergo traumatic experience that has conveyed a negative message to the tourists. Next time they will think hundred times before embarking upon a journey to Shandur via this road.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports needs to understand that Chitral has a tremendous potential for tourism and its future lies in the development of tourism. In order this to happen, there is a dire need to improve the communication infrastructure.
The govt is requested to pay immediate attention towards this long lingering issue and take necessary steps to ensure that work on Booni-Shandur and Booni-Torkhow roads resumes without further delay. PTI govt has no option but to deliver and in order to put the swing of the pendulum in its favour, it will have to go the extra mile to convince the public that it has both the will and the capacity to deliver.