Sluggish CM Mehdi Shah is Obstacle to Resovle the Shandur Polo Trubel with KP

GB TIMES: The bold and highly educated  ministers of Gilgit-Baltistan have plans to have rightfull ownership of Shandur Polo Ground, Such as Education Minister Dr. Ali Madad Sher, Advisor for Tourism Sadia Danish, and Finance Minister Mohammad Ali Akhter, but the Sluggish and nepotistic Chief Minister, Syed Mehdi Shah is an obstacle in the way for personal gains. It is learned that the members of Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly are fade up of the Mehdi Shah’s ineffectiveness even within the ranks of PPP to which Mehdi Shah belongs to have strong reservation over Mehdi Sahah’s poor and ineffective handling of the business of the governement and many have already reaised the issues with Prime Minister and President of Pakistan.

It is learned that on many occasion Prime Minister and President Asif Ali Zaradari have asked CM Mehdi Shah to improve his performance however, it has been reported that it is a matter of capancity for Mehdi Shah. In a house of highly educated ministers of Gilgit-Baltistan, an intermediate Chief Minister is often have embracing situations and faild to satisfy the members and ministers.

On such a  important issue of Shandur Polo Ground, the press has reported as below:

GILGIT (ET): As the stalemate over Shandur continues, the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government has asked the federal government to either grant them organising rights of the famous freestyle polo tournament or else it will organise a parallel tournament on its own in Gilgit this year.

“If the row isn’t settled this time around, we are planning to hold a…polo tournament in Gilgit on the same dates,” Ali Madad Sher, the regional education minister, told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.

The Shandur polo tournament attracts a large number of foreign as well as domestic tourists to the region. The concluding ceremony of the event is usually attended by the head of state or a prominent dignitary designated by the president or the prime minister.

Sher also represents G-B in talks with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), as a commission with representation from both sides was formed last year to settle the issue that has strained ties between G-B and Chitral.

Last year, just days before the start of the tournament at the world’s highest polo ground – at 3,700 meters above sea level – G-B pulled back its team to protest the ‘unjust’ claim by K-P over the territory.

Sher said that K-P has been organising the event for over a decade, and it is now G-B’s turn to hold the event for the next 10 years.

He said that G-B will have no objection even if the federal government rotates the right for hosting the event on a yearly basis. “We have suggested this to the federal government in our meetings,” said the minister, adding that he hoped the matter was taken up seriously by those at the helm of affairs.

Shandur polo festival, a regular feature, is played between the rival teams in the first week of July every year since 1937 and was first played by Major Cobb, the British Political Agent of the region, who was known to play polo at night under a full moon.

The territory of Shandur is situated midway between the Ghizer district of G-B and Chitral district of K-P. The festival also includes folk music and dance.


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