Baroghil festival concludes with fanfare
CHITRAL: The three-day Baroghil festival concluded here on Monday with a large number of people from across Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan participating in the final day competitions. Chitral Scouts organised the event.
A 45 kilometer jeep-able track was built up to the valley, last year, for convenience of the visitors, which attracted a large number of people to the venue.
The main events included yak polo, horse polo, buzz kashi, donkey polo, horse race, yak race, horse and cattle show, local cuisine and handicrafts exhibition of Wakhi culture and Wakhi musical concerts.
Baroghil team won the horse polo final, beating Ishkoman team from Gilgit-Baltistan by one goal. While in the most enthralling yak polo final Laskhkar Gaz village beat the Chikar village by 4 to 3 goals. The Chikar village retaliated to their defeat in the yak polo and thrashed the Laskhar Gaz team by 5-0 to clinch the title of donkey polo.
The Buz kashi (completing a round carrying a goat carcass by a horse rider defending himself against the opponent riders) was won by Anwar Baig of Baroghil.
The local cuisine exhibition organised by local womenfolk attracted a good number of visitors in which various items of Wakhi food were put on display, while a local support organisation, PUNAR, had arranged a show of locally made handicrafts.
The horse and cattle show won applause from the participants in which the livestock of the valley, including yak, sheep, ram, goat, cow and ox were made to pass around a circle.
Mohammad Wazir Khan, a former union nazim, told Dawn the event used to provide the local people with merriment and recreation in summer. He said this time around the festival featured more and more events, adding that such programmes would help promote tourism and alleviate poverty.
Mr Wazir praised the efforts of Chitral Scouts Commandant Colonel Naeem Iqbal and his team for making the festival a success.
The army’s General Officer Commanding, Swat Division, Maj-Gen Javed Mehmud Bukhari was the chief guest on the occasion who announced to hold the festival every year. He eulogised the efforts of Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and NGOs for extending support to Chitral Scouts in organising the event.
On the occasion, Mr Bukhari opened work on construction of a micro hydropower station to be built by SRSP in the valley.
GOC Engineers Division Maj-Gen Akhtar Salim Rao gave away prizes to the participants.
MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the problems of the valley.
Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2014