SWAT: The beautiful snow-capped mountain resort of Malam Jabba surrounded by thick forests, where few years ago sound of crackling gunfire filled the air during the reign of terror of militancy, songs, laughter and drumbeat resounded amid shrieks of joy and shouts on encouragement on the concluding day of the fun-filled snow festival.
With the end of militancy, the government was promoting winter sports at the resort, however, this year the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa authorities arranged a festival too featuring local cuisines, barbeque, stalls selling indigenous dresses and jewellery as well.
Several fun-filled activities were held that fascinated the people. The people enjoyed skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding, ice skating and snow sledging. Playland had been set up for the children. The event was aimed at promoting and reviving tourism in the scenic Swat valley. Youngsters were also seen dancing to the drumbeat amid a spectacular display of fireworks.
Foreign tourists were also seen enjoying the activities at the festival. They joined groups of Pashtun youth in local dance. The famous Khattak dance of swirling swords drew huge applause. The visitors appreciated the beauty of Swat.
Food stalls and barbecues had been set up to provide good quality meals to the tourists. The stall of local cuisines, handcrafts, traditional dresses had also been established. The organisers said that the snow festival was held with the view to tell the world that peace had been restored in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the rest of the country.
A Swat local Muhammad Ali told The Express Tribune that he had seen such colourful cultural event for the first time ion Swat. “We would have to travel to Peshwara, Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi for such fun-filled cultural event,” he said welcoming the provincial government’s move for holding the snow festival.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2019.
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