Snowfest: Lighting up Swat with a smile

Published: March 4, 2012
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Paragliders enthrall spectators with their antics while Norwegian Ambassador Cecilie Landsverk made a surprise appearance on the ski track during the culture festival. PHOTOS: FAZAL KHALIQ

Paragliders enthrall spectators with their antics while Norwegian Ambassador Cecilie Landsverk made a surprise appearance on the ski track during the culture festival. PHOTOS: FAZAL KHALIQ

Paragliders enthrall spectators with their antics while Norwegian Ambassador Cecilie Landsverk made a surprise appearance on the ski track during the culture festival. PHOTOS: FAZAL KHALIQ Paragliders enthrall spectators with their antics while Norwegian Ambassador Cecilie Landsverk made a surprise appearance on the ski track during the culture festival. PHOTOS: FAZAL KHALIQ
SWAT: 

A week-long snow festival, ‘Ski and Smile in Swat’ opened in Malam Jabba on Saturday, aimed at attracting tourists to the popular ski resort.

The festival was inaugurated by Cecilie Landsverk, the Norwegian envoy, in a ceremony attended by civil society members, army officials and a large number of tourists.

Intended to uplift people’s spirits in the region and attract the government’s attention towards winter sports and skiing, especially in Swat, the festival has been organised by the Pakistan Army in collaboration with Right to Play, an international humanitarian organisation.

“We not only want to revive tourism and the livelihood of thousands of people, we also wish to restore smiles in Swat,” said Operation Commander Malakand Maj. Gen. Ghulam Qamar.

Landsverk appreciated the efforts of the organisers, adding that she hoped the festival would help raise awareness about the region and associated winter sports.

“We (Norwegians) are crazy about mountains, but the mountains here exceed the beauty and wonder of ours,” she said. “With over 1,000 years of skiing culture, Norwegians hope to see the culture expand beyond their own borders.”

She invited tourists from all over the world to witness the beauty and serenity of Swat valley for themselves.

Landsverk and other embassy officials later visited the skiing track, impressing spectators with their skiing skills. Paragliders also displayed their talent, diving down from atop Malam Jabba.

Communication Assistant for Right to Play Ali Khyam told The Express Tribune that the festival is an attempt to “support Swat’s skiing school and promote winter tourism, because of the incredible employment opportunities it offers to locals whose livelihood have been crippled by terrorism.”

The festival, which will continue for seven days, offers many other related activities including snow trekking and competitions for children. It has been co-sponsored by the Norwegian embassy.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • shazada zahid mahmoud malik loan
    Mar 4, 2012 - 11:32AM

    Well Norway is a good friend of the many developing countries and we need to look at their humanitarian works. The Pakistani people are very spirited but need to curb their greeds.

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  • Haris Javed
    Mar 4, 2012 - 3:26PM

    thanx to Cecilie Landsverk.. . :)

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  • Mar 4, 2012 - 5:46PM

    Congratulations with tahanks to the Embassay of Norway, in particular to H.E.Cecilie Landsverk.
    Wonderfull thing has been initiated .I always saw the potential and possibility. We have a lot of extra skiies+outfit here at Lillehammer . I wish I just fill a container send it back to my people ,especially to school children .Once I saw a child using a broken piece of wood as skiies. A very very good and full of +ives values and benifits project .I at age 75 love going on skiies., it is a wonderfull sport. I wish I could help my beautifull children of Swat with this sport of skiing. It is a funn as well.I see children at Lillehammer and dream of Swat.

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  • Mar 4, 2012 - 6:00PM

    SWAT. I can write on the wall ,, It is Norway , will help you in this project of skiing. They love skiing , it is their culture. . Wonderfull thing has happend .Good luck .

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  • Khan
    Mar 4, 2012 - 6:11PM

    There are many skiers who are very good in skiing but they can not do it as they dont have outfit.

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