Organised by the Tourism Corporation Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP), the 5th Khanpur water sports regatta will conclude at Khanpur Lake on Sunday (today).
According to TCKP media manager Zahra Alam, like previous years, the three-day festival is entertaining picnickers with activities like boating, fishing and performances by folk artistes from different parts of the country. Traditional food and handicraft stalls have also been set up by the lake. In addition, a play area has been installed for children, keeping in mind the large number of families heading to the festival.
Speaking to the media, Alam said that as the biggest water sports festival in Pakistan, the regatta attracts over 150,000 visitors from different parts of the country. She said the gala is also showcasing a positive side of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The festival began with a Gatka competition (sword fight), a demonstration of the Hazara and Khattak dances by officials of the Frontier Constabulary. In the evening, crowds are entertained by folk singers from Hazara, Peshawar and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. A gallery has also been set up with portraits of famous Pashto poets and heroes.
“With citizens across the country undergoing the constant trauma of terrorist attacks, this sports festival provides them with much-needed relief,” said a visitor from Islamabad, Zohra Shahid, appreciating the efforts of TCKP.
Haripur DPO Wahid Mehmood said the security of visitors is their top priority and that all arrangements have been made accordingly. Walkthrough gates have been installed and heavy contingents of police and elite forces are deployed inside and around the venue.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2014.