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March 7, 2017

Tourists throng Malam Jabba


March 7, 2017

 Snow festival

MALAM JABBA: As the tourists from across the country throng the ski resort in Malam Jaba decorated with various stalls of traditional dresses and food, a middle-aged man lights up his firewood stove late morning.

Expecting a huge crowd and clients, the man known as Kaka by the locals sells chappal kebab at the rate of Rs250 per piece. Several customers think they are being overcharged, but they agree to pay while grinning.

The occasion was the Snow Festival. Tourists from across the country enjoyed the event. The chief minister’s advisor on tourism Abdul Munim inaugurated the festival organised by the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Swat district administration from March 3-5.

“I visited Malam Jaba in June last year, but this time the snow-bound area offers a very beautiful look,” stated Adnan, a resident of Lower Dir district who along with his family members visited the Snow Festival.

He added that security arrangements were also fine as the police were using several drone cameras to secure the festival venue. He added that various facilities were made available to the tourists.

Singers at a music show enthralled the spectators who chanted and waved to show their jubilance at the concluding ceremony of the festival. Stalls of local handicraft, food, traditional dresses and other cultural items were showcased.

However, some tourists complained about the dilapidated road leading to Malam Jaba and said tourism could improve further if road infrastructure is developed.

The spectators especially enjoyed the skiing competition. Travelling on snow-covered mountains is like playing in a world of utopia: the skiing being a fearsome game in a serene environment, with skiers sliding down the rolling hills.

Though skiing is a tough job, nine-year-old Sangeen remarked that it was his hobby. In the skiing competition, he also won a prize.

A student of class-II at the Excelsior School in Swat, Sangeen is a professional skier. His father was a skier and Sangeen followed suit.

“When you begin skiing, you should put your bodyweight in the forward direction. This is important in order to achieve balance or you will fall,” he says while explaining the sine qua non of skiing.

Amid all this hustle and bustle, Kaka is busy entertaining the customers, who keep coming despite complaining that the price is high. It is a busy place as local children, wearing worn out shoes and shabby clothes, find it suitable to ask tourists to buy them food.

On the other hand, several paragliders are seen jumping from the hills and most landing safely on the ground. A round of applause from the spectators greets them as they complete the feat. However, two paragliders are blown away by the wind and gradually move out of the landing arena and go closer to Kaka’s stove, landing exactly at the tent where Kaka is cooking kebabs. The paragliders escape any serious injury, but the tent falls down, spoiling the stalls and compelling Kaka and a few others to pack up.


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