PESHAWAR: Pigeon lovers here on Sunday held race of their pet birds by releasing the specially trained racing pigeons from Jehlum district to cover a distance of around 295 kilometres for returning home in Peshawar.

“The wining pigeon covered the specified distance in three hours and fifteen minutes and reached to Aswa Baba area on Warask road near Chaghar Matti,” informed Jan Muhammad, a pigeon lover and organiser of the event.
Talking to APP, Jan Muhammad said his pigeon won the competition and he has been awarded with a trophy.
He said in all a total of nine pigeon lovers participated in the competition by releasing their birds in Jehlum.
Jan said he released his 13 pigeons in the race and all returned to home while the winning bird reached in three hours and 15 minutes.
He also informed that another race was also held in Gujar Khan in Rawalpindi to Peshawar which was won by the pet of Shamshad Khan of Hassan Gharhi area.
In that race, my pigeon reached a minute late, Jan informed.
Jan said in the pigeon race a special breed of pigeon, known in local language as Qasid (messenger) Racing Homer, participates.
The pigeons of other breeds cannot travel such a long distance and only the Qasid breed has the ability to reach home by travelling hundreds of kilometers distance, he explained.
Competing pigeons were especially trained by the owners by releasing them frequently from the distance starting from 10 kilometer to hundred of kilometres, Jan added.
He said in the beginning, the pigeon was released by the owner from Pabbi, which is around 13 kilometres from Peshawar, and later the distance was increased with the passage of time.
Usually, a pigeon released from Faisalabad reaches Peshawar in six to eight hours. The time it takes to cover the specified distance is measured and the bird speed of flying is calculated and compared with all of the other pigeons in the race to determine which bird returned the earliest.
The winner of a pigeon race is the bird with the highest velocity, he reiterated.
In response to a question as how it is judged that which bird reach at which time, Jan said every pigeon carries a code number tied in his leg and as the bird reach home, the owner inform the organiser and his claim is ascertained by tallying the code.
Jan said objective of holding pigeon race is to encourage bird lovers who have preserved this past practice, dating back to 220 AD or possibly earlier.


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