Ban on kite flying to stay, says Shahbaz
LAHORE: The chief minister has dampened the hopes created by reports saying the government may allow ‘safe’ kite-flying as part of basant festivity this year.
Saying a big no to the idea of allowing the kite flyers to “play with the lives of people” in a handout issues on Tuesday during the traditional spring festival, the chief minister has warned the district police officer that they will be held responsible if the 12-year ban on kite-flying is violated in their territories.
“Complete BAN on Basant. No one can b allowed to play with the lives of ppl. Concerned DPO will b responsible for any violation of ban,” also says a tweet by Shahbaz Sharif late on Tuesday evening.
Some recent media reports had rekindled hope among fans of the festival that once defined the city’s cultural scene that the government could allow a ‘safe’ basant this year provided there was no major law and order situation and protection of life was ensured during the related festivities.
A very popular festival that used to be attended by hundreds of thousands of local revelers, besides those especially visiting the city from abroad in this part of the year, was banned in 2005 due to multiple deaths caused by glass-coated string laced with chemicals.
The ban not only deprived the people of the annual kite-flying fun, it also rendered thousands engaged in making and selling kites and string unemployed. Many allied businesses like hotels, eateries etc were also deprived of the festival-related windfall because of the ban.
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