Kite flying in Pakistan has been a touchy subject over the last couple of years. The government is now trying to come up with a way to allow its citizens to participate while making it safe for the general public.
I think no matter what happens some people will still insist on using “manja” type line or even worse wire or chemically treated mono-filament line…
by Amir Mir
LAHORE, Dec 17: The Punjab government is thinking of lifting the ban on kite flying and related businesses and make the sport safer.
According to well-placed sources in the Punjab government, the provincial chief minister Pervez Elahi wants to lift the ban on kite flying in order to revive the spirit of the centuries old colourful spring festival of basant.
Therefore, they said, the government departments concerned are trying to evolve a consensus among stakeholders on how to once again make the sport safer.
The sources said the chief minister believes that it is necessary to save the sport because it generates an annual Rs2 billion (Dh120 million) revenue in Lahore alone on the occasion of basant, which also needs to be protected as it has become an international event.
The Punjab government had to ban kite flying last year following a series of deaths in accidents involving the twine.
The ban was imposed under a directive from the Supreme Court, which had taken suo motu notice of the deaths.
The government had nevertheless relaxed the ban on the occasion of basant but it had to re-impose it following more deaths.
As kite flying is the main component of basant, many Lahorites indulged in the sport despite a police crackdown. Before basant, the government had also promulgated an ordinance on January 22, 2006, to
regulate kite flying and prevent the sale of dangerous twine.
But there was a complete ban on the sport and its related businesses since then.
The government sources said the dominant view in government circles is that deaths were caused by irresponsible actions. And the actions of some people should not be allowed to destroy the festival and the kite business providing livelihood to thousands of families.
They said the intention was to allow only the original form of kite flying and discourage dangerous trends.