Lahore: A Pakistani court has sought a reply from the Punjab government to a petition seeking permission for celebrating the "Basant" festival and flying kites as the activities have been barred by provincial authorities.
Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh of the Lahore High Court issued the notice to the Chief Secretary of Punjab yesterday in response to the petition filed by the Pakistan Kite Flying Association.
Earlier, a written reply submitted on behalf of the Secretary for the local government said people's lives could not be put at risk for the sake of the enjoyment of "only a handful of people."
The reply said the loss of many lives had forced the Punjab government to ban kite flying in 2007.
Authorities banned kite flying after several persons were killed and injured by the glass-coated twine used to fly kites.
The local government's reply was submitted in response to the petition filed by Muhammad Saleem, an official of the Kite Flying Association.
He pointed out that the Supreme Court had banned kite flying but had also defined certain parameters under which the activity could be allowed.
Saleem said Basant festival could be allowed for 15 days in light of the provisions of the Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying Ordinance 2001.
He contended that the Punjab government had been violating the ordinance by imposing a blanket ban on kite flying.
He asked the court to direct the authorities to allow kite flying in Punjab under the parameters set by the apex court.
Justice Sheikh adjourned the matter for two weeks and sought a reply from Chief Secretary.
In the Punjab capital of Lahore alone, some 25,000 families were associated with the business of making and selling kites when a ban was imposed on the activity and Basant festival in 2004-05 following some deaths.


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