SUNDAY TIMES LAHORE: According to details, a citizen, who filed the petition, maintained that the festival was banned owing to several incidents of throat slitting of people, including children, by kite flyers’ sharp glass and chemical coated strings.

Hence, any such event must not be allowed at the expense of human lives, the petitioner added, further pleading the court to annul the provincial government’s move to lift the longstanding ban on the Basant festival.

A day earlier, Information Minister Fayazul Hassan Chohan said while speaking to media persons here, “Basant will be celebrated in Lahore in the second week of February.”

Chohan said, Basant is an enormous economic activity and a source of promoting tourism. Its celebrations should remain within the prescribed rules and regulations keeping in view the public safety, he continued.

Basant is one of the most colourful and celebrated festivals in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab. However, after a rise in the number of deaths due to chemicalised twine, the provincial government had banned the kite festival in Punjab a couple of years back.

In 2005, the Supreme Court had also banned the festival over deaths caused by the use of sharp and glass coated strings. Several petitions challenging the ban were dismissed by the court