LAHORE - What appears to be deviation from the past, the PML-N in a move to please the youth has decided to allow a 15 days Bansant. The government fixed place at Changa Manga Forest from February 21 to March 5 to avert mishaps.
The traditional Basant specified through the history of Punjab as peak day of kite flying, has not been mentioned by the Provincial Minister for Education, Tourism and Youth Affairs Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan when he conveyed the ‘good news’ of lifting ban from this sportive activity after about a decade. The government has decided to spread the scope of kite flying to Jallo Park Lahore next year if the experience during the current season proves successful.
While chairing a meeting the Minister was of the view that kite flying would go a long way in promoting tourism while the venue of Changa Manga Forest would provide an easy access to people living on the side of G.T. Road. He said foreign tourists would also be invited. “The passengers of these trains will be taken from Changa Manga City directly to the Lunar Lake of Changa Manga Forests Park in a narrow gauge track through a tram”.
It may be mentioned that a complete ban on kite flying was imposed by the Supreme Court in 2006 after the use of deadly string, metal wire, tandi and chemical coated thread found way in this sport cutting throats of innocent citizens particularly children riding bikes. The Bench headed by then Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary held elaborate proceedings of the case and concluded that kite flying was a dangerous sport and could not be permitted unless all safety measures are taken in consultation with all stake holders.
The court had also required the Punjab government to legislate on making this activity safe but innocent people continued to lose their lives at the hand of the kite flyers.
Police, administration, bureaucracy and government functionaries were deputed to catch illegal kite flyers to make the game safe, but all effort went in vain.
Though many have lost their love one owing to this game ironically no one has been punished or even been traced in this regard.
If spirit of people is ignited or rejuvenated to kite flying it is very hard to guarantee that it will remain a safe game and its ambit would remain confine to the jungle.
Observers on this issue, find a political aspect which go ahead of the government desire to promote tourism.
They believe that the PML-N which itself has been a staunch supporter SC decision of ban on this fatal sport, has stooped to allow kite flying to attract youth to its side which otherwise fancy PTI Chief Imran Khan as their hero in politics.
Moreover, the government does not have iron hand of Justice Chaudhry who throughout in the office did not permit the kite flying in Punjab. By allowing kite flying at a particular place the government is about to set this deadly game into motion.