Lahore not to celebrate Basant Panchami

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Lahore, Apr.6 : Lahore Basant Festival and District Kite Flying Association officials have said the city will not celebrate Basant Panchami this year owing to the city government's policies on kite flying.

The organizers said the event had been cancelled because of the non-cooperation of the authorities.

According to The News, the authorities had already banned kite flying and warned that violators would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

"We are not willing to cancel it, but unfortunately we have no other option. We do not want to see people behind bars or facing problems for flying kites," the paper quoted Lahore Basant Festival organizer and District Kite Flying Association member Syed Zulfiqar Hussain, as saying.

He said that the organizers had suggested that the government erects wires on all 30 roads in the city to avoid any mishap caused by the twine of stray kites.

"We proposed the government asks motorcyclists to use safety collars and wires on motorbikes. We also asked the authorities to register cases against those involved in aerial firing and using prohibited cords, but to let the festival take place," he said. "Despite all our hues and cries, we were not heard."

He said that Lahore was internationally known as the city of the kite festival.

"The event helps generate a revenue of around Rs.5 billion from various sectors like tourism and transport. It also helps promote the soft image of Pakistan before the world," he claimed.

People across the city have denounced the cancellation of the event, saying that it is an attempt to deprive them of their right to celebrate.

The festival was to be observed on April 12 and 13.

ANI

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