LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday turned down the petitioner’s request to stay an order issued by the Punjab government to lift longstanding ban on Basant festival but sought a reply from it by 26th in the case.

LHC Justice Aminuddin Khan heard the petition filed by a citizen against the Punjab government’s decision to celebrate the kite-flying festival after every 365 days.

Safdar Shaheen Advocate argued that the Basant celebrations were restricted after the celebration cause lives of various citizens. The petitioner says Basant had taken the shape of bloody sport thus it be banned, adding that allowing recreation activity which causes loss to life is contrary to the constitution.

Last Tuesday, the Punjab government decided to lift the ban on Basant festival and declared that kite-flying festival would be held across Punjab province.

The petitioner contends that the event was banned after several incidents of throat-slitting of various citizens including children due to the use of sharp glass and chemical-coated strings by the kite flyers. Any celebration on the expense of human lives must not be allowed, the petition says.

The petitioner also pleaded that a stay-order be issued on the government’s order to lift the ban until the petition is decided but the court rejected the request and issued a notice to the government to submit a clause-wise reply.

The Punjab government’s order to lift the ban on Basant festival has been challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC).

Basant event would be arranged in late January or early February to celebrate the spring season when the incidents of killing did not happen due to the use of string made of sharp glass and chemical. The festival had been celebrated for many decades but banned by the apex court in 2005 after several incidents of death.

As per the petitioner, the lifting of ban on Basant was an attempt by the government to divert public attention from genuine issues plaguing the country. 

On the other side, also Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker Hina Pervaiz Butt has submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly against the government’s decision to lift the ban on Basant celebrations.

Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan had made the announcement, saying that the government had decided to lift Basant ban.

He added that that a committee would be formed to discuss how the negative aspects of the festival such as killing of people especially bikers with the chemical coated string could be avoided.