Punjab govt retracts decision to celebrate Basant | Pakistan Today

Punjab govt retracts decision to celebrate Basant

LAHORE: Punjab government on Wednesday decided against celebrating Basant in Lahore.

Speaking to media, Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that at least four-to-six months were needed to celebrate Basant properly. “It is only possible if institutions work accordingly,” he said.

Aleem also said that stern action will be taken against anyone who is found using chemical kite strings.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led Punjab government had earlier deiced to celebrate Basant festival in February.

“Basant will be celebrated in Lahore in the second week of February,” Information Minister Fayazul Hassan Chohan had said while addressing a press conference at the Alhamra Arts Council.

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

On December 19, however, a local lawyer had moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the government’s decision to lift the 12-year-old ban imposed on celebrating Basant festival in the province.

The petitioner claimed that it was “unconstitutional” to allow a leisure activity “that results in the loss of human lives”, and accused the government of lifting the ban to divert attention from public issues.

Furthermore, the petitioner prayed to the court to declare the government’s decision as illegal. The court accepted the petition and fixed it for hearing.

The ban on Basant was imposed by the Supreme Court in 2007 after the deaths of several people due to kite’s glass-coated strings.

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