RAWALPINDI: Despite a ban on kite-flying by the government, youngsters seem determined to celebrate Basant later this week. In this regard, flyers are being distributed and walls of the city are being plastered with posters which invite the public to celebrate the festival with a ‘Basant night’ starting after the sun sets on Thursday, on February 21, and continue until the early hours of the morning. It will resume after Friday prayers on February 22. On the other hand, the police and civic bodies have completed preparations to launch a massive crackdown against kite-flyers. Police have been equipped with ladders to access roofs of the buildings while the Dolphin Force has been told to stay vigilant for kite flyers while patrolling the streets. The prices of kites and strings, which have been brought in from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), have shot up owing to high demand and little supply owing to the police crackdown. Kites which were sold for Rs20, Rs30 and Rs50 are being sold for Rs40, Rs50 and Rs100 respectively. The supersized kites, which are only sold to acquaintances, has soared to Rs200. The price of string spools has also been hiked and are sold from Rs200 to Rs1,000 while smaller string spools are being sold for Rs100.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2019.