Basant dates unveiled for twin cities amid ban

Basant in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad will be observed on February 16


Qaiser Shirazi February 07, 2024

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RAWALPINDI:

Basant in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad will be observed on February 16, Feb 23 and March 8 respectively, the Kite Flying Association Rawalpindi announced on Tuesday.

Per the schedule, Basant celebrations will kick off in Rawalpindi Cantt on Feb 16, and Rawalpindi city on Feb 23, while the kite flying will be observed in Islamabad on March 8. However, Basant will be delayed for a week in case of rain.

The Basant night will be held in Rawalpindi Cantt on Feb 15 at midnight and only white kites will be flown. Full Basant activities in Rawalpindi Cantt will start after Friday Prayer and continue till sunset Feb 16.

Vice Chairman of Kite Association, Haji Iqbal and another office-bearer Muhammad Riaz said that the Basant night in Rawalpindi city will be held after sunset on Feb 22 and will continue till midnight, while Basant in the city will be organised on Feb 23 (Friday).

Iqbal made it clear that no kite flyer would use glass-quoted string and those using such twine would be handed over to the police. He urged the district administration and police to wave off the ban on kite-flying as the association itself had restricted the use of glass-quoted twine.

The association’s office-bearers said that in case of “unjustified” arrests, the administration and police would be held responsible. Basant would be celebrated as a festival and that all arrangements have been completed, they added.

Iqbal said the Basant week has been delayed for a week because of the general elections.

He said two million kites and rolls of string have been arranged from other cities by the association, adding bookings for selling material are continuing online to the customers at their doorstep confidentially. The deliveries will be completed to the kite flyers by Feb 9 and 10.

On the other hand, Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner Hasan Waqar Cheema has declared a ban on kite-flying. He said that cases would be registered against violators and they would be arrested, adding the station house officers of all police stations have been also ordered to confiscate kites and strings.

Following the orders of the city police officer (CPO), the police have decided to get long ladders on rent to arrest the kite flyers from the rooftop.

There are reports that kite flyers have arranged food, barbeques, drums and trumpets at rooftops to celebrate Basant, besides arranging alternative routes to avoid police arrests. The kite lovers have also planned barricades to prevent the cops from approaching their streets. It is learned that aerial firing has also been planned on the eve of Basant.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th 2024.

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