Friday, August 08, 2003

Can't fly a kite in Lahore, Pakistan

City officials in Lahore, Pakistan have instituted a three-month ban on kite flying. (Interesting factoid: the Taliban banned kite flying too.) Kite flying is hugely popular in Pakistan ... and city officials say they've brought on the temporary ban for safety reasons.

For some, kite flying is competitive and they try to cut off eachother's strings ... and to do that, they use strings coated in ground-glass, or ground-metal paste, or even wire strings. And according to city officials, some 45 people have died of kite-related injuries in the past six months (in some cases, wire strings hit power lines and ther person is electrocuted.) City officials say they've noted a decrease in accidents and the such since the ban was instituted.

But here's one other thing.
In a revealing statement presented to the courts in Lahore at the time of the kite ban, Khawaja Mohammad Afzal, the city's legal adviser, wrote: "The use of fire crackers, music and dance on such occasions is un-Islamic."
The quote above is referring to the goings-on during the Basant festival held each Spring in Lahore. Kites are a huge part of the festival.