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Punjab govt lifts 12-year-old ban on celebrating Basant, festival will be held in February

December 18, 2018

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Committee formed to deliberate how "negative aspects" of the festival can be overcome and avoided, says Chohan. —Dawn Archives
Committee formed to deliberate how "negative aspects" of the festival can be overcome and avoided, says Chohan. —Dawn Archives

The Punjab government on Tuesday announced its decision to lift the 12-year-old ban imposed on celebrating Basant saying the festival — which marks the arrival of Spring season — will be celebrated in the second week of February 2019.

Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, while addressing a press conference in Lahore, announced the Punjab government's decision to celebrate the Basant festival — the traditional kite-flying festival of Lahore that was banned by the government in 2007 following increasing deaths in kite-flying related incidents.

Chohan said a committee comprising the Punjab law minister, the provincial chief secretary, and other administrative officials, will be formed to deliberate on the modalities about how the negative aspects of the festival can be avoided and overcome.

"This time Lahoris will surely celebrate Basant," says Fayyazul Hassan Chohan.
"This time Lahoris will surely celebrate Basant," says Fayyazul Hassan Chohan.

The provincial minister said the committee would give its recommendations within a week. "This time Lahore's population will surely celebrate Basant," Chohan added.

The Supreme Court in its order had clarified that there was no restriction on holding the Basant festival and that it should be celebrated while staying within the ambit of law, as well as the rules and regulations defined by the government, the minister said.

Chohan said that the citizens and the civil society have been demanding permission to hold Basant festival for quite some time following which Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had sought recommendations about holding the Spring festival.

The chief minister has said that Basant was a cultural festival, "it has no relation to religion. It is for enjoyment," the provincial information minister said.