Petition filed against Basant celebrations in Lahore HC

Lahore: Punjab government’s decision to celebrate the Basant festival has been challenged in the Lahore High Court.

The plea, by Advocate Safdar Shahin Pirzada, argues the celebrations will cost innocent lives and that the government lifted the ban on festivities in order to deflect public attention from more pressing issues, Express Tribune reported.

The Punjab government on Tuesday (December 18) announced its decision to lift the ban on Basant celebrations in the state.

Basant, usually celebrated in January end or the beginning of February, marks the start of the spring festival.

Before the imposition of the ban in 2005, thousands of people would pour out on the streets of Lahore and elsewhere in Punjab to celebrate the occasion, the highpoint of which would be dancing and kite flying. Religious leaders argued kite-flying was un-Islamic.

The petitioner also stated that celebrations were banned by the Supreme Court after revellers died of celebratory gunshots, falling off rooftops or by kite strings slitting their throats.

“This festival might cause loss of more innocent lives if it is celebrated,” Pirzada said.

“Permitting such a festivity that causes loss of lives is a sheer violation of the Constitution,” Pirzada added.

A member of the Punjab Assembly, from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Hina Pervez Butt, also urged the Chief Justice
of Pakistan to take suo muto notice in the case. Butt submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly Secretariat contending a contempt of court.