A significant number of kites continue to hover over the skies in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad despite a ban on kite flying but the citizens are flouting the ban, as the administration fails to ensure complete compliance of the restriction.
While some citizens have asked for a complete crackdown on the dealers and stressed for an effective implementation of the ban to prevent the loss of precious lives in the name of celebration of a spring festival “Basant”, there are also people who are fully prepared to celebrate it without any worry.
Amjad Ali, a resident of Rawalpindi said that kite-flying was a dangerous activity. A crowd of people including children run after falling kites hoping to catch them. “In doing so, they blindly enter roads, as their eyes are glued on the kites high above them, and more often end up getting seriously injured, or even losing their lives in an accident.”
A young girl named Irum expressed her concerns over aerial firing that had become integral part of almost all celebrations.
Kite flying is no exception. Whenever a kite was cut, it was followed by intense firing. She told APP that such people had no regard for others’ safety. “Sounds of fire was annoying and disturbing for law abiding citizens. Moreover, stray bullets posed threat to their lives.” She called for the ban to be implemented wholly and effectively to protect people from the dangers connected with kite-flying.
Talking about the dangers of using string containing metallic component (dhati dor), a man who spoke on the condition of anonymity, recalled his narrow escape from getting electrocuted.
“There have been numerous incidents where bikers had their throats slit open with kite strings. Not only do these razor sharp strings pose danger to humans, but also to birds,” stressed a worried mother.
Not everyone is a law-abiding citizen. Also, not everyone is concerned about the safety of others or about the consequences of one’s actions.
Sheraz, a university student, did not feel any legal or moral obligation to comply with the ban. He was proudly boasting his preparations for the festival.
One person was of the view that banning a festival was not a feasible solution. He said, “There are festivals, such as bull fighting, more dangerous than basant. The better way is to find a solution and facilitate citizens so that people may celebrate basant in a safer manner through a controlled environment and other appropriate measures.”
Since the start of this year, the Rawalpindi Police have arrested more than 300 individuals and confiscated more than 60,000 kites and more than 1300 rolls of strings.
Rawalpindi Traffic Police too have advised motorcyclists to use safety wires to protect themselves from ‘killer strings.’ It had also appealed the citizens to refrain from kite flying calling it ‘bloody and life threatening.’
An official of Rawalpindi Traffic Police said, “It is our foremost duty to protect the life and property of citizens.”