The current ban on Basant, the world famous kite-flying festival of Lahore, appears to be more an out come of political tussle between two political forces of the country than anything else. Basant is indigenous to Lahore in the sense that it is being celebrated by this city for centuries and has become a jeweled mascot of Lahore. It attracts tourists, not just locally but from all over the world. The provincial government gave the rationale of it being hazardous to citizens while banning it. Yes there have been many unfortunate incidents in the recent past. But no government has banned flying of aircraft because some planes have crashed in the long aviation history. They rather focused on making flying a safer experience. Likewise, the government should have focused on making this festival safer by reducing loss to life, limb or property minimal, if not nil. Designated grounds should have been prepared for flying kites and citizens who wish to participate in the activity should have been facilitated to do so in safety in these designated areas. Banning a festival which was like the smile of a child in spirit is too harsh a stepakin to rendering the city soulless. As a conscientious citizen, I vote for promoting this culturally fulfilling and fun-filled festival if it could be organized with safety. -YASIR QADEER, Islamabad, March 1.