THE Punjab government's decision to allow the celebration of Basant raises certain pertinent questions. First of all, what measures it took to ensure that the celebrations remained within the limits of the law. At present, all its energies are focused on containing the lawyers movement that enjoys the full support of the PML (N), various other political parties and a large section of the public, and the law enforcement agencies could not, therefore, have been expected to check the violation of rules prohibiting the use of the chemical-coated strings, widely used in the past by unscrupulous elements. Although the government also disallowed aerial firing, the carefree lot among the revellers was not expected to desist from indulging in this deadly pastime. Preliminary reports indicate the death of a seven-year-old girl when the lethal string cut her throat, and injuries to 65. Among them, the string was responsible for 11 (two seriously), aerial firing for five and accidents like falling from the roof for the rest. The formation of vigilance committees to monitor the situation, and directing hospitals to make emergency arrangements, can go only some way in lessening the damage. The Lahore High Court's ruling permitting the event on the ground that the Court would fix responsibility for the loss of life, is a tall order that, in any case, did not prevent those who are used to disregarding the law, from resorting to aerial firing. Unfortunately, the disregard of law is not a rare phenomenon is our society. Rather, it is considered a matter of pride and status. The second question that should have been thoroughly examined before arriving at a final decision is the pervasive threat of terrorism. The hardliners are known to be opposed to virtually any kind of merrymaking and are on record as being averse to the Basant festival, terming it un-Islamic. It is heartening to know that the festival passed off without any reaction from this section, though it does not seem the government took suitable measures to forestall it.