Lahore                    -           The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday sought suggestions from the Kite Flying Association for safe celebration of Basant festival.

Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh was hearing a petition filed by the Kite Flying Association against ban announced by the Punjab government on the celebration of Basant festival.

The petitioner prayed, the ban on the kite-flying activity was an infringement of the citizens’ fundamental rights and the association had announced to celebrate the festival on February 22 and 23.

The chief justice remarked that in other countries, specific areas were allocated for such events. The foreign countries’ model should be considered here in Pakistan, he observed. The chief justice suggested that the areas without population could be allocated for this purpose.

Earlier, the court had observed that it was a cultural festival so it should not be banned in the name of precautionary steps, adding that ban on Basant was not the solution.

The court had suggested that the import and export of the thread that caused killing of people must be banned.

In 2005, the apex court had imposed a ban on the manufacture, business or flying of kites so as to prevent the loss of lives. Later in 2007, a ban was imposed on the festival by the apex court after the deaths of several people due to the use of glass-coated threads.

The Basant celebration results in the loss of lives and damage to the electricity transmission which led to the ban on the festival.

Govt decision to import wheat, sugar challenged in LHC

A miscellaneous petition has been filed in Lahore High Court (LHC) against import of wheat and sugar by the government.

The petitioner while making federal, provincial governments and others respondents has said federal government is importing sugar and wheat which has led to cause shortage. Owing to shortage of wheat and sugar, their prices witnessed a robust increase. If import of sugar and wheat is not stopped their prices are likely to go up further.

The petitioner has taken the plea that the government first of all exports wheat and sugar and then import of these products is started when their shortfall is created.

The petitioner has prayed the court to impose ban on import of sugar and wheat besides seeking explanation from the concerned persons.

Earlier the decision by Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for importing wheat was also challenged in Lahore High Court. It was said in the petition filed by Nasir Javed Ghumman and president Kissan Bachao Tehreek-e-Pakistan that government took this decision to afford financial benefit to certain elements which would cause loss to the farming community.

It is pertinent to mention here that ECC had accorded approval to import 300000 tones wheat which would start reaching Pakistan till March 31.

Sindh wheat would arrive in Market till March 15, while the wheat being imported will reach Pakistan later. Therefore, the wheat rates are likely to remain low in the market.