Thursday, January 04, 2007

Beware the Pakistani kites

This is one of those things that is just messed up beyond belief. Pakistan had to ban kite-flying last year because of all the deaths it caused. Now they are lifting the ban for the very event that caused the deaths.

Authorities on Thursday lifted a ban on kite-flying in a Pakistan province after the sport was forbidden last year following a series of deaths caused by reinforced kite strings, an official said.

The ban was lifted about a month ahead of Basant, an annual festival that heralds spring and is marked by flying colorful kites in the eastern province of Punjab and its capital, Lahore.

This year's festival will be celebrated on Feb. 25, said Salman Ghani, chairman of Punjab's planning and development department.

During Basant last year, seven people were fatally slashed by glass-coated or metal-reinforced kite strings, prompting authorities to ban kite-flying. They arrested hundreds who defied the new regulation.

Apparently very large kites and reinforced strings will still be banned, but that does not change the fact that something so innocent is so deadly in Pakistan. It makes you shudder to think that a nation that cannot safely fly kites is also a nuclear power.

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