Pakistan imposes ban on kite flying

Authorities in Lahore have banned kite flying after strings laced with glass powder killed seven people, including two children, ahead of an annual festival, a government statement said.

The ban was announced late Thursday three days after a stray string, covered with a glass powder paste, slit the throat of a four-year-old boy as he passed through an upscale neighborhood on his father's motorcycle.

Some kite fliers reinforce their strings with wire or ground glass so that they can duel against other kites. When strings cross in the congested sky, the winner cuts loose the opponent's kite.

The bleeding boy, Shayan Ahamad, collapsed and died in the lap of his father before he could be taken to hospital.

The tragedy brought the death toll from such incidents to seven in the past two weeks. Politicians and human rights activists had been calling for a ban on a kite-flying festival planned for Sunday.

The provincial government in Lahore announced Thursday night that the ban on kite-flying was immediate and that violators would be arrested.

Ahmad's father Mohammed Rizwan welcomed the ban.

"I saw my son dying helplessly," Rizwan told The Associated Press.

"My son's death has ruined my life," he said.

The festival, Basant, marks the arrival of spring, and during the two days, reports the AP.


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