Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pakistan Police Arrest 1,400 Kite Flyers

Our initial thought on seeing this headline was that the Taliban must be in charge in Lahore, Pakistan. This kite ban is not based on theological grounds, however:
Pakistan Police Arrest 1,400 Kite Flyers: "LAHORE, Pakistan -- Skies normally alive with colorful kites to mark a spring festival were largely empty Sunday after police arrested 1,400 people over three days to enforce a ban imposed because of a series of fatal accidents.

The government of Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital, banned kite flying during this weekend's annual Basant festival after seven people died from being slashed by kite strings reinforced with wire or glass fiber.

People fly kites despite a police ban in Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday, March 12, 2006 as the skies above Pakistan's cultural capital are customarily festooned with colorful kites to mark a spring festival. Police enforced the ban that followed the deaths of seven people killed by glass-coated or wire kite strings and arrested 175 people, an official said.

Fliers often strengthen their kite strings before dueling with opponents in a game that is won when one flier cuts another's kite string."
We're reminded of the old line from W. C. Fields, "Ah, tiddly winks, I saw the championship played in Europe. Many people were killed." We never knew kite flying was so dangerous. Still it seems like banning the wire and glass strings might have been more sensible than a blanket ban on kites.

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