Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.: Kites of Death!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Kites of Death!

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Flying a kite in Pakistan is a dangerous pastime.

Already it's banned for all but 15 days of the year but a provincial minister warned kite-flyers this week that any who cause injury or death with string made from metal or coated with glass could be tried under anti-terrorism laws.

The Punjabi chief minister's unprecedented threat came just ahead of the start of an annual kite-flying festival in the provincial capital, Lahore, Sunday.

Kite-flying in Pakistan and neighboring India often involves aerial duels in which participants try to bring down each other's kites using string coated in a sticky paste of ground-up glass or metal.

Every year, Pakistani media report dozens of deaths and injuries caused by kite flying, mainly of children and motorcyclists whose throats are sometimes cut by metal or glass-coated string.

"It is a matter of concern that a healthy sport is being turned into a game of death," the official APP news agency quoted Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi as saying Tuesday.

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