A viral video on TikTok has circulated alongside a claim that the caretaker government in Punjab has decided to lift the 17-year ban on kite flying.
The claim is incorrect.
On February 9, a TikTok account uploaded a video, splicing together footage from different news channels, where the television anchors announce that Punjab has decided to allow Basant celebrations in February.
In the video, Fayaz-ul-Hassan Chohan, the former minister for information in Punjab, can also be heard saying: “Basant will be celebrated, a principled decision has been made.”
The clip had been viewed over 979, 000 times, at the time of writing.
The caretaker government in Punjab, which came to power on January 23, has not made any decision to allow kite-flying activities in the province this spring.
Geo Fact Check reached out to Amir Mir, the current minister for information in Punjab to ask if Basant will be allowed this year.
“No such decision has been taken,” he responded via WhatsApp.
He further added that a meeting of the Punjab caretaker cabinet was held on February 14, where it was decided to celebrate Jashan-e-Baharan (spring festival) in the province.
“But no decision was taken regarding the celebration of Basant,” he wrote.
Mir also shared a link of a news report which stated that Mohsin Naqvi, the caretaker chief minister of Punjab, will take strict action against those who violate the kite flying ban.
As for the video circulating on TikTok, the footage of private news channels is from December 2018, when Fayaz-ul-Hassan Chohan was the minister for information in Punjab. Chohan had then announced that the government would lift the ban on kite flying.
However, a few days later the announcement was challenged in the Lahore High Court, after which the then-Punjab government withdrew its decision.
Basant, the kite flying festival, was banned in 2005.
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