A day before the world celebrates love on 14 February, the Islamabad High Court on Monday prohibited Valentine’s Day celebrations in public spaces and government offices across the country ‘with immediate effect’.
According to a report in Dawn, print and electronic media have been warned to “stop all Valentine’s Day promotions immediately”.
Not just that, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has also been ordered to monitor all mediums and send out notifications banning any related promotions.
The order by court came during a hearing of a petition submitted by citizen Abdul Waheed, who argued that promotions on mainstream and social media for Valentine’s Day are “against Islamic teachings and should be banned immediately.”
Valentine Day has been controversial in Pakistan and every year zealots of religious parties try to terrorise the youngsters celebrating the day.
The Valentine’s Day activities have often been disrupted in the past in the Muslim-majority country by the supporters of hardline parties like Jamaat-e-Islami.
But it is for the first time that a high court banned its celebrations.
Only a small minority in the conservative country openly observe the day and that too in the big cities. Last year, President Mamnoon Hussain had also urged the nation not to celebrate Valentine’s Day and said that it has no connection with the country’s culture and should be avoided. He had urged the people to maintain Pakistan’s religious and national identity.
After the court’s order, this is how people from both India and Pakistan registered their anger on Twitter:
#ValentinesDay trending in Pakistan Now mullah will say Islam is in danger🤡🤡🤡🤡— 🇧️abloo (@Manum_Babloo) February 13, 2017
@dawn_com That is the true face of Pakistan. Not that it doesn’t have liberals, but that their voice is too easy to shut off (2/2)— Seemin Suleri (@seeminsuleri) February 13, 2017
Why non issues are priority in Pakistan? If you don’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day don’t do it, let people decide what they want to do— Hina Butt (@hinaparvezbutt) February 13, 2017
Pakistan has 1-0 lead in #ValentinesDay stupidity this time! Surely some idiot in India will beat up few couples tomorrow & make it 1-1— Harsha (@Hramblings) February 13, 2017