New Delhi, Feb 14: Hundreds of pro-Islamist university students on Wednesday stage protest against Valentine day celebration in Lahore. The Pakistan’s media regulatory authority has also instructed all news channels, radio stations and print media to refrain from promoting Western culture’s celebrations of Valentine’s Day.
Holding placards and posters students peacefully marched towards the Punjab University campus but was stopped by the police.
PEMRA directed countrywide broadcast media to “desist” from promoting the day. Religious parties have been long demanding to ban all kinds of events and celebration related to the Valentine s Day in the country as such activities were against the Islamic teachings.
The ban followed a petition by a private citizen, Abdul Waheed, who argued that promotions of Valentines’ Day were “against the teachings of Islam and should be banned immediately.”
This is the second year in a row that Pakistan has banned Valentine’s – as well as any media coverage of the day
More than 60% of the Pakistani population is under the age of 30, and generally in recent years people have embraced the showier side of the day with hearts, flowers and chocolates.
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. February 14 is celebrated as Valentine’s Day in whole world.
But not only Pakistan, in Iran, celebrating Valentine’s itself isn’t officially banned. Iranian shop owners aren’t allowed to manufacture or sell Valentine’s paraphernalia, such as boxes and cards adorned with hearts, special heart-shaped balloons, or red roses. Plus, under the country’s strict religious laws, unmarried couples are forbidden from mingling with each other.
Similarly in Indonesia there is no official law against the holiday, but some hardliners enforce small-scale bans and employ intimidation tactics.