Islamabad High Court bans Valentine's Day celebrations

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The Islamabad court agreed, prohibiting any official or public events celebrating Valentine's Day in addition to its media ban.

Last year, Pakistan also banned Valentine's Day, calling it an "insult" to Islam and warning that "strict" action against anyone daring to celebrate the day in any part of Islamabad.

The court also directed the information ministry, federal government, chairman Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority and chief commissioner to submit a reply within 10 days.

An IHC bench in its order directed the respondents including media regulators "to ensure that nothing about the celebration of "Valentine's Day" and its promotion is spread on electronic and print media".

In Pakistan, Valentine's Day is seen by some as amoral and an appropriation of Western culture.

In India as well, members of the the Bajrang Dal protested against Valentine's Day and burnt effigies in Hyderabad and Jammu.

"I was looking forward to celebrating Valentine's Day with my friends, but this ban from the government has ruined everything for us", said Azhar Kalam, 27, an engineering student in Lahore. The ruling was a victory in a larger movement that includes Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, as well as other Muslim-majority nations to outlaw all the holiday of love.

Many religious groups, like the Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami [party website], argue that Valentine's Day is not a romantic holiday but a sexual one with obscene undertones.

Looks like Pakistan owes a big thanks to Abdul Waheed for "opening" the eyes of the judiciary in his country.

"The Valentine Day has no place in our tradition and values", the city's resolution read a year ago, when officials branded it as "vulgar and indecent".

Some restaurants in Islamabad continued to send out text messages advertising Valentine's Day promotions even after the ban was announced.

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