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Pakistan bans Valentine's Day

A court in Islamabad has banned open celebrations of the holiday. Politicians and private citizens alike have voiced wariness over adopting holidays from other cultures.

A Pakistani court banned public and online celebration of Valentine's Day nationwide on Monday. The move came after private citizen Abdul Waheed filed a petition with the Islamabad High Court, calling the holiday un-Islamic.

Valentine's Day has become a source of contention in Pakistan in recent years. Although it is popular on social media and used for promotions, many among the country's conservative religious community have criticized the new holiday as too Western, also pointing out that is a Christian saint's day.

Indeed, some fanatics have even taken to physically intimidating young people they saw publically honoring the day.

Petitioner Waheed said filed his complaint after saw media presenting the holiday like it was a Pakistani tradition.

President Mamnoon Hussain had previously supported banning the celebrations, saying last year that "Valentine's Day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided."

The Ministry of Information and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PERMA) and the city government of Islamabad will be responsible for making sure the ban is implemented, the court said. Even private television channels planning Valentine's Day programming are subject to the ban.

es/rc (dpa, PTI)

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