This Valentine's day take time to celebrate the connection between the one you love, yourself, and your adhaar card. It's mandatory.
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) February 14, 2018
— SIR .. (@SirJohnRoe) February 13, 2017
Islamabad High Court prohibits celebrating #ValentinesDay on public places.
Pehle Maa Baap se chupte they ab Police se bhi chupo. 😂😂
— Amna (@AmnaSuleiman) February 13, 2017
Happy" hamein kya lena dena " day to everyone
— Sunil- The Cricketer (@1sInto2s) February 14, 2018
Valentine’s Day, named after a Christian saint who died for love, is often marked across Muslim-majority Pakistan, with retailers offering themed sales, restaurants advertising special deals for couples and florists registering booming sales.
However, The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned public celebrations of the day on Wednesday, following an order from the Islamabad High Court issued last year.
Petitioner Abdul Waheed had filed a case in early 2017 contending that the celebration of Valentine’s Day was spreading “immorality, nudity and indecency” in Pakistan.
“No event shall be held at official level and at any public place,” the court ordered at the time. Though a final ruling is still wanting regarding the case, which has been going on for more than a year now.
Commercial holidays and events such as Valentine’s Day are increasingly becoming sites for cultural contestation in Pakistan.
In 2013, prominent social activist Sabeen Mahmud held a “Pyaar ho jaane do” (‘Let love happen’) protest in the southern port city of Karachi, countering calls for a ban on the celebration.
Mahmud received several death threats for her defence of the day. In April 2015, she was shot dead by assailants on a motorcycle, minutes after hosting a controversial talk on ethnic Baloch rights.