South Asian Insider
Pakistan bans media coverage of Valentine's Day celebrations
(News Agencies) ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's electronic media watchdog on Wednesday directed the local media to refrain from promoting and showing celebrations of Valentine's Day as such activities were against the Islamic teachings.
The Islamabad High Court in a verdict passed on a petition submitted by a citizen on February 13, 2017, had prohibited the celebration of Valentine's Day (on February 14) in public spaces and government offices across the country "with immediate effect".
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued the directives in the light of the IHC verdict passed in February last year.
"In the meanwhile, respondents are directed to ensure that nothing about the celebration of Valentine Day and its promotion is spread on the Electronic and Print Media," the PEMRA said in a statement.
"No event shall be held at official level and at any public place. Chairman, PEMRA is directed to ensure that all the TV channels shall stop the promotion of Valentine Day, forthwith," it said.
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.
President Mamnoon Hussain also urged to abstain from Valentine's Day activities they were part of West traditions.
"Valentine's Day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided," he said during a speech in 2016.
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.
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