Islamabad High Court on Monday issued an order barring Valentine’s Day celebrations at public places. The order has an immediate effect in the country. During the hearing of a petition lodged by citizen Abdul Waheed, the Court said, Valentine’s Day is against Islamic preachings and should be banned immediately.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February as a symbol of love after ‘Saint Valentine’. Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.
The celebration of valentine day is increasingly becoming controversial in Pakistan over past few years. Even in the previous year, it became a huge issue when President of the country, Mamnoon Hussain, made comments against it prompting furor from the liberal sections of the society who consider Valentine’s Day celebration as an innocent expression and something that is part of increasing globalization.
A very insignificant percentage of Pakistani youth in the urban centers of Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and few other cities celebrates Valentine’s Day. This merely consists of presenting flowers to friends and family or dressing in colorful costumes. So liberals wonder why it is such a big issue for the religious parties and conservative sections in Pakistan. Conservative majority, on the other hand, considers Valentine’s Day as a cultural invasion against Islam. The decision of the Islamabad High Court is bound to generate angry reactions.