Valentine's Day celebrations banned in Islamabad?

Published: February 10, 2016


ISLAMABAD: After reports began swirling that the federal capital had banned the production of Valentine’s Day gifts or any promotion of the day celebrating love, the city administration has come out to deny any such development.

According to some electronic media reports, the interior ministry had directed the Islamabad Capital Administration (ICT) to not allow individuals and organisations to hold Valentine’s Day celebrations in the city.

However, ICT officials have now confirmed to The Express Tribune that they have not received any such orders.

“I’m surprised why electronic media are airing such baseless news,” Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Captain (retd) Muhstaq Ahmed said.

Valentine’s Day sparks celebrations, protests in Pakistan

Regarding reports that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar was chairing a meeting to consider banning Valentine’s Day celebrations, the official said, “The minister called a meeting to review the law and order situation of the capital, and it was attended by officials of the administration and police.”

“The minister did not pass any directions particularly to ban the Valentine’s Day celebrations,” he added.

Further an interior ministry spokesperson, Muhammad Sarfraz, confirmed that they did not pass any direction in this regard. “The meeting was supposed to review the performance of police and Federal Investigation Agency,” he said.

Earlier, media reports claimed that on the orders of Nisar, Valentine’s Day celebrations were banned in the federal capital.

The February 14 celebration named after a Christian saint has repeatedly been criticised by hardliners who warn about the spread of ‘un-Islamic’ Western values.

In 2013, some celebrated Valentine’s Day with balloons and flowers, but others denounced the day as an insult to Islam. In Karachi, billboards decorated with a black heart urged citizens to “SAY NO TO VALENTINE’S DAY”.

“This tradition reflects insensitivity, indignity and ignorance of Islam,” the signs read. They were put up by a group affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami.

“Valentine’s is against Islamic culture. In our view, relationships are sacred. We have arranged marriages in this culture and people don’t get married for love,” said Syed Askari, a spokesman for Jamaat-e-Islami. “This is imposing Western values and cultures on an Islamic society.

Saad Aziz confesses to Sabeen’s murder for holding Valentine’s Day rally

In Peshawar, a handful of people burnt Valentine’s Day cards in front of television cameras. Women held signs denouncing the tradition. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) urged broadcasters to “respect viewers’ sentiments”.

Further, Saad Aziz, one of the culprits arrested for involvement in The Second Floor café director Sabeen Mahmud’s murder confessed to killing her for holding a Valentine’s Day rally. “We shot her for holding a Valentine’s Day rally,” Aziz reportedly said in his statement to the police.

Valentine’s Day has become increasingly popular among the Pakistani youth and is a money-maker for businesses in the country.

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Reader Comments (41)

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    Feb 10, 2016 - 4:41PM

    So much for nawaz sharif’s liberal pakistan. The unfortunate point here is that nawaz needs nisar in his team for some odd reason.
    Mr. nisar is also the reason why that lal masjid terrorist roams freely on the streets of islamabad with his jihadi brigade.Recommend

  • Jamhoor
    Feb 10, 2016 - 4:42PM

    Interior Minister and Maulan Abdul Aziz are the same person.Recommend

  • Saad Nazim
    Feb 10, 2016 - 4:48PM

    A day dedicated to “LOVE” will never settle well with us I suppose. We’d rather prefer martyrs day (Hoorayy!) Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 10, 2016 - 4:53PM

    Abdul Aziz is encouraged……..but Valentine is banned…….soft image of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Feb 10, 2016 - 4:53PM

    Ch. Nisar has nothing else to do?Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Feb 10, 2016 - 4:55PM

    Good decisionRecommend

  • Raghu
    Feb 10, 2016 - 4:58PM

    Thank you Chaudry Nisar. Respect.Recommend

  • Feb 10, 2016 - 4:59PM

    I do not celebrate Valentine day, but its ridiculous to ban itRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Feb 10, 2016 - 5:01PM

    Killing isn’t banned?Recommend

  • Mamu
    Feb 10, 2016 - 5:02PM

    Boys are happy to give gift’s on this day. But when their sister gets a gift, they get angry.

    Say No to this day! It is a shame for our society.Recommend

  • Burhan Khan
    Feb 10, 2016 - 5:02PM

    Valentines day may be a useless tradition but by banning it Pakistan will provide a great headline for newspapers around the world. This also speaks volumes about the governments priorities, allowing marriage of 9 year old girls, disallowing sex education, allowing terrorist sympathisers to flourish, banning YouTube etcRecommend

  • Unknown
    Feb 10, 2016 - 5:13PM

    Only under the leadership of Molvi Nawaz ShareefRecommend

  • Besharam Khan
    Feb 10, 2016 - 5:14PM

    Good decision though the intentions are suspicious. He is the same person who ordered police not to question people carrying few bottles of liquor or marijuanaRecommend

  • Dong
    Feb 10, 2016 - 5:28PM

    I swear to God this sentence sent chills down my spine “We have arranged marriages in this culture and people don’t get married for love”.

    If people think that marriage is not about love then we are doomed as a society.Recommend

  • Ishrat salim
    Feb 10, 2016 - 5:47PM

    Good action by the govt. This is not our culture to celebrate VD.Recommend

  • Pankaj
    Feb 10, 2016 - 5:47PM

    This is intolerance. If a group of people dose this, it should be understood but government itself is imposing such bans.!!Recommend

  • umiff
    Feb 10, 2016 - 5:57PM

    My thoughts regarding chaudry nisar is right you Are more better and clever then any pmln leader i understaand why Ik Wants you in his party. Good decision this is an islamic country. Recommend

  • Muhammed Ali
    Feb 10, 2016 - 7:26PM

    Good news, after all we are muslims, people seem to forget that, in their quest to become westernized they cross all limits. Valentines along with many other western gimmicks has no place in PakistanRecommend

  • Istaburg
    Feb 10, 2016 - 7:29PM

    This ,if true is a very silly edict…you cannot ban a celebration which does not require permission or any over physical activity over which state can exercise any control. All they can do is shut down flower shop and raid restaurants …. which will look very silly also…. how does one prove that a Valentine day is being celebrated…..

    Another absurd move from the Saudi funded and minded Nawaz Government….. who seem to feel threatened if any liberal activity is conducted…. fearing that the money giver in Riyadh will frown…. indeed it is not our culture to celebrate Valentine…. but rather than ” banning” it … it would be much better educate our youth on what our culture really is through the family unit … ( which btw is not Burqahs and ankle length shalwars)

    Indeed we are an Islamic state, but you cannot force people to do things you can only set good examples and encourage good behaviors…. it is not the state’s job micro manage celebrations but set the bigger regulatory and social picture which encourage behaviors in harmony with Islamic values…. Recommend

  • vinsin
    Feb 10, 2016 - 7:56PM

    Pakistan is an Islamic country as of now by constitution, not a liberal as yet so justified. They should also ban democracy, electricity and internet as those also represent western values.Recommend

  • Point
    Feb 10, 2016 - 8:23PM

    @Brainy Bhaijan:
    You need to reed the basics of why millions got martyred for Pakistan. It wasnt to celebrate valentines day or christmas but celebrate Eid which you probably doesnt celebrate the way you cry for vday.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Feb 10, 2016 - 8:44PM

    Ufff that time of the year when clowns ( read …fanatics … ) both side of the border make their presence felt by breaking / tearing / destructing love related things … Some one should teach them about Laila Majnu / Kacha Devayani / Shirin Farad / Radha Krishna … Theres nothing ‘Western’ about love / attraction .Recommend

  • Najeebullah
    Feb 10, 2016 - 8:47PM

    Great Idea, lets ban the only love day and celebrate hate day every day. Recommend

  • Tariq Hashmi
    Feb 10, 2016 - 10:10PM

    VD supporters should start from their homes firstRecommend

  • Hameed
    Feb 11, 2016 - 1:46AM

    Ch Nisar can’t offend Lal Masjid guys. Can he?Recommend

  • Hameed
    Feb 11, 2016 - 1:50AM


    You need to reed the basics of why millions got martyred for Pakistan. It wasnt to celebrate valentines day or christmas

    Yes it was to setup Lal Masjid and allow it do its deeds. Thank you for making it clear.Recommend

  • sana
    Feb 11, 2016 - 2:23AM

    ok then they should ban all those molvis in mosques as well who are instigating hate and extremism in our society. We don’t need them either.Recommend

  • N
    Feb 11, 2016 - 2:51AM

    First please define what is our culture and what is not our culture. It is our culture to drink tea (Chinese culture) play cricket (British culture) or Polo (Afghan/Mongol culture) follow the religion called Islam (Hejaz Arabic culture), look down upon women who remarry after their husband dies (Hindu culture), have elections and democracy (Greek and American culture) speak Urdu (Turkic / Persian culture). I could go on and on and on going through history joining out thousands of things that were not our culture but today are our culture. Culture does not stay frozen, it changes through time and over time most cultures will find that they have been changed. There is no such thing as our culture. All that exists is our culture at this moment. This is all besides how ridiculous it is to ban the free choice of people to celebrate what they want. Recommend

  • Atheist
    Feb 11, 2016 - 2:57AM

    Pakis are funny people. Recommend

  • Saad
    Feb 11, 2016 - 6:07AM

    The Mullah-Without-Beard strikes again !!Recommend

  • Masood Hussain
    Feb 11, 2016 - 9:13AM

    Instead of banning the day of love, we should ban hatred and extremism that has plagued our country.Recommend

  • Istaburg
    Feb 11, 2016 - 9:44AM

    @N ….following Islam is not a cultural practice…you are comparing apples and oranges…it is people like you who mislead by giving fallacious arguments.

    Islam has not culture….culture is from the land and people and their way of life…Recommend

  • Raghu
    Feb 11, 2016 - 10:14AM

    Who ever wants to celebrate it and be a liberal can take his party outside Pakistan. Recommend

  • Feroz
    Feb 11, 2016 - 11:43AM

    Ban love, embrace hate — is this the ideology of Pakistan ?Recommend

  • Feb 11, 2016 - 1:58PM

    This is oppression, it’s sad to see a ban on the celebration of Love, this is against the spirit of freedom and sensibility, this is murder of liberty. This is just pitiful and absolutely foolish. There is no justification for this and the government should be ashamed of themselves, I protest against this.Recommend

  • Farzana
    Feb 11, 2016 - 2:53PM

    @Hassaan Khalid:
    You should be ashamed for your comments.Recommend

  • Trollslayer
    Feb 11, 2016 - 6:41PM

    @ Point

    I wasn’t aware millions were martyred for Pakistan. Was there a war with the British colonialists for independence that I somehow missed reading about.

    You use the Gregorian calendar and celebrate the new year on the first of January and your week ends on Friday, which are western customs not to mention the language you used to express your sentiments.Recommend

  • Salima H. K.
    Feb 12, 2016 - 1:57AM

    @Brainy Bhaijan:
    If you had read this whole instead of just the headline, you would’ve seen that it says the government has NOT banned valentine’s Day celebrations in Islamabad. Yes, DURING Sharif’s tenure! Now find someplace else where you WON’T end up degrading the credibility of your Pakistan-bashing.Recommend

  • gravity saves
    Feb 13, 2016 - 4:37PM

    Well o well. Religion is mere culture in your world. Great.Recommend

  • Raghu
    Feb 14, 2016 - 10:53AM

    Well our governments follow the Gregorian calendar and makes all the country follow it. In Saudia they folow both dates hand in hand. It depends on the government. I dont celebrate New year on 1 Jan. But i know many muslims do. Weeks ending on Friday is again a government move in order to link the stock market. In the middle east the weekend starts on Thursday. Other Languages can be used, there is no restriction on that.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Mar 12, 2016 - 3:33AM

    @Hassaan One should be ashamed to celebrate love affair of a European.We in Pakistan have many Asshiqs and Mashooqs i.e. Sheeren Farhad, Sassi Panoon Sohni Mahiwal.etc If foreign love affairs satisfies Mr Najnoo is there. Choose one and celebrate through out the year. Be a Pakistani Ashiq and be proud if you have nothing to do constructive Recommend

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