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Pakistan bans Valentine's Day



Islamabad - Pakistan has banned events promoting Valentine's Day, and media coverage of any such events, for the second year in a row after a court ruled the holiday un-Islamic.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) issued an advisory on Wednesday warning television and radio stations against any Valentine's Day events.

"No event shall be held at the official level or at any public place," Pemra said.

The ban was introduced by Islamabad High Court last year after a petition by a citizen who said the holiday was a cultural import from the West and "against the teachings of Islam".

Many of the Muslim-majority nation's young people - more than 60 percent of the population is under age 30 - and commercial establishments have in recent years embraced Valentine's Day traditions of hearts, flowers and chocolates.

But the country of 208 million has also seen a new wave of ultra-religious political activism that sparked a backlash against such visible, and some say immoral, celebrations.

Hard-right political parties including the Taliban-linked Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam parties have in recent years held rallies to denounce the holiday.

Valentine's Day falls on February 14.
Khabza Mkhize

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