Valentine's Day condemned by Pakistan President because it has nothing to do with Muslims

Conservative religious groups ban shop keepers from selling flowers and cards in northern districts 

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The Independent Online

Valentine's Day is a Western construct that clashes with Muslim culture, Pakistan's President has said as the country's religious groups try to ban celebrations. 

Mamnoon Hussain, of the Pakistan Muslim League party, told students the day for red roses and love cards has no links to Pakistani culture and should not be celebrated. 

“Valentine’s Day has no connection with our culture,” he said at an event on Friday in which he urged young people to “always maintain their religious and national identity,” according to the Wall Street Journal

Although Valentines's Day remains popular among many Pakistani, with street vendors selling flowers and ballons and restaurants offering special deals for two, religious groups have long denounced the day for romance as decadent. 

Across the country, conservative religious groups such as the Jamaat-e-Islami, one of Pakistan’s largest Islamist parties, have called on people to celebrate "Modest Day". 


Conservative religious groups tried to ban shop keepers from selling flowers and cards for Valentine's Day 

In the northern Kohat district shop keepers have been banned from selling any Valentines flowers and cards. 

The area is run by a religious political party and borders Pakistan's conservative tribal areas. 

Furth north, Peshawar authorities decried the day as "useless" and voted to ban any Valentine's Day celebrations to stop young people from being misled by non-Muslims values. 

But officials later told BBC Urdu the bans had been ignored by most of the local population. 

"Valentine's Day has no legal grounds, and secondly it is against our religion, therefore it was banned," Kohat district administrator Maulana Niaz Muhammad told the BBC Urdu. 

Conservative religious groups fear Valentine's Day could encourage obscene behaviour and see it as a festival of immorality, detriment to the tradition of the marriage and an assault on Muslim values. 

Exchanging gifts and flowers is not perceived as a negative thing in Pakistan but they believe this should not be reserved to one day in the year. 

In the past, these groups have often campaigned against the celebration of Christian saint's days for being anti-Islam. 

Earlier this week, there were unconfirmed media reports that Valentine's Day gifts had been banned in the capital Islamabad but this was later denied by Pakistan's government.