Activists of the student organisation Shabab Milli chant slogans against Valentine's Day at a protest at the Peshawar press club on Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013.—Photo by Online

PESHAWAR: Supporters of Pakistan’s main religious party staged a noisy protest against Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, denouncing it as un-Islamic and calling for a “day of modesty” instead.

The student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) rallied outside the press club in the northwestern city of Peshawar, chanting slogans against Valentine’s Day, saying it had “spread immodesty in the world”.

Valentine’s Day is increasingly popular among younger Pakistanis, many of whom have taken up the custom of giving cards, chocolates and gifts to their sweethearts to celebrate the occasion.

But Pakistan remains a deeply traditional society where many disapprove of Valentine’s Day as a Western import.

The demonstrators, who carried a banner urging February 14 to be a “day of modesty”, said the tradition encouraged unmarried men and women to live together in sin.

“We will not allow holding of any Valentine’s Day function,” Shahzad Ahmed, the local head of the student organisation, said. “The law enforcing agencies must prevent such gatherings, otherwise we will stop in our own way.”

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