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Policemen collect evidence and speak to witnesses at a hostel after it was burnt during a clash between two student groups on Valentine's Day at the University of Peshawar February 14, 2014. – Reuters Photo
Policemen collect evidence and speak to witnesses at a hostel after it was burnt during a clash between two student groups on Valentine's Day at the University of Peshawar February 14, 2014. – Reuters Photo

PESHAWAR: At least three students were wounded Friday in a clash at Peshawar University, following a dispute over Valentine's Day celebrations in Pakistan, police said.

Students from the left-leaning Pakhtun Students Federation were marking the international day of romance with red balloons and cake when they were attacked by students from the rival Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) group.

The IJT, the student wing of Pakistan's hardline Jamaat-i-Islami party, had been celebrating “Haya (“Modesty”) Day” in response to Valentine's Day which they oppose as un-Islamic.

Dozens of students threw rocks in the scuffle, leading to gunshots being fired by both sides and three rooms in a student dormitory being set on fire.

“The situation is under control now. Three students were wounded in the clash,” local police official Fazlur Rehman told AFP, adding that police were searching for the students involved to arrest them.

One student had a gunshot wound to his hand, he added.

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 Muslim society where many disapprove of Valentine's Day as a Western import.

Peshawar is a conservative city on the edge of Pakistan's restive tribal belt, where most women wear veils in public and few girls go out alone.

Many of the Taliban and al Qaeda-linked bombings which have killed thousands of people in Pakistan in the past several years have focused around Peshawar and the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Comments (11) Closed

Iqbal bhai Feb 14, 2014 05:25pm

Those damaging the campus property must be Jamat-e-Islami student wing... Islam kay thay-kay-dar....

Sophie Feb 14, 2014 07:32pm

No one in the western world is dying or fighting over whether to celebrate Eid. They let the people own their own holy days. Does anyone even know St. Valentine he was a Christian Roman priest and the holiday is named after his martyrdom in 496 AD. It is a Christian Holiday Christians around the world people. FIrst learn your history before handing out cards and baloons.

GM Feb 14, 2014 07:57pm

Why can't we show love to the very people that we love who could be your spouse, parents siblings children or even your fiance/friends. Are we just barbarians or too ashamed to express love.

M. Saeed Awan Feb 14, 2014 09:40pm

Who has given authority to Jamat e Islami to meddle into others' affairs. I may oppose Valentine Day but I got no right to attack others who differ to me.

asim Feb 14, 2014 10:13pm

Showing affection towards female is anti-islamic?? I bet they men wont complain if they have to show affection to other

Nasser Feb 15, 2014 12:13am

I am glad we Pakistanis are fighting on "real" issues.

Bahadur Feb 15, 2014 05:24am

Just look at the contradiction and confusion in the last three paragraphs of this report. On one hand you say Peshawar is a place where people are most conservative. On the other hand, most of the Taliban killings have happened in and around there. What are Talibans up to, then? How confused you people are!

abdul andani Feb 15, 2014 08:17am

plz live and let other people live,do not make your place hal,IF YOU DO NOT LIKE V-DAY THEN DO NOT CELEBRAT AND LET OTHER PEOPLE ENJOY THERE LIFE.

Mohsin Feb 15, 2014 11:31am

@Iqbal bhai:

Could be ANP. Just to stir trouble for the prov coalition govt! :)

Harpoon Feb 16, 2014 06:05pm

Arrest those who damaged the peace. We cannot accept violence as a response against things we may not like.

khanm Feb 16, 2014 06:18pm

@Iqbal bhai: one should not blame any one unless proven guilty. This is the biggest problem we have with this nation...blaming some one with out proof is UN Islamic as well.. Instead of blaming everyone and everything else for our problems, pray for God to help us take an inventory of what's been on our minds so we can think about what we've been thinking about.