Peshawar district council seeks ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations

Published February 13, 2016
A shopkeeper waits for customers at his outlet decorated with Valentine’s Day items in Peshawar Saddar. — Photo by Abdul Majeed Goraya
A shopkeeper waits for customers at his outlet decorated with Valentine’s Day items in Peshawar Saddar. — Photo by Abdul Majeed Goraya

PESHAWAR/KOHAT: The Peshawar district council unanimously passed a resolution on Friday pressing the local government to ban Valentine’s Day celebrations in the provincial capital.

Also in the day, the Kohat district nazim slapped such a ban in the district.

In Peshawar district council, where the PTI has an overall majority, leader of JI councillors Khalid Waqas Chamkani tabled a resolution, which stated there was no room for the useless festival of Valentine’s Day in the local culture and traditions and therefore, the city district government should immediately ban all programmes and activities scheduled for Feb 14 in the capital to mark the day.

The resolution mover said a section of the society inspired from the Western culture wanted to erode local culture and traditions by spreading useless activities like Valentine’s Day among youths. He said the Valentine’s Day celebrations had nothing to do with Islam as well as Pakistan.

Mr. Chamkani appreciated Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Kohat district nazim Maulana Niaz Mohammad for banning the Valentine’s Day celebrations in Islamabad and Kohat respectively. Convener Syed Qasim Ali Shah put the resolution to vote.

Kohat nazim slaps ban but DPO in defiant mood

The house unanimously passed the resolution asking the district government to ban all sorts of Valentine’s Day activities.

The convener later told reporters that the deputy commissioner would formally be informed about the resolution shortly for action.

He said if the district government had issued NOCs for the Feb 14 musical programmes, they all would be cancelled after the passage of the resolution.

“Some elements are introducing the culture of other nations to our college girls and boys,” he said.

In Kohat, district nazim Maulana Niaz Mohammad issued a notification asking the deputy commissioner and district police officer to ban all sorts of Valentine’s Day activities to stop the people from marking the day.

He told Dawn on Friday that he had issued the notification to ban the Valentine’s Day celebrations and the sale of balloons with love written on them as well as all greeting cards related to the day.

“It is not only indecent but also goes against the spirit of Islam to allow the free mingling of boys and girls. We will not allow such an activity at any cost in the district,” said the nazim, who belongs to the JUI-F.

The nazim said the administration and police were bound to enforce the ban in letter and spirit by cracking down on Valentine’s Day celebrations and removing all ‘objectionable’ items from local shops and markets.

However, DPO Zohaib Ashraf refused to accept the ban insisting the nazim was not authorised to make such a move.

“Such bans could be slapped by the provincial government only,” he said. The local youths rejected the ban.

Fahad Khan told Dawn that by banning the Valentine’s Day celebrations, the nazim had tried to deprive local residents of festive occasions in chaotic times.

Hashim Khan, another younger, said unfortunately, the district government didn’t organise fairs and festivals over security reasons but it was quick to slap a needless ban to the unhappiness of the already stressed people.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2016



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