ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court Wednesday extended its stay orders regarding ban on public celebrations of Valentine’s Day.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukdat Aziz Siddiqui conducted hearing in this matter and also indicated to appoint amicus curiae (friends of court/legal assistance) in this connection for its adjudication.

Previously, the same single bench of IHC had issued a stay order regarding celebrations of the Valentine Day on February 2, 2017 and directed the government to ensure that no publicity and promotion of Valentine Day could be made through media and no such event could be held at public places.

In this regard, petition of Abdul Waheed, a resident of G-9 Islamabad has been pending before the court since last year. Last year when this order was issued, late Asma Jehangir had vehemently opposed this decision.

Extending the stay orders, IHC adjourned hearing in this matter till the first week of March.

The petitioner through his counsels Majid Nadeem Bhatti and Shafqat Ullah Khan advocates, has argued that the matter related to the feelings, emotions, norms and values of the Muslim community at large.

He nominated federation of Pakistan through secretary ministry of information, secretary ministry of information technology, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) through its chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) through its chairman, and Chief Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) as respondents.

The court in its order dated February 2, 2017 directed the respondents including media regulators “to ensure that nothing about the celebration of ‘Valentine Day’ and its promotion is spread on electronic and print media. No event shall be held at official level and at any public place. Chairman PEMRA is directed to ensure that all the TV channels shall stop the promotion of Valentine Day, forthwith”.

The petitioner adopted that in the cover of spread of love, in fact, immorality, nudity and indecency is being promoted, which is against our rich traditions and values. Electronic and print media is promoting the event, that is neither an event for Muslims nor for Pakistanis. If somebody wants to profess about this, he can do so in his personal capacity and not like Eid festival.

He contended that as per constitution of Pakistan the government shall make all reasonable arrangements to promote Islamic values and culture throughout the country without discrimination. In the past, a number of programs was telecasted on different media channels with regard to the so-called (Valentine Day) on February 14 every year.

He added that media channels were promoting the idea to celebrate this day. Special parties and events were organised at public and private places to celebrate this day. Traders of Islamabad used to decorate their shops with balloons, cards and gift items clearly promoting the idea of Valentine Day.

Waheed continued that celebrating this day is against Quran, Sunnah, Islamic injunctions, values and culture of our society. The petitioner further adopted that celebrating such events particularly at public places is against the Islamic norms and values. It was responsibility of the respondents to prevent such activity not only on media but at public places as well.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct the respondents to take all measures in preventing such activities to happen either through media or at public places.