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Pakistan: 'Modesty Day' observed in campuses

Students across Pakistan observe 'Haya (modesty) Day' to counter Valentine's Day

Pakistan: 'Modesty Day' observed in campuses

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan

Students across Pakistan observed "Haya (modesty) Day" on Thursday to counter the Valentine's Day.

The Haya Day call was given by Islami Jamiat-e-Talba (IJT), the country’s largest student wing to what it described “promote the culture of modesty”.

Rallies, seminars and other events were held in all major college and university campuses in the capital Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Quetta and other cities attended by thousands of students.

Pakistan's printed and electronic media, which otherwise would promote the day with so much fanfare and exclusive coverage, remained silent for the second consecutive year following an Islamabad High Court ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations.

“I am proud to be part of this campaign. Neither Islam nor any other religion has anything to do with Valentine’s Day. Our culture is Haya (modesty), and we should stick to that”, Ambreen Zehra, a third-year student at Agriculture University Faisalabad, told Anadolu Agency.

Aneeq Tabish, a senior student at Karachi University, said: “ We simply say no to this economically-motivated event. It is purely a corporate activity, and we will not let our young people fall prey into this capitalist thinking”.

"Modesty is a much better option for our young people”, he said.

Valentine's Day, which falls on February 14, is named after Saint Valentine, a Roman saint, and over the years has become the day on which lovers traditionally express their feelings for each other.

Though it is not celebrated openly in Pakistan, private programs are arranged by some five-star hotels and multinational companies.

'Sisters' Day'

A major Pakistani university officially observed the day as "Sisters’ Day".

A special gathering was organized by the vice-chancellor of Agriculture University Faisalabad -- one of the largest universities in Pakistan -- on Thursday, attended by students and teachers in hundreds.

Zafar Iqbal Rhandhva, vice-chancellor, and other teachers distributed scarves and shawls among the female students urging their male colleagues to treat them with respect and honor.

“The purpose to observe this day is to promote Islamic teachings related to women’s respect, and honor. We want to counter the non-Islamic traditions, which are penetrating in our society in the name of so-called moderation and Western festivals like Valentine's Day”, Rhandava told reporters.

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