February is the month in which everyone around us becomes very vigilant. All thanks to Valentine’s Day. It’s not just limited to our friends and family wanting to know what we’re up to but even the authorities now want to know what’s up. Talk about everyone wanting to get up in your business.
PEMRA has banned all TV channels and print media from “promoting” any content related to Valentine’s Day
Ban on Valentines Day coverage. Pemra has directed TV channels not to promote Valentines Day celebrations . ?? pic.twitter.com/z7LmEnLiHO
— Ansar Abbasi (@AnsarAAbbasi) February 7, 2018
This directive was given by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Authorities in other cities will also be on alert to stop any such celebrations
Here’s how Pakistanis are reacting to the news:
Some are appreciating the effort
Valentine's Day are "against Islamic teachings and should be banned immediately."
— IslamicPakistan (@IslamicPakista3) February 7, 2018
Valentine day is neither about love nor about spreasing love but vulgarity & indecency in the society. So called liberty is all what it directs to, #PEMRA deserves standing ovation for such a fine act. #Welldone_PEMRA
— Adnan Afzal (@fairylotus1) February 7, 2018
Valentine's day's coverage is only the promotion of this silly thing! Nothing else.. Pemra's decision is ?
— Laiba Rehman (@LaibaRehman20) February 7, 2018
while, others have more than a few questions
Interesting how PEMRA and Islamabad High Court are so aggressive against Valentines day but can't lift a finger against Bol and its anchors openly accusing people of blasphemy.
— P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney (@anthonypermal) February 7, 2018
Yes let's spread hatred and fear through our channels.
Don't promote Valentine's Day, Pemra reminds broadcasters https://t.co/XaXb7AS6Ww
— Ayeshah (@JazbaatiiiQaum) February 7, 2018
But hate speech is alright?
The same people who stood and watched as a TV anchor went on a long series of tirades against specific people, accusing them if committing blasphemy now have this to say:
— Khurram Husain (@KhurramHusain) February 7, 2018
What media code of ethics would they be violating, again?
PEMRA has ordered TV channels not to broadcast anything about Valentine's Day, without giving an inkling about what code of conduct it violates. TV stations should wipe their collective asses with the notification,
— Shaheryar Mirza (@mirza9) February 7, 2018
Interviewing extremists is okay but expression of love isn’t? Right
Air interviews of terrorists, give airtime to terrorist apologists, interviews of people like Noreen Leghari, let media harass grieving victims, but something as silly and random as Valentine's Day gets banned by PEMRA & Islamabad High Court. Well done. Truly outstanding stuff. https://t.co/NFo9nsvNbK
— Mahwash Ajaz (@mahwashajaz_) February 7, 2018
Thank you for recognizing the most pressing problem of Pakistan these days
Meanwhile, good to see the state and its pillars paying attention to the most pressing problems of Pakistan https://t.co/HEZxaCdiKr
— Hasan Zaidi (@hyzaidi) February 7, 2018
Finally, pemra realizes the VERY REAL PROBLEM OF VALENTINE'S!!!! Baaqi everything is fit and fine in media, no fake news, no criminal enterprises masquerading as media houses, no spin doctors and outright liers in the garb of "doctor" journalists. ALL IZZZ WELL https://t.co/EyO6trezb8
— Muhammad Usama Khan (@BohemianRevolt) February 7, 2018
But is it really the most pressing issue of the country at the moment that it is being taken up by the IHC and PEMRA?
Should the government machinery actually be used against the promotion of Valentine’s Day and to ban its celebration?
To answer this question we are not going to go back further in history. We’ll just pick an incident from the last year. In February 2017, while everyone was busy making sure that no one dares to celebrate the day and personal lives were invaded; the city of Lahore witnessed a suicide bombing. The was the epitome of misplaced priorities which gives more attention to the display of affection rather than those extremists eating away the country.
Don't worry, the courts are busy crushing real terror: Valentine's Day. #LahoreBlast
— Nadeem Farooq Paracha (@NadeemfParacha) February 13, 2017
— Sonia Hassan (@soniahassan50) February 13, 2017
Don't know what's crazier – believing Lahore blast was IPL against PSL, or courts believing most immeninent threat is Valentine's Day
— Fasi Zaka (@fasi_zaka) February 14, 2017
Let us know which narrative you agree with in the comments below. We await your comments.