The university renamed Valentine's Day "Sisters Day" -

A Pakistani university decided to rename "Valentine's Day" as sisters' day and to distribute scarves and shawls to the students, taking the opposite of a "Western culture" perceived as imported.

The change aims to promote "Eastern culture and Islamic traditions among young people", said the University of Agriculture of Faisalabad (UAF / East) in an announcement made on its website.

"In our culture, women have more power and earn due respect from others like sisters, mothers, daughters and wives," said vice-president Zafar Iqbal.

"We were forgetting our culture and Western culture was rooted in our society," he continued, adding that the UAF thought "to distribute sails, shawls and blouses to students" 14 February.

UAF hopes to give at least a thousand veils to the 14,000 young women studying there, he told AFP Qamar Bukhari, university spokesman, asking for donations to fund the operation.

"These scarves will be distributed by the administration and not by the male students," he said, adding that the purpose of the operation is to ensure respect for women.

Valentine's Day, increasingly celebrated among young Pakistanis, is very much criticized in this very conservative and patriarchal Muslim country, where it is perceived as a Western importation.

In 2017, the High Court of Islamabad banned public holidays in the capital, seized by an appellant who stated that "in the guise of love, it is immorality, nudity and indecency are promoted".

The court also urged the media to stop promoting the day of lovers in a country where the vast majority of marriages are organized.

In 2016, then Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain asked a 'student assembly to focus on their education rather than on a holiday that, he says, has no place in a Muslim nation.

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