Pakistan

LAHORE – Careem, the ride-hailing service that operates in several cities across Pakistan, has asked its customers not to use its latest Valentine’s Day exclusive promo following a government ban.

The company wrote on its Facebook page: “Keeping in accordance with strict government policies, Careem will not be celebrating Valentines day. You must not use our promo: NOTVALENTINES to win a special gift basket for you, & your Captain. This promo code is not meant to be used on 14th February in any part of the country. We repeat, do not use the promo NOTVALENTINES.”

‘U-Turn’

Careem’s announcement follows an advisory by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), directing local media to “desist from promoting Valentine’s Day”.

The authority directed all “broadcast media and distribution services licensees” to refrain from promoting Valentine’s Day as per an order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The IHC, in a verdict passed on February 13, 2017, had prohibited the celebration of Valentine’s Day in public spaces and government offices across the country “with immediate effect”. The court had also warned print and electronic media to “stop all Valentine’s Day promotions immediately”.

In 2016, President Mamnoon Hussain had urged Pakistanis to forego celebrating Valentine’s Day, saying that it was not a part of Muslim tradition, but of the West. He had said, “Valentine’s Day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided,” and added that the downsides of western culture had “adversely affected one of our neighbouring countries.”

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Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, or St Valentine’s Day, is celebrated every year on 14 February. It’s the day when people show their affection for another person or people by sending cards, flowers or chocolates with messages of love.

The day gets its name from a famous saint, but there are several stories of who he was. The popular belief about St Valentine is that he was a priest from Rome in the third century AD.

Careem is an app-based ride hailing service currently active in multiple cities of Pakistan and the Middle East. The company has recently introduced bikes to its fleet of vehicles.