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February 15th, 2011
No Love in Pakistan

They may look like harmless balloons.


But if you are the Pakistani police, such tokens of Valentine's Day affection are a serious matter.
Authorities in capital Islamabad were yesterday rounding up street vendors who were selling red and white heart-shaped balloons.
The street vendors appeared to be arrested and were carted off, along with their balloons, in a police truck.

Many in Pakistan are concerned at the increasing popularity of Valentine's Day among young affluent teenagers and students.
Conservatives see the celebration as an immoral Western idea, which should not allowed to be penetrate Pakistani culture.
However young Pakistanis argue that there is nothing wrong with celebrating love, and no threat to the country's Islamic culture from such a celebration.

Some extremist groups threaten violence against those who celebrate Valentine's Day and it is unclear if the street vendors were arrested or carted off for their own protection. 



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