Economy of love at full play in Pakistan

The economy and politics of love are at play yet again in Pakistan with another Valentine’s Day ready to strike the country in its stereotypical grandeur.

Updated: Feb 13, 2011, 17:16 PM IST

Islamabad: The economy and politics of
love are at play yet again in Pakistan with another
Valentine’s Day ready to strike the country in its
stereotypical grandeur.

While the mullah-brigade, as always, has sharpened its
knives to teach the wandering a lesson, there`s no stopping
those in love from painting the town red.

All commercial ventures seem to be zealously endorsing
love yet again in a country that has been described by the
Western media as the most dangerous place on earth.

So there are restaurants offering "love desserts" and
airplanes ready to fly a mushy couple to as far as Dubai.

Posters put up at shops advertise private Valentine`s
Day parties but offer no details about the venue or the
organisers a reflection of the security concerns usually
associated with such events.

The Kuch Khaas Caf, a hit with the hoity-toity of the
federal capital, is offering mouth watering desserts tomorrow
to celebrate love.

"Because when they say the way to a man`s heart is
through his stomach they don?t lie!" reads the punchline for
the special invite.

On their part, men have been advised to win their
women`s hearts by buying a heart-shaped diamond-studded
pendant because diamonds are a woman`s best friend after
all.

Never mind that the diamonds are priced Rs 78,000
upwards! Illusions, a leading music and gift shop in
Islamabad, has been done up with red balloons and ribbons.
Teenagers are rubbing shoulders with those in their
twenties and thirties in the two-floor shop to pick the right
gift for their beloved.

It`s a choice between a pack of foreign chocolates or
a red teddy bear or a heart-shaped pillow! Girls, who are not
allowed to celebrate V-Day, are planning to smuggle a red
dupatta in their bags tomorrow in keeping with the tradition
of wearing red on the day, according to a report in a local
daily.

Groups have been floated on Facebook building a case
for and against celebrating Valentine`s Day, and on Twitter, a
photo of two burqa-clad women shopping for gifts in Peshawar
is being circulated.

The Tehrik Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat, a grouping of
Barelvi groups formed to oppose changes in the blasphemy law,
has announced a protest tomorrow in Lahore ? but that hasn`t
stopped florists from upping their prices or lovers from
cancelling their V-Day dates.

PTI