A Pakistani university is rebranding Valentine's Day as "Sister's Day", and debating marking the holiday widely seen as a Western import by handing out headscarves and shawls to its female students.
"We were forgetting our culture, and Western culture was taking root in our society," he continued.
"UAF was mulling a plan to distribute scarves, shawls and gowns printed with the UAF insignia among female students" on February 14, the statement on the website added.
"These scarfs will be distributed by the university administration and not their fellow male students," he added, saying that the goal is to ensure respect for women.
Valentine's Day is increasingly popular among younger Pakistanis, with many taking up the custom of giving cards, chocolates and gifts to their sweethearts to mark the occasion.
But the country remains a deeply traditional Muslim society where women have long struggled for their rights, and many disapprove of the holiday as a Western import.
A rising Pakistani social media star, Qandeel Baloch, responded by posing in a plunging scarlet dress and posting a video message refuting his call. Baloch, whose provocative selfies deeply polarised Pakistan, was murdered by her brother later that year.
In 2017, the Islamabad High Court prohibited Valentine's celebrations in public spaces and government offices across the country, while last year the country's media regulator warned TV and radio stations against promoting the holiday.
On social media many rejected the UAF initiative -- some joking that "Sister Day" could also be seen as a reference to the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan, in which brothers vow to protect their sisters.
Pakistan sees neighbouring India, where Hinduism is the dominant religion, as its arch-enemy.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)