Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan have no objection to New Year's Eve parties - as long as the celebrants don't dance, drink or mingle with the opposite sex.
A group calling itself "The Tigers of Allah" has strung banners throughout Karachi denouncing New Year's celebrations as a product of the decadent West.Leading the drive against festivities to welcome in 1991 is the small but powerful Jamaat-i-Islami (Party of God), a key member of Pakistan's right-wing coalition government.
"We're not against celebrations as such, but we are against what is against decency and our own value system," Khurshed Ahmed, a parliamentarian and Jamaat party leader, said Sunday.
"We have warned people that we would not allow these types of celebrations in a country where Moslems are in government," said Khalid Rehman, another Jamaat leader.
"Islam was never that narrow-minded," said one religious analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "People who are like this, and they are there in every religion, make religion a joke. What is un-Islamic? That people be happy."
But threats canceled parties at all hotels, none of which serve alcohol because it is banned in this predominantly Moslem nation.
Hotels have taken out advertisements in English and Urdu-language newspapers promising a quiet New Year's Eve.