Britney Spears and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain made headlines on February 14 when they took to public forums to joke about Valentine’s Day. Here’s our complete coverage of the debate that ensued, and some surefire ways to make people fall in love with you.

Part 1: Love and its Discontents – the pros and cons of celebrating

Valentine’s Day

Advantage: An occasion to express one’s love for one’s special someone, Valentine’s Day helps keep a large number of married and engaged men off the streets and away from expressing their love for all the other women they meet.

Disadvantage: Single men and women may begin to fall in love with each other – a phenomenon never seen in this part of the world before the onslaught of globalisation and American culture.

Advantage: We can express our most intimate and personal feelings for someone with a simple red plastic balloon carrying a picture of a heart with an arrow going through it.

Disadvantage: Balloon vendors, florists and a number of small businesses make a lot of money on this day. I’m not sure what is exactly wrong with that, but I’m a left leaning liberal and I have a feeling that when someone makes money, there’s something wrong about that.

Advantage: Adults carrying red balloons and couples dining at love-themed tables in restaurants get stared at, thus enjoying this new opportunity to embarrass themselves in public in ways not seen since the end of the Ramadan game shows on TV.

Disadvantage: Dejected men who did not have a Valentine will see this day as an opportunity to comment on the moral depravity of women in general.

Advantage: There will be no need to express our love or buy flowers for the people we love for the rest of the year. Imagine that – 364 days, zero expectations.

Disadvantage: Celebrating a day that is all about love will ruin our global image of an Islamic nuclear power and a disaster waiting to happen.

Advantage: You can buy extremely cheap heart-shaped balloons the next morning.

Disadvantage: This trend to express love may grow into more serious expectations of loving the people around us, or worse, loving humanity.

Part 2: The politics of Likeability – How to make people fall in love

with you

Step one: Become the president. Climbing the social ladder to become the symbolic head of state is not as difficult in Pakistan as it is in the United States. All it takes is a little bit of luck, and years of political service that has proven to your party that you are too ineffective to conspire against it.

Step two: Keep a low profile. Most people just hate everyone and everything. If you don’t exist for them, it is unlikely that they will hate you. A good president stays away from the affairs of the state and minds his or her own business.

Step three: Ban Valentine’s Day. Then log on to Twitter and follow the hashtag #SayNoToValentinesDay.

Part 3: Romantic Readings – top three books about love

The most important takeaway from the debate about Valentine’s Day is that expressing love is not harmful as long as we do it in clichéd ways. And to help you do that, we have compiled a list of the best books about love.

1) Pride and Prejudice: For two hundred years, this Jane Austen classic has reminded women that they have a right to marry for no other reason than love. As long as they do get married, eventually.

2) The Perfect Figure – the complete workout and diet plan for men and women: February 14 is the day when the world lets ugly people know that they are ugly. And the truth is that nobody will love you for the rest of the year either. If you are a woman, it is time to adopt a healthy lifestyle to achieve all your unhealthy body image goals. If you are a man, remember that while the Barbie doll is an impossible ideal women are expected to achieve, He-man and Superman are perfectly achievable.

3) Phantom of the Opera: This French classic is the most realistic depiction of the behavior of Pakistani men towards their wives and lovers.