Black coats and blacker faces

Published: February 17, 2012

amina.jilani@tribune.com.pk

Whilst democracy as practiced by the present dispensation ekes out its revenge upon the Pakistani nation, accompanied by the contempt held, not only for the Supreme Court of the land but for the people at large, an unhealthy segment of the national mindset is sinking into the national sewerage system.

This publication did well to report on February 11, the utterly disgraceful and disgusting action taken by members of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) in passing a resolution asking for a prohibition on the sale in all court canteens of a brand of cold drinks produced by a company owned by members of the Ahmadi community. That this could happen in Lahore, a city which boasts of proud enlightened heritage and that it was instigated by men supposedly also enlightened by dint of their being educated and qualified as lawyers, is indicative of the depths to which the national mindset has sunk.

This publication also did well on February 12, to print an editorial (“An outrageous ban”), outlining the absurdity and the frightening hatred, intolerance and bigotry — and let us add lack of true education — of the 100-odd lawyers who voted for the resolution, egged on by one man — who certainly should not be an advocate in a court of a country that insists it is a democracy — the president of the Khatme Nabuwat Lawyers’ Forum. Rather than ostracising the man when he came up with the disgraceful banning motion, the black coated heroes of the lawyers ‘movement’ that upheld the independence of the judiciary, happily went along with him and with them the president of the LBA. All concerned should be — but surely are not — truly ashamed of themselves.

There were 71 comments posted on the online version of that editorial on this newspaper’s website, so at least that should provide some solace to those of us who are horrified by the signs of the grim direction in which the mindset of these men of the law flows. The horrible problem is that there may be millions out there around us ready to feed the black coats with lumps of ladoos and garland them for their righteous act.

But then, what does one really expect of these black coats? Since their triumphant ‘movement’ for the restoration of the judges they have shown their true colours on many an occasion — and those colours were definitely black. During and subsequent to the ‘movement’, the black coats have attacked and beaten up members of their own fraternity for having differing opinions and views, they have even physically attacked judges who have handed down orders with which they disagreed and ransacked court rooms and most contemptuously and criminally, they have strewn rose petals upon the assassin of a provincial governor who was killed because he rightly opposed the blasphemy laws that darken Pakistan’s statute books. So, their record since the days of glory from 2007 to 2009 is not exactly shining.

Too many of the black coats have on too many occasions, blackened their faces and their profession. Pakistan does not need men of such calibre as members of the legal fraternity which by right should command some sort of respect.

We must hope that the Lahore Bar Association is an aberration and not the norm and we could also hope that other bar associations of the country will raise a voice in protest against this highly condemnable act of a few bigoted members of a profession that is supposed to represent the right side of the law.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto has much to answer for. His second amendment of 1974, whereby he transformed an entire community that had, since the birth of this country, been a member of the majority into a minority, has after that date done much disservice to the nation. It has been the cause of strife, death and destruction and encouraged and defined bigotry as well as intolerance.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2012.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (32)

  • Feb 17, 2012 - 11:20PM

    Just observe the upbringing of a muslim child in House or in Pakistan. He is taught to obey and not argue. When he grows in life he always looks for the Fatherly figure who was always pressurizing him to obey and not argue. His upbringing reflects in every matter of life. He starts Hero Worship and looses the sense of analysis. What we expect from that Society? Fools keep on living in their paradise of fantasies by expecting democratic behavior. The core value of the democracy is Logic and generally people who have been coming accross the western society understand that generally people in the west understand and respect logic. Again Ahmadis being sidelined as Non Muslims is also a matter of Logic and millions like me appreciate the act of ZAB while at the same time they are the citizens of Pakistan and have the same rights as any other person and should never be discriminated because of their faith. Salman Taseer was a hero of all the people striving for a moderate society in Pakistan but the tragedy is that these moderates worked against the best leader in Pakistan History (President Musharaf) in the name of Democracy. They want every thing which they fantasise but they lack the capability to understand that Ideals and fantasise are only for Paradise.

    Recommend

  • American Pakistani
    Feb 17, 2012 - 11:24PM

    You hit the nail on it’s head. These black coats are no different than hate-mongering, venom-spewing mullahs instigating men to cold blooded murderous rampage of anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Such a shame that even education couldn’t justify their sorry conception or helped in overhauling their medieval thinking.

    Recommend

  • Arifq
    Feb 17, 2012 - 11:49PM

    Bottom of the food chain when it comes to human capital.

    Recommend

  • Homa
    Feb 18, 2012 - 5:04AM

    Pakistan needs to abandon islam in order to reinvent itself and produce a new generation of free thinking people.

    Recommend

  • Zalim singh
    Feb 18, 2012 - 8:16AM

    @ Amina,

    this only means that the cool drinks made by these Ahmedis are better in quality than other ones. These black coats have their pockets filled by business interests. Its money talking here.

    Recommend

  • nationalist baloch
    Feb 18, 2012 - 9:00AM

    … the best, and most effective civil action would be … to buy, use Shezan products with a vengeance …

    Recommend

  • Feb 18, 2012 - 9:36AM

    With reference to comments by Homa!!!! Every society must have the tangible reasons to exist in a geographical boundaries. While President Musharaf was the Head ofState he made tangible efforts to reposition the brand PAKISTAN by promoting nationalism Pakistan First and Islam Second. The conservative media and Punjabi Conservatives controlling every sphere of the society went thirsty for his blood and still are. The so called liberals also were busy talking and promoting Democracy in a society which was too Feudal and Highly Conservative. Now people like you only give sweeping statements with out any practicality.

    Recommend

  • Nanggdharangg Pakistani
    Feb 18, 2012 - 9:46AM

    Kudos, Madam !

    Recommend

  • S.Murthy
    Feb 18, 2012 - 10:28AM

    Haven’t the lawyers got anything better to do?

    Recommend

  • SharifL
    Feb 18, 2012 - 10:51AM

    Wellwritten. Shameful is the word. Imagine some of these black coats will become judges and reach Supreme court. I am not an Ahmadi, but would not like to live in an intolerant soceity like Pakistan. In a country where the rights of minorities and women are not respected, will go down the drain further.

    Recommend

  • sohail osman ali
    Feb 18, 2012 - 12:45PM

    as a mark of protest against the ban by the Lahore high court bar association on selling shezan fruit juice in the canteen, members of the public have chosen 1st March 2012 to buy shezan fruit juice.

    Recommend

  • piyaztamatar
    Feb 18, 2012 - 1:21PM

    Very good piece.I want to add “In lawyers and journalist community we see this bigot mindset . I feel that in both these communities jamaat Islami mindset was prevalent during Zia times, which has now become an extremist mindset. its very easy to become a lawyer in Pakistan just take your books along with five thousand rupees in your pocket in LLB exam and you are a lawyer in few months.To fight that mindset we not only have to bring good merit system but an effective education and examination system as well and for that we must stand against any form of corruption.

    Recommend

  • saif M
    Feb 18, 2012 - 2:01PM

    The last time, only one lawyer’s (Ahmed Raza Kasuri’s) face was sprayed with black paint. This time round, I would love to black paint the faces of the whole Lahore Bar Association.

    Recommend

  • Amjad
    Feb 18, 2012 - 3:32PM

    These people have been taught lies for the last 1400 years, it would take another 1400 years to teach them humanity.

    Recommend

  • Amjad
    Feb 18, 2012 - 3:33PM

    It will await moderation, what elsecan you do the outcast of modernity

    Recommend

  • Aiman
    Feb 18, 2012 - 3:45PM

    i am actually very confused and bewildered by the comments and thinking of all you people who thinks Islam is not the solution but Pakistan is the solution.. Haven’t we already seen it done? I mean when has been being Islamic was forefront after Zia’s era? the people talking about being liberal are already liberal and too much secular.They want the country to be so but we shouldn’t forget why this country was made and for whom? I don’t think these black coats did wrong..I agree the way they carried out was but the intention is right..I do condemn their other acts but not this..Recommend

  • meekal ahmed
    Feb 18, 2012 - 3:52PM

    Well said, Madam. This is indeed shocking and disgraceful.

    Recommend

  • R.A
    Feb 18, 2012 - 3:57PM

    Pakistan is a country where people
    like to do things no one else can do
    Like
    Defeated leaders ( Imran Khan,Ch Rashid, and J I)
    keep on claiming they are true leaders.
    In middle of hot summer to protest against
    load sheding they burn tyres to cool them down
    They join protest marches without knowing
    what the march is for.
    They shout slogens without knowing whos
    Jalsa it is
    They can put a ban on sale of a brand of juice
    because of its religion
    For every problem they blame a foreign hand
    never naming it
    Why ? because they are unique and want to do
    thigs others hate to do
    WHY BECAUSE THEY LOVE PAKISTAN
    Recommend

  • Feb 18, 2012 - 4:13PM

    Welldone Amina. Very well written column. Lawyers have painted their faces with black by doing so. Shame on them.

    Recommend

  • Cynical
    Feb 18, 2012 - 5:33PM

    @R.A.

    In the community of nations, we are a unique one, in more than one sense.
    It is our duty to preserve this uniqueness.And that’s what we are doing.Ha-ha-ha-haaaaa.

    Recommend

  • huzaifa
    Feb 18, 2012 - 5:46PM

    @AMINA!
    You really are a sane voice, i am sure you are not qadiyani and neither am i but we must preach living each other with harmony if we are loyal to the country. If today i preach hatred for other sect would i and my children will be safe tomorow. The Qadiyanis are Pakistanis and as per our CONSTITUTION have equal rights, why should we outcast them first and then start doubting their loyalty. If there are some doubts on their loyalty then they must be brought to courts with proofs but the routine mantra of JEWISH lobby and working against country seems to be the work of the JEWISH and INDIAN sponsored lobby. THEY actually wants to divide the nation for some pennies and increase SECTARIANISM. AT LEST LITERATE PEOPLE SHOULD CHX THAT HOW MUCH SHEZAN IS CONTRIBUTING IN FORM OF TAXES TO EXCHEQUER AND IS IT QADIYANI OWNED OR PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY WHOS MONEY AUDIT IS CARRIED OUT BY SOME QUALIFIED AUDIT FIRM. “”"PLEASE BE RATIONALE FOR FUTURE OF PAKISTAN”"”"

    Recommend

  • athar
    Feb 18, 2012 - 6:10PM

    such moderate writers are assets of Pakistan and they should keep on writing to breath the society.these awful and unethical acts done by lawyers will bore nothing but an intolerable society.

    Recommend

  • Feb 18, 2012 - 6:27PM

    As a human being my head hangs with shame. I shudder to think how minorities including muslim minorities like bohras, kadiyanis, shias, agakhanis, sufis and many more must be sleeping every night?

    Recommend

  • ahmed
    Feb 18, 2012 - 6:53PM

    @ Amina Ma’m..

    When the prominent leaders(PM in waiting) call liberals as “scum” and receive applauds from people, what can you expect from this society ? ..

    “Thanatos” of this society is dominating “Eros” … Nothing can be done.. Jung called it collective unconscious. Unfortunately in last 60 years Pakistanis have developed “hate” as a defence mechanism to live their life and the only source of their hope is 1400 years old utopian ideal, which they don’t want to leave at any cost….. who will understand those sermons !!! Unfortunately we don’t have a vision..

    “It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you are not.”….Recommend

  • anonymous observer
    Feb 18, 2012 - 6:53PM

    These lawyers need some sort of mental counselling…They seem to be loosing their minds

    Recommend

  • Umer
    Feb 18, 2012 - 8:20PM

    Now Punjab University has banned Shezan too;

    Lahore, Feb 18 (PTI) Days after a
    lawyers” group banned juices made by
    an Ahmadi-owned firm from court
    complexes in Lahore, a “permanent ban”
    has been imposed on the drinks by
    Punjab University, the largest varsity
    of Pakistan.

    Shezan fruit juices have banned in
    Punjab University, which has some
    32,000 students. The Islami Jamiat
    Tulba, the student wing of the
    Jamaat-e-Islami has a strong presence
    on the campus.

    Owners of canteens in the campus have
    stopped serving Shezan juices due to
    pressure from the students”
    organisation, sources said.

    ”Ban” on juices made by Ahmadi-owned firm in Pak

    Recommend

  • Liberalache
    Feb 18, 2012 - 11:03PM

    So much condemnation now that the voice of democracy has spoken and it doesn’t fit with “liberal values”. What is the appropriate liberal response? Condemning the democratic process? Maybe the majority? How congruent is it with liberal values to enforce those values on others? That does not seem to be tolerant…in fact, it seems a little like the intolerance that liberals here are condemning. Also, interesting the ET has put out several pieces on the subject, all from the same point of view. Not a single piece from the point of view shared by the lawyers, which if this statistical sample is anything to go by, likely represents the views of the majority of Pakistanis. Does it not seem like ET is biased? But the justification would be, “but we can’t possibly be unbiased on an issue of fundamental rights”…and the religious would response with the same conviction about their biases….see the conundrums? Probably a better approach is to respond to intolerance with tolerance rather than condemnation and insult…that may be more “liberal” than fascist…but sadly, that is not the approach of the so-called educated class. The religious holier than thou is replaced by the secular holier than thou, the religious condemnation is replaced by secular condemnation, the religious fascism is replaced by secular fascism…you people are no different!

    Recommend

  • Liberalache
    Feb 18, 2012 - 11:07PM

    @ahmed:

    Pakistani liberals are scum. They are always the first to be ready to betray their country and ally themselves with foreigners to impose their secular world view on others. They’re the first to support drone strikes, the foremost against our nukes, the ones who seek to eliminate religion from the public sphere, the one’s who consistently act in ways that demonstrate that they’re steeped in inferiority complexes and self hate, the ones who support corrupt parties because they claim to be liberal and they’re not bearded, the one’s who look down upon the masses as fools for their faith and patriotism…my dear…Pakistani liberals are among the scum of the earth.

    Recommend

  • mind control
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:06AM

    The Law according to the Lawyers of Pakistan

    A. Killers are GOOD. We must shower Rose Petals on them.

    B. Fruit Juice is BAD. We must resolve to abstain from drinking any.

    Recommend

  • MN
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:45AM

    Very well written ” Black coats and blacker faces ” these words speaks and no more comments.

    Recommend

  • AA Choudhary
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:59AM

    @Umer
    How sad to know that Shezan juice is banned in the Punjab University. The oldest and a renowned institution having to commit such an act simply because of a Student Union speaks volumes about the courage of a public institution to uphold ethics. I pray that this news about my Alma mater is wrong.

    Recommend

  • Tahir
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:53PM

    These are the l Blackcout so stuped i can never blieve,

    Recommend

More in Opinion