27 Mar, 2021

Pakistan's lawyers have a lot to deal with — human rights violations, honour killings, property disputes, defamation and, most importantly, fashion faux pax. Three bar councils in Pakistan have issued statements condemning waiters for wearing "their uniforms".

Our esteemed lawyers are trying to be the fashion police. They say that other than them, no one should be allowed to wear their uniform. But the uniform in question is a black suit with a white shirt and black tie.

Here are a list of places that you can wear this outfit:

  • To work as a bodyguard

  • To work as a waiter

  • To your own wedding

  • To a black-tie dinner

  • To work (not at a law firm)

  • To school (if you want to be fancy)

  • To the gym (sweatpants are overrated)

  • To Empress Market to buy vegetables

And the list goes on and on. But if you were to ask a lawyer in Punjab, Islamabad or Balochistan, they would say they are the only ones allowed to wear black suits.

Bar councils are representative bodies of lawyers. The Punjab Bar Council has written a letter to the chief secretary, the Islamabad Bar Council to the chief commissioner of Islamabad and the Balochistan Bar Council has issued a statement. The gist of all three statements is the same.

"It came to our knowledge, many of the Hotels & Marriage Hall Staff is wearing the uniform of Lawyers. Through this letter I am clearing this, A Law Graduate cannot wear the proper uniform of lawyer unless until he passed the entry test and complete his six month training period [sic]," reads the Punjab Bar Council letter.

"Nobody is allowed to wear the Uniform of Lawyers except the lawyers. If any body will found in the uniform of lawyers at any place, marriage hall, hotels, event hall, I have clear directions to proceed under the relevant provision of Law [sic]."

This isn't a new issue. Lawyers have been wanting complete dominion over black suits for a while. Their fashion claim suffered a blow in 2015, when the Lahore High Court dismissed an appeal asking the court to stop waiters from wearing black suits. Justice Ayesha A Malik had dismissed the petition, saying the court could not issue directions on what citizens could or could not wear.

Since a court has already turned down the lawyers' demand for fashion supremacy, it's unclear what legal action they will be proceeding with.

It is also unclear what the issue is with someone else wearing their uniform. Do they consider waiters or wedding hall staff beneath them and therefore unworthy of wearing this rather mundane set of clothes? Or do they believe that despite their degrees and experience, someone in a courtroom is likely to ask them to bring over a plate of biryani with raita and a cold bottle of 7 Up?

On Twitter, people were as amused as we are with this development.

Others raised good points.

In fact, many of the people making fun of this news were lawyers themselves.

If lawyers don't want someone else wearing their uniform, might we suggest an outfit change? They can mirror our former colonial masters and don their lawyers' uniforms instead.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters


truth Mar 27, 2021 09:18pm
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Zak Mar 27, 2021 09:19pm
Put these lawyers in grey shalwar kameez a Pakistani uniform. This way, no one will know if they are chowkidar or lawyer.
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Zak Mar 27, 2021 09:21pm
Lawyers have become like a mafia. They do everything except their work. This is the PML n types who have got into the legal profession and are ruining it. Time to change the entry rules and disqualification rules for lawyers.
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Hamed Mar 27, 2021 09:26pm
Mount Everest is not higher than their stupidity!
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Pancake Mar 27, 2021 09:30pm
Extortion mafia has nothing better to do!
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Irfan ul Huq Mar 27, 2021 09:31pm
Lawyers like any other profession should be able to wear any combination of Pant shirt or jacket. When in court or serving the duties professionally should puton special robe that indicates that they are lawyers and performing their job as lawyers. It is silly to restrict other people to dresses. We are not China
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jaredlee007 Mar 27, 2021 09:38pm
Punjab lawyers are liars, at best. They are goons of political parties and always engage in uncouth behaviors.
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Pancake Mar 27, 2021 09:59pm
This is reason why justice is delayed to common people.
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Pancake Mar 27, 2021 10:01pm
Black n white minds, thinking in black n white. Shame on black coat mafia
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Aamir Mar 27, 2021 10:13pm
Lawyers could dress up as clowns, more appropriate anyway given most of them are a bunch of jokers
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Truth hurts Mar 27, 2021 10:20pm
Wear Burqa?
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zh Mar 27, 2021 10:45pm
Nothing new. Once more, lawyers are to prove their stupidity.
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Khalil Mar 27, 2021 11:00pm
Subjects of colonial mindset. I feel sorry for them.
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Abbasshah Mar 27, 2021 11:02pm
No one have monopoly on wearing a dress
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Sohail Mar 27, 2021 11:21pm
No wonder, lawyer sounds like liar
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M. Saeed Mar 27, 2021 11:43pm
Lawyers have no dignity to wear black suits with neck ties.
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Zak Mar 28, 2021 12:01am
Lawyer used to be a respected profession and look what PML n have turned them into. Reinstate the legal rules for rioting lawyers and their disqualification. Anyone absent from court should be warned then thrown out.
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Masood Hasan Mar 28, 2021 12:05am
Stop placing orders at hotels and restaurants as only honorable Judge can say Order Order order.
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Mahmood Shah Mar 28, 2021 12:39am
If the lawyers want to distinguish themselves, they should act in a dignified manner. Unfortunately, they themselves have acted as hooligans on occasions.
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skb Mar 28, 2021 12:56am
@Zak Also tell these SOBs to do an honest work for a change.
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Sameer Mar 28, 2021 01:37am
Dysfunctional law of the land. Where those who fail to become doctors and engineers, become lawyers...
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Fareed N Mar 28, 2021 02:25am
Bunch of hooligans these black coats.
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Kay Khan Mar 28, 2021 03:22am
Why not dress lawyers with an orange uniform. Fits them perfectly.
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Amjad Durrani Engineer USA Mar 28, 2021 04:06am
What a nonsense because fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.
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Truth be told Mar 28, 2021 04:51am
They can don wigs and also wear shorts. Problem solved!
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Truth be told Mar 28, 2021 04:53am
@Irfan ul Huq Absolutely. And why do they go about wearing their uniform on the road .They should only be allowed to wear it in the courts.
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Toni Mar 28, 2021 05:39am
"But the uniform in question is a black suit with a white shirt and black tie" Try Sherwani and Tung Shalwar with Pugri as a non-colonial dress code for lawyers to distinguish themselves from being asked to get 7up or some chai; Konsi janaab, Black or White?
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S Ali Mar 28, 2021 06:14am
These lawyers are a joke.they seem to think they are above the law and demand whatever they want.all they care about is themselves and there crooked ways..
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Uzair Mar 28, 2021 07:18am
I support the big gown, neck towel/band and wig requirements as part of lawyer's uniform. Problem solved. They now look different from lawyers.
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QURESHI ANJUM PERVEZ Mar 28, 2021 07:55am
About time they were put in their place, not the waiters, the so called lawyers. This profession in Pakistan has lost all dignity. In fact I think waiters are more liked and respected than the lawyers.
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Teddy Mar 28, 2021 07:59am
Pakistan lawyers are from another planet.
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Farzana Mar 28, 2021 08:05am
The Bar councils have no respect left in the public eye, they should be stripped off their degrees for taking up the role of hired goons.
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Imran Ahmed Mar 28, 2021 09:15am
The lawyers are the latest to formally join the ranks of a uniformed goon force above the law of our land & lording it over the non-uniformed majority.
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Chota Mar 28, 2021 09:17am
Shalwar qameez with waist coat and turban will be good for them.change lawyers uniform
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Salim Mar 28, 2021 09:49am
It shows how demented these lawyers are.
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Ali Mehdi Mar 28, 2021 10:19am
Major chunk of our constitution is derived from the English law. Does it say in the English law that only lawyers can wear black n white. If not then is there an amendment in our constitution to bring this huge national issue into the ambit of legal system.
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Syed A. Mateen Mar 28, 2021 11:02am
Lawyers in Pakistan are losing respect day after day due to their attitude and behaviour. Black coats when assemble together at any place they raise hue and cry whether it is a legitimate reason or not. Nowadays, it no more an honour to be a lawyer. Since world came into existence people still could not find the answer of the question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Similarly one should also find out the answer: who first started wearing black uniform, lawyers or the waiters?
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Ajo Mar 28, 2021 11:17am
bar condemning waiters for wearing uniform...
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Indian Citizen Mar 28, 2021 12:46pm
Wear that colonial era Peruke with pride. You'll standout. No competition from other professions, except in some school fancy dress competitions.
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Indian Citizen Mar 28, 2021 12:47pm
No uniform needed for hooliganism , if that's the concern.
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Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 28, 2021 01:18pm
Height of eccentricity, inwardness, ego-centric behavior, ethnocentricity and self-centered attitude.
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Sid Mar 28, 2021 01:56pm
These lawyers organisations are a big problem in pakistan and they need to be sorted out.
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JustSaying Mar 28, 2021 02:05pm
@Zak " Lawyer used to be a respected profession and look what PML n have turned them into. .." Why Blame PML for everything...??.
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JustSaying Mar 28, 2021 02:06pm
@Fareed N " Bunch of hooligans these black coats...." Educated Hooligans......
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Zak Mar 28, 2021 02:35pm
@skb @Zak Also tell these SOBs to do an honest work for a change. Honesty and lawyers is like chalk and cheese.
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Furqan Khan Mar 28, 2021 03:48pm
The priority should be a code of conduct not a dress 'code' ( which in the first place an 'East India Company' imposed legacy
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Asiatic Mar 28, 2021 03:52pm
A good 1st April joke.
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Zak Mar 28, 2021 04:19pm
@JustSaying @Zak " Lawyer used to be a respected profession and look what PML n have turned them into. .." Why Blame PML for everything...??. OK, PML n and PPP. Happy! although thuggish tactics are 100% PML N.
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Teddy Mar 28, 2021 04:53pm
Pakistan lawyers are world famous.
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Steve Mar 28, 2021 05:46pm
Iam supporting lawyers here. If waiter wear the same kind of dress and people call them lawyer bring me some water, will leave a bad impression on profession of lawyer.
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Ibrahim S Mar 28, 2021 06:28pm
What’s the fuss . Both pretend to care with sweet talk and get paid in high amount and give late and lousy service in return . Chef in the kitchen is in full control .
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Amir Mar 28, 2021 08:00pm
OMG !! Don't these guys have anything better to do ?
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Zak Mar 28, 2021 08:15pm
World over, the pride of a lawyer comes from his behaviour and ethical bearing not by uniform, that is a illiterate mindset, thinking wearing a uniform and roaming around makes him important. That's what these lawyers are.
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zh Mar 28, 2021 08:33pm
@Chota Better even, dhoti, kurta with pugri.
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sam Mar 28, 2021 09:00pm
Tell that to John Wick......
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riz1 Mar 28, 2021 10:08pm
@Zak Yes, every single mistake is from the PML-N and civilian entities. The ones who actually run the show should never be mentioned. Enough said
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faisal Mar 28, 2021 10:19pm
layers with fack degrees think and act like that a normal person and a Muslim will not act like that Now it's time to check their fack degrees and offer them mental health support
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Khalid iqbal Mar 29, 2021 04:24am
Doctors wear white coat , they have never objected to others wearing a white coat , even barbers wear white coat , if nothing is wrong with that , then why should lawyers think they should have a monopoly i n wearing a black coat and a white shirt.
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Zak Mar 29, 2021 10:57pm
@riz1 Who sits in 4 apartments of Avenfield house, London all joined as one. Not the ones who are not to be mentioned, because of them we sleep safe while they stay a wake.
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Zak Mar 30, 2021 06:24am
@riz1 @Zak Yes, every single mistake is from the PML-N and civilian entities. The ones who actually run the show should never be mentioned. Enough said Lawyers come under civilian government,no one else.
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Moosa Al Athar Mar 30, 2021 10:50pm
Is Punjab Bar Association run by religious extremists?
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