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Pakistan’s lawyers are not waiters: Islamabad Bar Council complains about similar colour of uniform

Lawyers chant slogans in favour of a decision by the Supreme Court of Pakistan outside the court building in Islamabad June 19, 2012. The Islamabad Bar Council has asked staff of hotels and restaurants to stop wearing uniforms similar to those of lawyers.
Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: The Islamabad Bar Council (IBC) has written a letter to the Chief Commissioner of Islamabad asking him to stop the staff of hotels and restaurants in the capital from wearing black coats and trousers as it would make them look like lawyers.

Noble legal profession

Mirza Muhammad Amin Tahir, Secretary of the Bar, in a letter addressed to Chief Commissioner of Islamabad said: “The staff of some hotels/restaurants/marriage halls are wearing a uniform similar to the lawyers and honorable judges which is against the dignity of the Noble Legal Profession.”

Even law graduate not allowed black uniform

In the letter, Mirza Amin Tahir said even a law graduate is not entitled to wear proper uniform of a lawyer until he passes the entry test and completes his first six months training period before enrolment as an advocate.

“Nobody is allowed to wear the uniform of a lawyer except the advocates enrolled with provincial/Islamabad Bar Council or Pakistan Bar Council,” says the letter adding, “If anybody is found in the uniform of a lawyer at any place he will be proceeded against under the relevant provision of law.”

Letter Islamabad Bar Council Pakistan lawyer
The Islamabad Bar Council has written a letter to the Chief Commissioner of Islamabad asking him to stop the staff of hotels and restaurants in the capital from wearing black coats and trousers.
Image Credit: Supplied

Speaking to Gulf News, Member of the IBC and IHBA Barrister Rehan Seerat said it was purely coincidental that lawyers and waiters of different restaurants shared the similar uniform. “This can certainly lead to situations where lawyers can get confused as waiters. I think that’s why the bar council has raised this issue.”

More serious issues confronting lawyers

Rehan Seerat, however, said though there were many other more serious issues which the Bar Council should look into, this was something that should also be considered by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration for action.

Another young lawyer of Islamabad Bar Nabeel Rehman also supported the Bar Council’s move saying he believed each profession had its own respect and identity. “Black coats are recognised around the globe and considered of esteem and respect but unfortunately we are making it a subject of fun and everyone is allowed to wear black uniform associated with the law profession,” he said. For this no one else, but the lawyers themselves are to blame, said Advocate Nabeel. “I believe waiters shouldn’t be wearing the same attire – there should be a difference. By wearing black uniforms waiters could be confused as lawyers and vice versa. This happened even with me recently when I was taken as a waiter in a restaurant I visited. It was kind of an embarrassing situation both for me and the management of the staff,” he recalled.

Restaurants owners disagree

A senior member of the Islamabad Restaurants Association (IRA) requesting not to be identified said the lawyers instead of changing the waiters’ uniforms should focus on deliverance and putting their own house in order.

“If we change our staff uniform from black to light blue, Islamabad police will come and ask us to change it as blue is their uniform’s colour. Similarly, the postal staff has its own uniform with different colour, the armed forces of the country have uniforms of different colours.

However, he said none of these forces/departments complained about the colour of their uniforms clashing with that of some other department.

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