Black Coats, Again!

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Gone are the days when black pants, coats and ties used to argue with words in courts. Their fists carry the powerful blows now, and the world is their arena. The notorious lawyers have struck again (although the repetitive nature of their assaults has started to sound like routine business). On Monday, a group of lawyers caused a ruckus in Malir Court in a show of fraternal solidarity. That they trampled our much-revered societal values and did not even spare a woman in their vicious circus speaks volumes about the audacity of their hooliganism. Just last week, over 121 lawyers were booked for ransacking the office of Sialkot’s assistant commissioner. Here too, the victim was a female. Isn’t it downright tragic that the presence of the gentle sex has not managed to restrain the very public disregard of the same laws they take an oath to safeguard?
Acting on their worst impulses, members of the bar are clearly drunk on power. There’s no denying the gangsterish suave being an unfortunate fallout of the all-powerful lawyers’ movement. What had started as a compelling sign of civil revolt against the dictates of an extraconstitutional despot soon turned into a thuggish lust for power that is yet to be satiated.
Their storming of the Islamabad High Court earlier this year had emboldened the writing on the wall: no one is safe from their astounding hooliganism. Too much has already been written about how everyone from judges to police officers to plain litigants is terrified of this rowdy lot. Courthouse violence is an everyday occurrence. People would rent out properties to anyone but black coats. Banks avoid them like a plague. Police stations regard them a special measure of scorn; calling the theatrics of rogues lawyers “wukula gardi.”
In an ideal world, those fixated on showing their superiority to the law should have been dealt with their bar council. But as has been umpteenly seen in our peculiar land, the legal fraternity comes prepared to get their ruffian brethren off the hook. Every single time. It would have been far more fitting for the fiery former bar president to single out the misdoings of the black sheep within than groan and moan about all that has gone wrong with Pakistan. Thus, the million-dollar question should be about where the holy cow would decide to blow a hole in next. The emergency room of a hospital, the quarters of a female government officer or perhaps, outside a girl’s school (in broad daylight). Because clearly, the entire country is their oyster.