Black vs. White Coats.


Byline: Mohsin Raza Malik

Black and white coats represent two noble, educated, and esteemed professional communities in Pakistan. The former is considered to be the protagonist of the rule of law and citizens' fundamental rights while the latter is looked upon as a saviour of lives and messiah. Indeed, the wearers of both coats should conform to the very concept of 'noblesse oblige' which means that whoever claims to be noble must behave nobly too. But regrettably, both look hardly inclined to observe their respective professional code of ethics. Nor are they interested any more in serving those whom they are supposed to serve. At present, both are at loggerheads over establishing their professional l superiority in the country. They look hypersensitive about their 'dignity' and 'honour'. At the same time, they are also busy in trying to defame, disgrace and mock each other's profession. So, the social media has just become a hotbed of such 'Clash of Clans'.

Like a lot of Pakistanis, I am also very upset and depressed over last Wednesday's shocking events at Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), the premiere cardiac facility in the country's largest province. This unfortunate hospital remained a battleground between a group of charged lawyers and the facility's doctors and paramedics for hours. Reportedly, three patients lost their lives during this ruckus. Following this incident, Punjab Government called in and deployed paramilitary troops at various places in Lahore. On the other hand, lawyers across the province have boycotted the court proceedings after going on strike. Similarly, medics in various hospitals in the city also refused to attend the patients.

Despite being part of this community, I have been thoroughly criticizing the things which are bringing a bad name to the noble legal profession, including lawyers' rowdy behaviour and aimless and undisciplined bar politics. Today, I am not here to justify, defend or otherwise rationalize the conduct of a group of lawyers who ransacked PIC last week. It is obviously a deplorable conduct which must be absolutely and publically denounced. However, on the basis of this single incident, no one has the right to defame the entire legal fraternity in the country. There are more than one hundred thousand lawyers enrolled only in Punjab. They can by no means be held responsible for the inappropriate conduct displayed by a group comprising 100 or so lawyers who gathered at PIC for 'peaceful...

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