In Islamabad: “You can’t eat here because you are Pakistani”

Published: January 2, 2014

The french restaurant 'La Maison' in Islamabad doesn't allow Pakistanis until they have dual nationalities.

I didn’t hear about journalist Cyril Almeida’s investigation and subsequent tweets against the restaurant ‘La Maison’ through the news or any blogs he might have written. I heard about it from my friends on Facebook, people who are otherwise active in liberal circles and rightfully vocal against the many injustices of Pakistani society.

But the injustice that they were complaining about was Almeida’s outrage that a restaurant in Islamabad bans Pakistanis unless they hold a dual nationality.

Read that again.

They were complaining about his actions, not the restaurant’s policies.

Their complaints varied from ‘why the fuss?’ to ‘why the hue and cry about racism?’ After all, aren’t Pakistanis themselves one of the most racist lot on this planet? And if you can’t go to that place due to the misfortune of just being a Pakistani in Pakistan, then go somewhere else.

Why start a whole Twitter campaign against the restaurant or question the legality of its policy?

Perhaps you’re just envious or perhaps you just really want some attention from those white people to feel good about yourself.

Yes, that definitely must be it.

The restaurant, for its part, insists this policy is out of respect for ‘Muslim sensibilities’ since its menu consists entirely of non-halal food.

Interestingly enough, those ‘Muslim sensibilities’ don’t matter when it comes to hiring someone to assist in cooking, serving and cleaning up after this non-halal food, nor is it something worth mentioning when looking for a bartender.

So what they’re saying is that it’s acceptable to hire Muslim/Pakistani waiters who will handle non-halal food but Muslim/Pakistani customers aren’t allowed, and this is their way of respecting us?

The owner, Philippe Lafforgue, even went through the trouble of emailing Almeida, ending with words,

“By the way this weekend I was reading the ads in the newspaper and all the ads for renting houses in Islamabad were for foreigners and multinational companies only. Swedish villas in Lahore are only rented to foreigners. They refuse Pakistani people. The International club in Lahore and Sindh Club in Karachi do not accept Pakistani people, even as a guest. If I go to the Diplomatic Enclave, all I’ll have to do is show my passport. Whereas you will have to get a ticket, pay the fees and go by bus. The guest house right close to mine is reserved for Chinese people only. I will stop here because I don’t want to waste your time. But yes, there is a lot of discrimination in this country. But I don’t…”

(This excerpt was edited for readability)

After reading this, I was reminded of a time when it was acceptable in this part of the world to say:

‘No natives allowed in here… unless they’re serving you your tea’

But I guess you can’t say it in those words anymore since there are ways to get around such technicalities.

Also, since when did ‘Pakistani’ become synonymous with ‘Muslim’?

How does possession of a dual nationality make a difference if they are in fact Muslims? Where do the ‘sensibilities’ fit in in such cases? When did they start making exceptions towards racism depending on who you were discriminating against?

I realised how factual and spot on, Lafforgue and some of my friends’ words were. Pakistanis really aren’t allowed in the Diplomatic Enclave of their ‘own’ country and entire chunks of our provinces effectively belong to either militants or foreign corporations. Meanwhile, a more subtle form of colonisation quietly makes its way through our culture.

Our repeatedly revised history is just as murky as our future and we’ve learnt that things work out better for us if we just keep our heads low and plod through the confusion without asking too many questions.

Pakistani sovereignty is practically a myth, adorning our self-image like the emperor’s new clothes. We can’t really see it but the crafty tailors stitching together our official state narrative insist it’s there.

There are more than 180 million people living on this little strip of land we call home. If racism is widespread and if elitist oppression is rampant, does that mean we should stop no one from being a racist or an elitist simply because we can’t stop everyone?

Does that mean people that who are minimally affected by the status quo (people who already belong to the elite or as in this case people who have that oh-so-coveted proof they are ‘good enough to not be a Pakistani’) can joke about how amusing it is that the rest of us call such things unfair?

Is it okay for us to dismiss such discrimination simply as a part and parcel of being ‘ordinary Pakistanis’?

What were the struggles of the independence movement if not to allow us a chance to live free and not be treated like squatters in our own homeland? Where is the country that supposedly resulted from this?

Where is my Pakistan?

Fatima A. Athar

Fatima A. Athar

A college student who is interested in social justice, health and education issues, literature, internet technology and other geeky things. She is proud to be a Lahori, enjoys good food, a sense of humor and tweets as @Sarritorialist (twitter.com/Sarritorialist)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Shiraz Hassan
  • Salman Arshad

    No Muslim in his right mind would fight against the ban against Pakistanis.

    Remember ban on YouTube, alcohol, blasphemy, Basant, comparative religion texts, shaving events for men and so many more examples of ideas that endanger Islam.Recommend

  • Anthony

    Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis are banned from being PMs or Presidents in Pakistan. Seems like people are getting a taste of their own medicine.Recommend

  • Jiaa

    180 million people living in this country and may be only 18, 180 or lets say 1800 or even 18000 wants to go and eat in that restaurant. Write something for rest of the many millions we have and forget about the words like sovereignty, respect etc for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    WHO OWNS THIS PLACE? This could happen in a City which has lost its identity. Where is Baji Nisar?Recommend

  • Sheheryar Khan

    remind me of blacks & dogs not allowed.. :XRecommend

  • Me

    Wow! Bulls eye!! That must have hurt … ouch ;)Recommend

  • Farzz

    This country is so full of hypocrites and contradictions that Pakistan is a quagmire for any outsider let alone for the natives !!Recommend

  • Mudassar Afaque Ahmed

    Ok cut the big talk of identity and sovereignty…. Do read very interesting comments of Germans(probably) on the same news which was published by Spiegel… The page is already translated.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fpanorama%2Fpakistan-restaurant-in-islamabad-gestattet-nur-auslaendern-eintritt-a-939279.htmlRecommend

  • A Muslim

    You know, it is the right protocol to filter out Muslims. French cuisine has use of wine, so why open doors to people knowing it’s against their faith to eat food like that?

    While I do believe that it’s discrimination against Non-Muslim Pakistanis, I guess those people can just inform the management when making a reservation that they’re not Muslims.

    I mean, why bother about it when you know you’re a Muslim? They are right in applying this filter.Recommend

  • shah

    Restaurant is following Pakistani law, which requires foreigners to show passports in order to drink alcohol etc.Recommend

  • dawaf

    Dude im a Muslim and if haram food is served there then i wouldn’t even bother go to that restaurant, banning Muslims is useless.Recommend

  • Saad

    I think its a marketing strategy. People will feel ‘superior’ dining in that restaurant, hence the restaurant will attract high profile customers, most of whom possess dual passports. When things go in favour of people because of their skin colour, nationality, race, culture or wealth, none of them will ever bother about discrimination issues.Recommend

  • Ali Bhatti

    Serves the ignorant ‘elite’ class right! a great slapRecommend

  • Fahad Rana

    Funnily enough the author also rights about social injustice but doesn’t fail to mention that she’s proud to be a Lahori instead of being a Pakistani. Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    That’s bad moral reasoning, don’t ever change the subject of the argument, if can’t come up with something better to say.

    By the way, Cyril Almeida is a Christian himself, and he was denied entry into that restaurant just because he didn’t have a foreign passport.Recommend

  • Farhan Virk

    We must do a protest,
    i felt like literally getting slapped after reading thisRecommend

  • Najam Sahibzada

    I’m sure it’s because of the security reasons. Same goes for the Embassy Enclave and every public or private building. We have to go through security check. That’s also insultingRecommend

  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks

    It is not the fault of others but ourselves, we allowed it be like this, it is time that some one in the National Assembly introduce a bill to ban any kind of discrimination in Pakistan specially clubs, some areas of the cities and towns, restaurants, schools and you name it. By the way there is no restriction in Washington DC to roam around in the diplomatic enclave. It is our own elite class which has done this to us and even the army is doing it, like blocking the whole roads for their convenience, eg. road from inter continental hotel to the Peshawar air port.Recommend

  • Syed

    The way Pakistan discriminates against its Ahmadis, it is no wonder the rest of the world treats them with contempt.Recommend

  • Ali Ahmed Awan

    remids me of dogs and indians are not allowed….Recommend

  • Undhyu Patil

    Shame! But anyways it’s not an exclusive place. I am sure you can get more respect and love in an Irani restaurant. But I am talking about India.Recommend

  • Rahatullah Mallick

    arent people of other cultures banned everywhere in the world, never seen a muslim PM in israelRecommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    To all Indians who recommended this comment especially UtarakashSinghNain and Anshuman Tripathy it is time Indians are banned from spreading their venom here and also what is happening to your diplomat in USA is quiet justified as India has a history of mistreating Pakistani diplomats so it seems you guys are getting a taste of your own medicine. It has happened before your support of LTTE which literally blew in your face when Rajiv Gandhi died. It seems this nation is getting ready for it’s downfall through excessive arrogance. Now we can say that Indians are getting a taste of their own medicine in Australia as well.
    P.S: It is about time our government mandates an Aids test requirement on Indian visitors.Recommend

  • S K

    What utter hogwash and nonsense. Completely irrelevant or of any importance to the average Pakistani.Recommend

  • Mohammed Abdalla

    what do my brother Pakistani men waiting for??? you should go and shut down that restaurant immediately with your own hands, and if the Pakistani police supports this bullshit, then go and shut the heck down the police stations themselves. what law are you waiting for? this is your own lands, for goodness sake.Recommend

  • Parvez

    If I am not wrong Cyril is a lawyer and a senior media person and what happened to him was simply plain wrong……..justifying it by convoluted examples does not make it right.Recommend

  • Nauman

    I get the outrage of not accepting racism but is such a freedom reserved for the elite or the educated. I appreciate you writing an article about the rights and freedoms of Pakistani’s taken away but what about the many who are refused entry into hotels or clubs due to their social standing? Why do we not raise a voice for them?

    Many a times you’ll see signs in clubs or even hotels about “drivers not allowed here” or “maids not allowed here”, is this not equivalent of what this restaurant is doing right now? Why has our maid or our driver not got the right to sit where we sit so proudly?Recommend

  • F.

    The point isn’t being able to eat at a restaurant; the point is that despite being citizens of an independent country, Pakistanis are routinely treated like second-class citizens simply for being Pakistanis, that too in their own homeland. If this is freedom, what does slavery look like?Recommend

  • F.

    It bans Pakistanis using the excuse of religion (but even non-Muslim Pakistanis are banned) whereas foreigners and even Muslim Pakistanis who can prove they have a dual nationality are most welcome.Recommend

  • F.

    Cyril Almeida is a Christian himself. He was refused because he was a Pakistani without a dual nationality. The restaurant’s religion excuse falls flat right there.Recommend

  • F.

    Because “unity” does not equal “conformity” and “diversity” is not a dirty word?Recommend

  • Safa

    All this fuss for an irrelevant restaurant? There was a time when I could pick #ThirdWorldProblems around me and swear at my luck for dealing with them. Like how my my gawwala served water with a dash of milk or how I was sure my qassai was selling gadhay ka gosth and calling it mutton. Now…I’m not so sure. Oh Pakistan, what have you become?Recommend

  • Lucid

    Its about NATIONALITY NOT RELIGION! Duh! some people are just……..Recommend

  • unbelievable

    In case you forgot – Pakistan was founded based on discrimination – you certainly have no problem elevating Muslim status above minorities so what’s the problem with others deciding who they want to eat with? If you offended by this policy then think what the minorities in Pakistan have to deal with everyday. Another Elephant in the Room that many can’t seem to notice.Recommend

  • Tilsim

    This article is a useless rant against a hapless foreigner who can’t put his arguments together sensibly. The guy serves food with alcoholic content (common in French recipes). According to the law of the country, one cannot serve alcohol to Muslims. If he allows dual nationals – he can’t be be discriminating against Pakistanis – only complying with the law. Although clearly nationality has nothing to do with religion – but in 99 pct Muslim Pakistan it usually does. And yes Ms author, discrimination or exclusion against one group or another are very much part of Pakistani norms so perhaps it’s time for some navel gazing instead of a rant.Recommend

  • saqi

    True but sadRecommend

  • Anshuman Tripathy

    I can almost imagine you foaming at the mouth as you viciously type this vitriol on your keyboard…Dude Tell me one part of the sentence Anthony wrote that is not true…Aren’t Ahmedis, christians and hindus banned from holding key positions in the Govt? Why does the truth cause you so much pain that you would go on a mud slinging rampage towards the Indians?
    I’ve never said that India is without its problems..We have poverty,open defection,caste system,Corruption,Female Infanticide,Rape and sexual abuse of women and several other problems. But what I think differentiates Us and You is that we have the gall to accept these problems as reality and face them head on. The Govt has acknowledged each and every thing that i listed out and is working on them. The General public has done the same. Nobody in India ever blames foreign hands, naxalites or kaafirs for Rape/poverty/caste system/female feoticide.We know these problems are caused by us and can be rectified only by Us.
    Unlike so many of you pakistanis who chant CIA/RAW/Mossad conspiracy everytime something untoward happens in PakistanRecommend

  • rasgullah

    Dear Polio man,
    Remember Raymond Davis, Abbotabad raid, national bird as drone?
    Onky muslims with relationships in Pakistan visit Pakistan. So go ahead and make your visa condition harder. No one cares. But in few months, you will definitely need polio certificate to travel.Recommend

  • roarwali

    We are planning to open a French restaurant and Bakery (patisseire français) in Islamabad. All people irrespective of their nationalities will be welcome.

    Would appreciate your suggestions regarding a suitable location in Islamabad.Recommend

  • paki basher

    you are in dire need of burnol!!Recommend

  • ish

    i think if this happen in pakistan i say all pkistanis go and burn that place Recommend

  • http://alimuzaffar.com Ali Muzaffar

    Wait… so there are geniuses out there who are happily giving out their passport number expecting that no manner of fraud will take place?Recommend

  • Sunny

    No actually, a Muslim who bothers to actually sit and think about this issue, would fight this ban.

    You seem to miss the larger point my dear. You don’t have to go to the restaurant. Or if you do, you don’t have to partake in anything which you find offensive to your beliefs. The point is, you don’t have that option! You can’t even go in and see for yourself what all the fuss is about!

    You are BANNED from entering a restaurant in your own country because of your own nationality, by a European. He is not doing you a favor. He doesn’t respect your religion. He doesn’t respect you, or any other Pakistani- unless that Pakistani can benefit him in a significant financial way.

    He is not permitting Christian Pakistanis from entering his restaurant. The common thread here is being a Pakistani National. If you don’t have a passport from a country where people look like him, he thinks you’re going to blow him up. Do you get it, he thinks Pakistani Nationals are violent, unsophisticated, uncivilized, backward people- who will ruin his little party. You need to read between the lines.

    And know that this is not only discrimination against your national origin, the color of your skin, your place of birth, but it is ALSO discrimination against the POOR, and against the MIDDLE CLASS. This is Classism. Because the ONLY Pakistanis with dual citizenship are those who are in the upper crust, the elite.

    This restaurants policy has NOTHING to do with Islam. Understand that. It has to do with what Passport you have, and how much money you were born into, or how much you have in your bank account.

    If it did, Muslims would not be serving Pork and Alcohol, but they ARE.
    If it did, Muslims who have Dual Citizenship, would not be allowed- but they ARE.
    If it did, Christian Pakistanis would be permitted to enter- BUT THEY ARE NOT.

    Don’t let them try and deceive you by using old tricks my dear.Recommend

  • Krish

    At that time your grandpa was also an IndianRecommend

  • ‘Saif Rehman

    Its a private business, i guess it has the right to choose whom to serve, and its not a hospital or some other emergency service which would endanger someone by its refusal to serve. Infamy is always the cheapest publicity.
    People in the the developing countries pretty discriminating themselves. Most of them don’t have much to feel good about themselves so they create some sense of superiority by looking down upon another group of people based on race, sect, religion, cast, skin color, language, or geographical origin. The examples call fill volumes and almost every one know them.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    Well . forget about being PM, most muslim countries don’t even treat their minorities equally.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    Err..It included you guys too at that time….Recommend

  • basim nabi

    Hey…! Not to take anything away from the issue of Pakistani sovereignty, but I do feel that a protest or any form of outrage against this is quite, well, outrageous… Atleast these guys come out and say whatever it is they’re doing. Take any regular cafe in Islamabad or any other major pakistani city which serves coffee or tea that costs over 50 rupees; the majority of Pakistani people can’t afford it. To those who don’t go to cafe’s like the ones aforementioned, someone like me is the snob who is enabling the existence of these places. I’m quite sure that the people who work at a fancy cafe can’t afford to eat there themselves… atleast not like the customers they serve.
    Getting back to the specific restaurant in question, they’re trying to create a certain environment. I think its quite understandable that in Pakistan it would be quite hard to openly place a sign outside their door saying they serve only non-halal food. I agree that the ‘international or dual nationality only’ thing sounds weird, but they had to filter out the majority of halal food eaters some way, and I suppose someone thought it was a brilliant idea to add the dual nationality thing, thinking that dual nationals are probably cool with non-halal food (which obviously is a very crude generalization).
    All I’m saying is that why the outrage? It’s a business right? If you feel like you need to do something, then I would suggest you ignore the restaurant, don’t try to go there, tap into the internationals you know around you, and tell them not to go there anymore… No customers, no business… no?Recommend

  • Saud Altafist

    Got to a story about same situation in Saudia Arabia during the times of King Faisal. An american company displayed a board out front that Saudis are not allowed. A Saudi sheikh saw it and told this to King Faisal the next day King Faisal invited all the members of the company for the dinner in his palace. When they arrived to the palace he sat on the floor with his ministers the companies members did the same. After a while he asked to bring in the dinner the dates and coffee (Kehwa) was bought on by the servants they start eating the members thought they might bring in the full course meal later.
    When they finished eating King Faisal told them we saudis and our ancestors are eating dates and drinking Kehwa for ages as dinner and we are very happy with this, We don’t want you guys to humiliate us on the name of modern technology. I as a king giving you bonus salaries for the whole year but as a king i ordered you all to leave the kingdom by tomorrow.Recommend

  • Sara

    Disgusting! If the government allows this, then they are basically telling their people they are worth sh**!!Recommend

  • moam

    in USA you will not be able to become a president if you are a muslim so what is wrong if we have the same law in our countryRecommend

  • Farhan Ahmed Butt

    spot on buddy…Recommend

  • whatever

    This has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with religion. I don’t care if wine or non-halal food is served. This simply serves as another example of the privileged elite controlling our country and the prevailing injustices against the common Pakistani. Meanwhile, you are concerned about ‘ideas the endanger Islam’. Wake up! We’ve already sold our country to local and foreign aristocrats.Recommend

  • Ejaz Qaiser

    Very likely , Owner might be a Pakistani himself because foreigners residing in Pakistan can not be so idiot , vulgar and open to descrimination. Even in their own countries they can not exercise such practice. I am pretty sure that this ignorant and inadvertent is no body else but a Paki.Recommend

  • AniB

    Halal food is good because it drains the blood. Jhatka is better because the animal is unconscious. French food is bad because they force-feed geese to get fatty livers. Terrines use mashed organs emulsified with lots of pork fat.

    South Asians, Dont go there. But Cyril is a Christian, he can go.Recommend

  • UtkarshSinghNain

    Why so upset? I just upvoted it as it was funny in a twisted way. It doesn’t stand for itself as an argument or something, and it is true that non-Muslims cannot hold those posts in Pakistan. Is the truth venomous to you?
    As for the restaurant, of course it is wrong for them to do this. It’s elitism of the worst kind. I’ve heard some places in Goa behave similarly with Indians. And a couple of years back when Haagen Dazs was opening a store in Delhi they only served people with passports with foreign visas on the first day. No one liked that.

    I don’t care about Khobragade.

    Lastly, the overall AIDS prevalence rate is higher in Pakistan. The number of victims is higher in India, but the number of people is also more, so you have to look at the ratio.Recommend

  • Shah

    It is a great restaurant. The issue is that it legally serves alcohol and non halal food, both of which are illegal under Pakistani law to serve to Muslims. Hence, the restaurant owner will be jailed if he lets Pakistani Muslims in. It’s really not an issue of racism. His licence only allows him to sell to foreign nationals. It’s the same as the bars in Marriott and Serena or Murree Brewery, the only difference is, La Maison is not giving into pressure and selling illegally to mint money under a legal licence. If you really want to get non halal food and alcohol legally, change your country’s laws or go to a place where you can do so to your heart’s content. Defaming a restaurant and an individual for refusing to bend the rules is absolutely shameful. And please, your banter can easily make some readers believe it’s un Islamic and I’m sure no one here intends for it to become a ‘target’.Recommend

  • Amjad Mirani

    Syed, lets discuss the ideologies, not to indulge in non conclusive discussion on grounds of objections.. It is the belief of Muslims that Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is last prophet then who so ever believe in any other individual to be a prophet (MuazAllah), he/she is out of Islam so why Ahmadis think of being discriminated on ground of religion where as Pakistan was created on fundamental principle of Islam as a religion otherwise we would have been part of British Empire or at least part of greater India..Recommend

  • Veritas-Probitas

    Is this some kind of a joke? Pakistanis not allowed in a restaurant in Pakistan? Wow…Recommend

  • Arham Chaudhary

    he he he,,,,Weldon indeed!They banned Pakistanis not Muslims. They know any Pakistani can blow out there restaurant. Rather abusing them try to ponder over it Why they banned Pakistani?Recommend

  • Cosmo

    Banned in your own house.. Haa ha ha. Yes u r guys are getting the dose of your own medicine !!Recommend

  • cloud9

    I always thought that eating non-halal food was forbidden for Muslims….never knew handling or serving non-halal food is also forbidden (“,)?Recommend

  • Usman Masood

    I’m all for private property gives you the right to not serve someone. Who gives a shit. If a place doesn’t like me, I won’t bother with it.

    Obviously, you are being a giant douche, but who gives a shit? Let him run his restaurant the way he wants to. Just be better Muslims yourselves and be nicer to minorities for a change!!!Recommend

  • Sam

    It’s our country – why are we banned from going places – I would just get rid of this dude and his restaurant. Recommend

  • Paki

    Its the islamic republic of pakistanso tes pakistani & muslims go hand in hand ! The constitution reven tells u how a muslim shud beRecommend

  • Adnan Tariq

    Soo??? Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc can’t be the president of American only Christian can b the President!!! Not that It’s right Bt please use a little logic n sense Recommend

  • kill yourself anthony

    Are you retarded? Its a MUSLIM country….Recommend

  • Arzoo

    I think we need to take a deep breath and not let our overactive sensitivities take the best of us. We live in a country where we have turned inequities into an art form. While people are queued up for several blocks it is a common sight to see a VIP along with their guards bypass them all to do his business and leave. Have we thought how unequal an Ahmedi feels living in this country; a country his parents and grandparents sacrificed to create? Same goes for a Christian, or a Hindu, and a Parsi. The article has just too many contradictions and inconsistencies to point out. It has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims. It has something to do with the enigma called Pakistan. And, there are other enigmas around the world where inequities are not an anomaly; though not State sanctioned in each case. There are foreigners only enclaves in Saudi Arabia, where locals cannot enter, (a la Aramco area in Dhahran); I have commonly seen Homes for rental to foreigners only in Iran, and in neighboring India ads for homes for ‘foreigners only’ are not uncommon. For doubting Thomases, here is one link: http://newdelhi.olx.in/residential-accomodation-in-vasant-vihar-for-foreigners-only-iid-528011332
    There are airports around the world where Duty Free Shops are accessible only to foreigners with an airline ticket.
    I believe that this Restaurant should be treated as a private club who have their own criteria for entrance, and their rights should be completely protected as long as they are not harming or creating disturbance for others. At least the libertarian in me makes me inclined in that direction.Recommend

  • Mike

    Well said!
    Truth always remains at the highest point no matter how you say it..Recommend

  • Shafaq

    Thank you for inserting a modicum of sanity in this conversation.
    - A Pakistani MuslimRecommend

  • Ameer Gilani

    I’m sorry but this is the dumbest article I’ve read. The restaurant cooks it’s food in alcohol, and considering how anal the Constitution of the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC is about alcohol – it makes sense for it the owner to limit the clientele to foreigners in order not to get shut down. Blame the Nation, not the restaurant.

    Persecution Complex 101. Gah.Recommend

  • Babbar

    HAHA you are so naive my friend. pick and choose pick and chooseRecommend

  • Notafraidofyou

    Oh please, get rid of your stupid fool laws and you will all be welcome. Try not letting you knees jerk so much and you might understand the whole situation.Recommend

  • Salman

    Talha Rizvi your entire comment is completely useless and irrelevant. The indians have full right to comment or voice their opinion as they please so please shut up and take your misguided hate somewhere else.

    I am a Pakistani and i will admit that Pakistanis are generally racist and hateful in nature. Our society preaches hate and our culture preaches hate.

    Taste your own medicine.Recommend

  • Salman

    Please stop lying. Who told you that a muslim can not be a president in US?Recommend

  • Aurangzeb Bhatti

    I don’t know what this fuss is about. Pakistan has always been an ‘Aparthied’ State. Just stick your head out of the sand and look around you. But you’d have to come out of Islamabad to see the real Pakistan because Islamabad is the ‘Virtual Pakistan’ and not the ‘Real-Pakistan’.

    Eighty Percent of this God-forsaken country live in poverty in rural and small rural cities. They don’t even have hospitals, schools, roads and the basic necessities that the Quaid promised them. If someone there gets a heart-attack they just die – they don’t have an option for a defibrilator or stents or a surgery. They just simply die and their loved one’s say that ‘It was God’s will – his/her time had come”. All priveleges in Pakistan are reserved for the urban-Pakistani’s where all of Pakistan’s wealth is squandered – on imported cars, posh fancy imported bathroom fixtures, imported chinese generators, imported this and imported that. The urban-elite and the media controlled by them have created and painted a ‘fiction’ story of Pakistan by just focusing on a few well-lit Urban centers and their lifestyles while the rest of the country is in the dark, going from bad to worse.

    Do you think it matters to people who have been denied membership to the basic ‘life-club’ in their own country, if some snobbish restaurant like ‘La Maison’ has denied entrance to local elites for a meal? Pardon me for being so harsh on the sentiments of those refused entrance but Pakistan is an Aparthied State, has been and Aparthied State and will continue to be one unless this attitude of indifference is squashed in our culture. The people living in villages and the small rural cities have lived here long before Pakistan was even created and they believed in the Quaid when he pleaded that “Please welcome the Muslims who migrate from India”. Little did he know that after his death, the robber-barrons, thieves, looters, cheats and frauds will do exactly the opposite of what he had wished and make Pakistan into a playground for a few. For the last 70 years, the poor rural folks on farms and rural cities have been doing nothing but feeding the urban lust for more food, more clothes, more cheap labor, more cheap bricks for construction, and now these city-slickers even fool them into more votes so that these city-slickers can get elected to the looters-club again. It makes me happy that for once someone has kicked these elites in the behind – and it continues that way – so until they learn that what karma is for real. Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    if you so honorable why does India still take aid from UK and the USA? Also why are you even here? Don’t you have a job?Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    The number of polio cases are less then a hundred but you have hundreds and thousands of unreported cases.Recommend

  • shahjehan mir

    pure rubbish on Pakistanis not allowed in diplomatic enclave,,,anyone,,,white ,black,brown, yellow or donkey not allowed in the enclave unless he has a legitimate business and,or,the person he intends seeing authorises his entry.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and for this restaurent,,,,,,,they can be lill more polite by displaying…..ONLY non HAlaal Food served here !Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    You would have laughed if it was a Pakistani diplomat. I have seen Indians using the most filthy language against Hina Rabbani khar. If this was Pakistani diplomat especially female all sorts of rubbish would have been said about her. Also don’t pretend to be caring. You have already confessed that you only come here to poke fun at us. Don’t deny it. Try explaining the Goa Incident to the Indians gloating like madmen over this article.Recommend

  • mona

    it was written by Britishers don’t forget that time there was no india and pakistan, so its goes to u people alsoRecommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    Did you not hear about Rana bhagwandas Supreme court judge ( Hindu) , Our Ahmedi foreign minister Chaudry Zafrullah Khan , Our Christian Chief justice A.R Cornelius. The only one who foam at the mouth are Indians. I would like you to direct your attention towards the comments of Deep who openly admitted that India is working covertly to break Pakistan into small states. Unlike you we don’t say things like ‘ Well things are worse in Pakistan’, As for conspiracy theories weren’t your MP’s foaming at the mouth when a substandard nuclear submarine sank in Mumbai harbor saying it was done by Pakistan. when it was proven otherwise not only was an apology not issued but the Indians moved on as if a nothing had happened and they had not leveled a serious allegation on Pakistan.Recommend

  • Aurangzeb Bhatti

    I think it would be wiser and also acceptable if the restaurant just publishes a Notice outside as to WHY they are refusing entry to Pakistani’s. Why leave people guessing? By the way I’m not against the refusal and the restaurant has full right to refuse entry. I truly believe that Pakistan is an Aparthied State and discrimination of all kinds happens here in all segments of the society.Recommend

  • Aurangzeb Bhatti

    Very good observation. You seem to have caught on to the Pakistani mindset.Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    It’s unbelievable a country which has years of discriminatory history in the form of the inhumane caste system is lecturing us? Try doing something about that Elephant in your room first. Also in case you forgot to read Cyril is a Christian.Recommend

  • kulsum

    I second you. They will keep this as a USP until they realize there are only a handful of Isloo elites interested in dining at one place over and over again. Once the charm is lost and the loss starts, it will be opened to common man and the bar will turn into a juice/ cocktail point.Recommend

  • AK

    Babar you dont beleive this..?Recommend

  • Adeel Raza

    This article is useless. If it’s non halal food why do U wana eat there? Recommend

  • Anony

    I suppose the blogger should be ‘proud to be Pakistani’ rather than ‘proud to be Lahori’. Otherwise this blogpost against racism would seem satirical.Recommend

  • Jimmie

    That makes quite bit of sense, only but if its true.Recommend

  • Le Meow

    when non-halal food isnt allowed in the country, why the hell are the serving it anywaysRecommend

  • AadiAryaPurushaz(Himavat)

    ;).Peace has come to my mind.Recommend

  • nabeel

    what about the indian media also who almost every time accuses ISI whenever there is a blast (even if it was a tyre puncture)? without getting any proof or investigation, their accusation is prepared days/weeks/month beforehand…so stop saying that AT LEAST your government acknowledges the problemsRecommend

  • http://vargiveum.wordpress.com/ Varg i Veum

    Why just not get rid of the ridiculous laws and treat pakistani muslims as adults who can decide for them selves if they want to eat non-halal food and alcohol?Recommend

  • Ali Ahmed Awan

    i know man!Recommend

  • Umar

    But then again if a pakistani muslim do possess a dual nationality and he is allowed to enter the restaurant only because at that time he will be entering as a french citizen so nobody can deny his entry if he showing off french passport. A pakistani passport holder is required by law not to drink alcohal but if he wants to do so he can do by having dual nationality and he can enjoy same privilages as do the foriegners do. This is as simple as it is !Recommend

  • Raja

    A non (Catholic) Christian can not become King of UK, so what’s wrong in in not allowing non Muslims to become prime minister in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Hassan

    Fatima this whole restaurant thing has nothing to do with being elitist or influential. They serve alcohol due to which they just allow foreigners but I know of many Pakistani nationals who have eaten there without any issues regardless of whether they were part of the ‘elite’ or regular people. There are bigger injustices commited by Pakistanis your time will be better spent addressing those. Housing for Christians, Hindus, Parsis and other minorities. Representation in politics and then the huge discrimination that takes place in companies and business where hiring is done based on whether you are Shia or Sunni. Not being able to go to this restaurant won’t really change the situation of the ‘French colony’ as it is euphamistically called located right behind the restaurant where a huge amount of Chriatians have been dumped since the last 4 decades. Btw for your information most if not all cleaner/washers of you city and washroom are poor Christians who have no way to pursue a better life think and write about them Recommend

  • Hira Kamal

    The point is not that they serve Halal/non-Halal food. The point is that they outright refuse to give reservations to PAKISTANIS in PAKISTAN. Last I checked, being a Pakistani did not mean having Halal food and having a dual nationality did not make it okay for someone to have non-Halal food. There are several restaurants in Karachi that serve alcohol and their food has wine as part of their ingredients. These restaurants are known for that and those people who want to have alcohol/related food, do so. If I want to have alcohol, I will. If I don’t, I won’t. You don’t get to discriminate me on my eating preferences.

    On the other hand, isn’t that what all of Pakistan is doing, anyway. Hypocrites, that’s what we are.Recommend