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.

  • fools and pigs

    The hilarity of it all is that the only people who could ever afford to eat here or usually out anywhere in the capitol are the elitist minority of people educated enough to read and comment in an English language newspaper – a fraction of the 180 millions honest, hardworking population who couldn’t give a ratsarse about such trivial nonsense. A bunch of spoiled brats not getting their way again – stamping their feet – as they do so often! Loosing your honest License for serving alcohol and non-halal food is not worth all the banter it causes – but then again who is really upset anyway? Go write about something meaningful and get on with living and fixing yourself – only then will you start to see real change in your country.Recommend

  • Mazhar Abbas

    Is Islamabad really part of Pakistan. Is it not the same city from where a Pakistani was picked from a guest house (Aimal Kansi) taken to US, tried and hang. Later, a body was return for burial in Quetta. Is it not the same city, which is some 30 KM away from Pakistan. When you sold your soul and soil to foreigners, whether States or individuals, this is what one expect. MazharRecommend

  • salman

    so they would not allow Pakistani Christians, hindus as well?Recommend

  • Talha

    For goodness sake….how difficult is it to understand the point being made? Its about nationality and NOT Religion. RE-READ the article or go take English comprehension classes!Recommend

  • salman

    Rtd. Justice bhagwan Das is a prominent key figure in Pakistan and many hindus are employed in Civil Service of Pakistan. Therefore, your information is based on hearsay, and should refrain from posting such stereotype nonsenseRecommend

  • Anshuman Tripathy

    You can throw me as many names as you want but that still doesn’t nullify the fact that minorities in pakistan are severely discriminated. That discrimination is written into the very constitution of the Nation. True even we have a section 377 in our constitution , but LGBT activists have taken to the streets protesting against it. Even the Govt is considering taking firm steps in removing this discriminatory law. Unlike Pakistan where People have accepted discrimination as Natural and those sane enough who protest seem to end up dead & their killers showered with Rose petals.Recommend

  • xeno

    To be very clear, a recent survey from TopInfoPost shows that Pakistanis are the least racist country in the world!
    Racism and religious violence here are artificial, and local population do not get involved in it.Recommend

  • Mir Sachal

    The guys whose tweets you have referenced wouldn’t be allowed in my restaurant either if I had one. I am a proud Pakistani, and I see absolutely no wrong in the restaurants policy. Harr jaga warrna hai aapne? Kia kaam hai aapka udhar, since they have mentioned that they serve non halal food and alcohol which is alright because they are serving a particular demand in the market. Agar yahi do insaan andar chale jate to they would’ve tweeted stuff like’ non halal food being served in pakistan’ and someone like you would have written about that too. This is not a RACE issue, This is an issue of how we are as a people, we need to start thinking in a broader way and get over these complexes and free oursevles from this slave mentality. ONLY someone who looks down upon themselves would make an issue about it. Recommend

  • Afzal

    Dear Mr. Talha. You are not the protector and spokesperson of Pakistan and Pakistanis. By using such misdirected and ignorant words, you expose your own shallowness. As Pakistanis (and as humans) we need to become tolerant of criticism and learn to accept our shortcomings. There is nothing wrong in accepting ones mistakes and moving forward positively. The day you can speak in a civil fashion to an Indian or Jew or any human being, the closer you will find yourself to humanity and probably some sensibility. Learn to discuss not spew!Recommend

  • http://www.sharafatalee.com/ Sharafat Ali

    Hey Guys, What is the issue here. India has it own constitution, and Pakistan has its own. Both have their own problems, and people of both the countries have right to have their constitution how they want.
    Being head of a state, and entry to a restaurant are same things ????
    Cool down guys,,, Live and Let others live.Recommend

  • Momi

    Seriously you know nothing about your own country, endiaRecommend

  • Pakistani

    Before commenting anything, just think if it happens in any society, whether will it be acceptable ? A question from all the so called anti.racist activists local or internationalRecommend

  • Omair

    Stupid article! Of course it is banned due to violent nature of Islamic extremists in the locality. Something near Haram is not tolerated in Public, but in their bedroom’s it is more relaxing. Hiring staff members is just like getting workforce regardless of Religion. If someone has problem working there, just find a better job somewhere else.Recommend

  • Richie

    So what’s new in this still most of the people are not allowed to enter Azizabad (90) and other “No Go” areas here in Karachi and Islamabad. I can’t see any blogpost or article for them.Recommend

  • Mushahid Hussain

    why are all posts here just comparing us with other countries ? Just because something does or doesn’t happen in one country doesn’t mean its justified.Your argument is completely invalid.
    and to your point, a Muslim can become a president in the US if he has enough political experience and funding for the election campaign.Recommend

  • Mushahid Hussain

    then again it’s their business, they can do whatever the hell they want as long as they aren’t breaking any laws and if I’m not wrong, there aren’t any anti-racism or anti-elitism law here.
    Heck you’ll find racism and elitism all around you here.Recommend

  • Mushahid Hussain

    spot on.Recommend

  • Junaid

    Spot on. As a Pakistani I must apologise for people like Talha Rizvi, unfortunately both our countries have such people – born-to-be trolls. We just need to ignore them and plod on.Recommend

  • Mazhar Hasan

    then why non muslim pakistanis are banned? the tweets mentioned in this article are from a non-muslim pakistani brother. So this is racism.Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali

    Dear Fatima We are sorry that you were treated like this, had we knew that its your excellency we could have brought the whole restaurant in your vicinity or rather inaugurated by your hands.
    RegardsRecommend

  • Asad

    An average Pakistani remarks on “exclusive cctv footage of Indian diplomat’s body search”. And I am not amongst them.Recommend

  • B saleem

    To the author I’d say go to any of the other restaurants. Why is she acting so surprised. For every ethnicity there is a place in this country if they have a death wish. Try going to Baluchistan, kpk, hell even dodgy areas in Karachi. Don’t keep fingers crossed in a country that’s getting more and more polarized, fractured and extremist. Not being able to go to a restaurant serving a specific niche should be the least of anyone’s worries Recommend

  • Umm

    Philippe Lafforgue if you dont want to offend my ‘Muslim’ sensibilities than take your pork and champagne, and get the hell out of my country. Find another third world country to set up your apartheid shack.

    Idiots like Philippe Lafforgue are the reason why conspiracy theories and extremists propaganda are so rife here and have such massive public consumption. This guy is literally the stuff Zaid Hamid’s tv rant fodder is based on!Recommend

  • The Glass Half Full

    Everyone please calm down and stop over reacting. Philippe Lafforgue is doing all of us Pakistani’s a public service, by cleaning up the wild pigs of Islamabad, to cook them up in his kitchen and then being the great sensitive guy that he is, he ONLY serves it to foreigners.
    This man should be applauded and given a Tamgha or two.Recommend

  • Your Brain may be a Race Issue

    If only Mandela had listened to your amazingly rational and intelligent logic and realised that not every place should be accessible by the natives if it has nothing of their interest or consumption there. Bechara 27 years jail mein nahin guzaar tha.Recommend

  • rightly said

    Spot on ma’am!Recommend

  • Shah

    Typical RAW agents and Indian trolls… Let them think and say what they want. We will always be better people and posher than them :)Recommend

  • Shah

    Well said Talha, let them think and say what they wantRecommend

  • AsifAmeer_AP

    Do they still have that old Sign at the Karachi Gymkhana stating “No Dogs and natives allowed”? Here it seems a new East-India Company officer is in town.Recommend

  • Sad

    We have mistreated “non-muslim” Pakistanis, yes, but please let’s clean our own mess before we start mud slinging. I would appreciate if you could rein in people like modi and bal Thackeray ( he is not alive, but there are others like him) before lecturing others about how to treat the defenceless.
    Recommend

  • Aly

    I would just say Paki land is now a shame for humanity. A term SARKARI MUSALMAAN would fit them as they enjoy being a Muslim by Govt not by Religion. Shame on Pakistan for giving a bad name to Peaceful Religion Islam.Recommend

  • Usama

    Well bro i can taste it in your comment here against pakistan’s..!Recommend

  • hirahur

    well then just let it be, go visit 30387921 other restaurants and don’t make a fuss. There must be a good reason they don’t want pakistanis there.Recommend

  • Saad

    That awkward moment when you hear an Indian lecturing you on racism and minority rights. Truly hilarious actually!Recommend

  • Irfaan

    LOL posher than them..that says it all :DRecommend

  • Khurram Hashmi

    In my opinion, its bit exaggerated ….. if the city administration accepted the restaurant’s policy [if it was sought] there should not be fuss over it considering the security issues, lifestyles, religious differences and such.
    Now before I get bashed by religious and social patriots, I’ll just mention one name and you can do your own research to see what ‘discrimination’ is really about; “Islamabad Club”.
    There are already many other places in Islamabad that are exclusively for foreigners and the justifications for why not are understandable. When we, the Pakistanis, practice and exhibit similar exclusive business ethics overseas, its perfectly alrite and when its being practiced here somehow it is being instigated in the name of patriotism, religion and state security?
    If you find the practice of this establishment questionable or insulting, consult first with local administration to see if they endorsed/validated their policies for rights under which justification, then go about raising the issue.
    But to confuse the issue with other irrelevant issues/practices such as sovereignty or not able to enter the diplomatic area [coz we allowed/had faulty security checks to let in terrorist elements few years back and now can enter the area very much but from one entry points and many other countries follows similar practices, yup, there is a reason] is usually a practice of young novice pretenders who like the author of this particular post are proud of many other things else and such BUT how to be a responsible writer without exploiting the ‘freedom of speech’.
    Such writers have a long road ahead before they need to taken seriously
    There is nothing to be excited or flared up or challenge each other’s patriotisms based on this write up. The writer has an opinion, right or wrong doesn’t matter, so did the readers regardless of their ethnicity. The write up is well written based on which reactions from readers are logical.
    Nothing else.
    In the end, we should respect each other and I do apologize from all non-Muslim and Non-Pakistani readers here who felt offended or insulted somehow just because few of us ‘patriots/nationalists’ etc could not handle a little criticism or refuse to face the truth.Recommend

  • sam_a

    ^and that attitude and reasoning, ladies and gentlemen, is the perfect illustration of why pakistan is in the mess it’s in!Recommend

  • Metexa

    Pakistani’s were allowed at a restaurant called 19th at Street 69, F-8/3 , Islamabad, they did allow Pakistani’s via reference only. 19th was famous for its Sushi and did serve alcohol as well. The place was raided by police on the eve of 31st December and all guests along with the staff were rounded up, thrashed and booked at Margalla police station. Press reports were invited who took mugshots, a story was published in The News (Metropolitan) and some other local news papers along with the names and photos of victims.

    A foreign friend of mine regulars La Maison very often, it is a licensed business, only serves foreigners and non Muslims and their activities are aligned to the law of the land.

    If reports like “Cyril” who want to have 2 minutes of fame without thinking in a logical manner and investigating have so much of an issue than he should channel his energy towards the Govt to allow Pakistani Muslims to consume alcohol.

    I hope Cyril dares to raise his voice against notorious “Malik” clan of Islamabad who indiscriminately supply alcohol to Muslims and even kids as young as 15. La Maison is seen as a soft target hence so much propaganda, leave the poor man alone !Recommend

  • what? Brain what?

    Nelson Mandela was not ‘Pakistani’ and there is no way you could compare your self to the Africans at that point in time. Thank you for admitting that my idea is ‘amazingly rational’. I felt the need to comment here not to talk about the particular incident but to highlight the idea that we need to get passed these complexes we have as a nation. You are no more than a slave, but you are not slaves because of ‘the RACE’ issue.Recommend

  • sam_a

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

    Ph.Lafforgue is either totally ignorant about the religious make-up of this country, or just blowing smokescreens, expecting (correctly) most readers to get too worked up and distracted by other issues, as usual, to see through them. Whatever it is, he is just talking rubbish. How did he get a visa and the licence to open this establishment here … I wonder……………? I have a foreign passport, but will definitely never set foot in this place.Recommend

  • Shanawer

    To all those who are saying that non-muslims are banned from key govt positions in Pakistan need to understand that Pakistan was created on Islam’s name. Only one other country is created on religion’s name and thats Israel & there are the same rules. You cant govern there if u’re not a jew. While India and other countries don’t have these rules because they were not created on any religion’s name.Recommend

  • fasihahmed

    I thought the law said, you have to state if you DON’T serve halal food and require proof that you are non-muslim. Pakistani Passports state the religion of a person.

    This is typical Right-wing French behaviour; create a super-class on exclusionistic ideas. We must stop this non-sense now!

    People defending him should read the following job posting:
    http://www.muamat.com/classifieds/16/posts/3_Jobs/26_Professional_Services/11963540_Need_1_bartender_1_waiter_1_helper_in_the_kitchen_and_1_sweeper.html
    “Need 1 bartender, 1 waiter , 1 helper in the kitchen and 1 sweeper.
    Integrity and honesty is a must.
    The customers will be only foreigners so English is required.
    Please send a CV with attached picture.And we will contact you for am interview.
    Philippe lafforgue
    F7/1, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan”Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    I think you are confusing me for an Indian it is self-hating Pakistani like you that have made Indians so bold as to openly come and curse us. Try going to TOI for a change and you will see who’s a troll. Anshuman Tripathy has passed some of the most venomous statements on this website if you care to search. No need to boost his ego.Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    You have not answered my comment on how Indians always pass baseless allegations and secondly Anshuman I visited a Indian news site during Muzaffarnagar riots and I was amazed at the hatred they had were for Muslims and were continuously saying they should be thrown to Pakistan and openly applauding their casualties. And no it was not TOI. So try to put your own house in order Recommend

  • Judea

    “Only one other country is created on religion’s name and thats Israel & there are the same rules. You cant govern there if u’re not a jew. ”

    Israel and Pakistan are not the same. There might be some discrimination against Arabs, but there is no written law which prevent non-Jews to acquire key positions in the Israeli government or the judiciary. In Israel, there are Supreme Court Judges, ministers and parliamentarians and other high ranking officicals that of the Muslim faith. Israeli-Arab members of the
    Knesset and Israeli-Arab Supreme Court Justices are prominent in Israel.The country is a liberal democracy, it allows freedom to practice any religion. There are plenty of mosques and churches. There are no restaurants, movie theaters, shops or any other public
    spaces where the Arabs are not allowed.

    Please do not compare Israel to Pakistan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_Arab_MuslimsRecommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    Salman you can’t tell me what to do you don’t own this site I am a Pakistani not an Indian or a deranged elderly Bangladeshi troll You sound like an Indian in disguise to me. We can see by comments on ET which country is more hateful.Recommend

  • http://GraphicNeed.com/ M.Aswad Mehtab

    They wont Serve Halal Food , Right there everything is explain as far as this restaurant is concerned , If on other Hand they were allowing Pakistanis there would be another Rage wave bcz they are not serving halal food … so chill out !Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    But they can keep saying rubbish about us. The day when one of your loved one die in an incident of terrorism and you see Indians gloating over it you will know how I feel. I lost a cousin to violence and as God is my witness I will not let somebody mock his death.Recommend

  • Sufi

    Can Hindus, Christians, Ahmadis enter a mosque or madrissa in pakistan?
    How many muslims will visit a restaurant if they know that owner and cheff is non-muslim?
    Muslims don’t let others enter and don’t interact. While in above case, one can establish a business for Foreigners only, for women only, for men only. In Gilgit and Skardu many hotels have foreigners only policy.Recommend

  • Taraz Hasan

    People, Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis are banned from being PMs or Presidents in Pakistan because the full name of Pakistan is ISLAMI JAMHORIYA PAKISTAN!! get your facts straight! every country has their laws and it’s based on the religion that has the majority in public! Yes, everybody has a right to comment and yes, racism is a sad fact not just in Pakistan but all around the world! So stop commenting against Pakistan. This is the failure of our government wholly and the prejudices in our minds! @disqus_la1i0jD0Yr:disqus @anshuman_tripathy:disqus and others..Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    I meant of Aids Et please allow my full comment.Recommend

  • Anon

    I’m glad Pakistani’s are banned. For a people as racist and bigoted as us, serve us right.Recommend

  • Naqqash dhariwal

    my son u ur self an indian,,y portrying as a Pakistani by using a Muslim name :]Recommend

  • Bamyan Buddha

    This is a more a human issue. It starts with Security council with 5 members having Veto over all other. Then it goes to the division of world into first, second, third, and fourth worlds. Inside Pakistan, most restaurants would probably not serve to Ahmadis if they knew of it.
    Some friends from India are overtly zealous in their comments. I am sure you can find divisions within Hinduism where the lower castes are not allowed/expected to earn the basic rights afforded to the higher castes.
    Hypocrisy is the biggest problem of humanity. Each and everyone of us need to constantly keep it in check.Recommend

  • kdp

    India never supported LTTE and displeased a large segment of its Tamil population. On the contrary it sent its army to help Sri Lanka against LTTE. Treatment of their natives by elites of both countries is sameRecommend

  • Xoheb

    that’s why I consider 14th August, 1947 as a day of ‘Separation’ rather than a day of ‘Independence’ for the people of this land.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    They live in our country yet discriminate against us like this?! Who do they think they are?!Recommend

  • Basit

    Well, is he hapless or are you using a defense mechanism to hide the insult? because the arguments you have given are exactly giving so it’s interesting to see your criticism of him in the formulation of his argument. And yes, unlike Pakistanis, other nationalities such as French nationals do not really obsess about having perfect English grammar or flowery vocabulary – if you for some reason are demonstrating superiority because of his English.Recommend

  • me

    Pakistan was made only because Muslims wanted a separate nation… so what U say is absolutely irrelevant.. but now that we give priority to non Muslim things and think acting like a western non Muslim is cool… I am not surprised we are getting this,,, maybe we deserve this…. because Islam is NOT our priorityRecommend

  • shah

    This is a baloney story.Recommend

  • shahzad

    also i want to ask if a muslim can be the president of usa of pm of uk.
    if this is racism its everywhereRecommend

  • Pakistani

    The most sensible comment in the entire thread. Its ironic how people dont get the stated issue at all and start bashing each other on something totally different !Recommend

  • Nick Stavropoulos

    It’s the ‘ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN’!The name says this county is for and by Muslims. The country is inherently bigoted against non-Muslims. Since when did they care about civil rights for everyone? Oh that’s right…until they experienced bigotry. She writes about this restaurant as a platform to rise up against this injustice. Do those protestors speak just as loud against the extreme prejudice non-Muslims in Pakistan are used to? Her cries of colonization are so over-the-top, so misplaced that I would laugh if I didn’t know how many Pakistanis will be swayed by the article. Until they clean their own house, don’t cry out about the bigoted precedent that Muslim Pakistanis have set themselves.
    Recommend

  • Nick Stavropoulos

    Why is a college student being published? That’s the social injustice!Recommend

  • KDP

    Replace “Pakistan” with “India” in relevant sentences and your statements are still valid. After 60 years it takes American Bill Gates who spends his own money and start a campaign to eliminate Polio in India-Pakistan, (I wonder why richest among us never thought of doing so).
    We still cannot manage and build infrastructure for proper drainage of storm water as well as sanitary waste, lack of which offers breeding ground for Mosquitoes. just think about millions of man hours wasted due to sickness like Malaria and other parasite diseases that originate from Mosquitoes. Recently I visited India and saw Municipal workers spraying insecticides on storm water collected all over the town in 6 inch to a foot deep ditches. The amount of money spent on chemicals since last 60 years could had been used to build proper drainage.
    In early thirties malaria was common in the Southern states of the USA . It was eliminated not by spraying chemicals but building Storm water drainage system I wonder why can’t we do the same rather than spending millions in chemicals and trying to develop a vaccine (Once again its Bill Gates’ Money anyway). Sorry above comments do not have anything to do with the subject matter of why natives cannot eat in a restaurent of their country!!!Recommend

  • Arslan

    And I think he has a point… They generally are… And to top it off, they actually think that everyone is inferior to them… I am glad my compatriots are getting a taste of their own medicine…Recommend

  • Ajilala

    But why has he opened the restaurant in Pakistan, the country so poorly deficient?it doesn’t give a sense Mr Sunny.Recommend

  • Syed Owais Mukhtar

    So it will be like Dogs and Pakistanis not allowed restaurant, or are dogs allowed?Recommend

  • Saz

    What Talha Rizvi said was his opinion based on ground realities. Being a pakistani how disgustful it is to hate your own ppl? If you think that pakistanis are full of hatred then I wish that you visit India some day.Recommend

  • KSK

    Yeah, that’s not true.Recommend

  • [email protected]

    While it’s really not worth my while to engage in this meaninglessness back and forth with a hater, you are wrong about AIDS prevalence being higher in Pakistan. Don’t know where you are getting twisted facts:

    Do the math: the HIV prevalence rate in India is 0.25% and that in Pakistan is 0.056%. India therefore has FOUR times as many AIDS victims per 1000 people compared to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Nizam Uddin Raiyan

    What problem is there if some one opened a restaurant having some criteria about its customer. If they do not want to serve me should i force them to do so?Recommend

  • Frah C.

    Where is this place and what is it called…and why is it allowed to exist ? There is already so much segregation of the classes and now this? Who are they expecting to be the guests? Atrocious and extremely repulsive. This place should be shut down immediately.

    And the question about dual nationality being allowed is a hypocrisy of the system. Tomorrow if an ordinary Pakistani happens to get a foreign nationality, he will suddenly be good enough whereas before he was not? How sad is that? Wake up people. Stop contributing to these evils…who owns this place and from what land did he come from? Are we still colonized? Did he just wake up from the Colonized era?
    And yes if you are a Pakistani, despite your religion,your class, your wealth, dual nationality and political status you remain a Pakistani and should be able to be access all freedom to exercise your rights…oops wait am i thinking of an utopian Pakistan???What a farce!Recommend

  • isha

    Indians please log out, go back to ur big boss n tulsi Parvati let us deal with our rights. People can be banned but the piss-off point is being a Pakistani I Hav limited rights in my own country. Now coming to non-sunnis not allowed to lead as PMs is because we aim to discourage their religious influence. That’s a nation v r talking about this is a freakin eat out man get out of my country if u have a problem with us eating Recommend

  • Shah

    If you are racist then don’t say others as racists. I beleive most of us are not racists but I don’t know about you Recommend

  • Shah

    And who tells you about suppression of minorities in Pakistan. Is it your highly biased, un-informed, propaganda prone, Ignorant media. If you talk about constitution of Pakistan, Non-Muslims are not allowed to become prime minster and president of Pakistan, but can you give me any example of any one country where Chief executive (PM/President) is from minority, you cannot take up even European and American democracies. Please don’t quote Indian president, as being president in India has no worth from the running of country point of view.Recommend

  • Shahan

    It’s sad how foreign a treat us in our own country and sadly the govt doesn’t care.. I have some of the worst experiences in the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad. Where you have to wait hours, leave ur mobile phons before entering the diplomatic enclave by a bus ride. You then have to wait outside the embassies, whether it’s cold and raining or I it’s the scorching heat of June. Our politicians should be put through this humiliation as well so that they know how the ppl r being treated!Recommend

  • Amir

    Silly argument… We are not India, we are not a secular nation, we are an Islamic Republic. Islamic leaders lead Islamic Republics. Anyone can lead a secular nation.Recommend

  • Saad

    Pakistani mindset? My friend what I have stated is basic human psychology, and it applies to any human being capable of experiencing emotions. Such ‘mindsets’ happen everywhere. Name me one ‘Pakistani’ mindset and I will state you few others, outside Pakistan, and that being of greater magnitude.Recommend

  • Aamir

    I get it. The guy does’t want to attract a lot of attention to his restaurant. He already has the clientele he needs. It’s not hard to imagine a Pakistani walking into the restaurant and feeling uneasy about the lack of halal choices. I would be. What I wouldn’t do, as I imagine most other won’t, is fan the flames about a restaurant offering non-halal food in our “pak watan”. But someone will. And when they do, what happens? KFC is halal and even then they get burnt to the ground every time five people get upset.Recommend

  • Kamran

    Oh wow an interesting debate

    I want to say that I’m a Pakistani and as much as I hate all the negatives in our country, multiply that hate by infinity times is the one I have for Indians. If I were holding the key to Nuke India I would not even hesitate to press the button

    Having said that, I know we have our problems for a long time but where you wee problems I see opportunities cause Pakistan has hit rock bottom and now the only way is going up

    Cheers

    KamranRecommend

  • Anshuman Tripathy

    Yes I will say some sections of Indian Media (especially trash channels that put the idiot in idiot box like india tv) are extremely biased when it comes to pointing the finger at pakistan. But in recent times this trend has decreased a lot.Unless and until they have documents from credible sources which nails the ISI and the Pakistani Army (which happens almost everytime) mainstream Indian media doesn’t blame Pakistan anymore. Thats because:
    A.After 26/11, terrorist attacks have seen a sharp drop in India.
    B.If there is a terrorist attack , it is generally of a small scale and carried out by Domestic groups like The Indian Mujahideen (Although a US based think tank has released information that IM is supported by pakistan, the media hasn’t sensationalised this yet) or the Naxalites.
    Domestic security, intelligence and attack prevention has improved by leaps and bounds since 26/11.
    Also you need to be extremely careful who you listen to and who you take seriously. There will be attention seeking disgruntled Govt servants who will make outlandish remarks just to stay in the news, like the moron who claimed that 26/11 was a false flag. Likewise the MP that talha Rizvi was mentioning about. You need to ignore such people as they have zero proof/intelligence to back up those claims.They only make these hollow statements to stay in the limelight.Recommend

  • credulousgeek

    we all have freedom of expression!Recommend

  • credulousgeek

    is it an ice cream or what :/ you are consistently using this word LOL stop hate speech lets settle everything with peace!Recommend

  • Guest 1

    Can a Muslim or for that matter Ahmadi, Hindu become Prime Minister of England? It’s not a relevant argument. Two wrongs never make a right. There are Pakistani Christians and Hindus and others who would like to eat “None Halal” food. They wouldn’t be allowed either. Besides, what if you’re a vegetarian? It’s a wrong excuse by the owner of this restaurant.Recommend

  • Ahsan Masood Khan

    My compliments Mr. Afzal. I could not have put it in better words. I would only add one more line to this fine advice to Mr. Talha. The day you can listen to understand, and talk not to defend but to share knowledge, discuss and learn, you will definitely become a better Muslim. When you get into a point scoring exercise, you are refusing to see your faults and only trying to get even. And remember, you are not a failure till the day you blame someone else for your falls. We have our contstitution the way we like it but there is no harm in listening to the person who sees things differently and respect their opinion even if you differ.Recommend

  • Ahsan Masood Khan

    True but that is not the point of the argument. This is a racist argument being disguised to hide under religion.Recommend

  • doc_musab

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

    You uneducated fool. 1. how does that make it right? It’s not sound logic to refer to another issue to deflect attention from an injustice. 2. many countries in politics have religious or ideological restrictions placed before you become head off state to reflect the wishes of the MAJORITY or for historical reasons, eg ex-prime minister Blair hid his conversion to Catholicism until after he resigned, or eg UK acts of settlement 1701.

    the fact that you have to be Muslim in Pakistan to head the state is to reflect the majority and for historical reasons. it’s called democracy, for the majority. Banning the majority from a restaurant is the opposite!!!

    Recommend

  • BabaShakkari

    “Hence, the restaurant owner will be jailed if he lets Pakistani Muslims in.”

    Cyril is NOT A MUSLIM!!! and he was denied. Pakistani law allows him to consume alcohol and non halal food. Did you even read any of the comments above or the article completely???Recommend

  • anuj

    Dear Mr rizvi,
    We are contemplating what kind of test should we have for visiting Pakistan nationals so it can be confirmed they are humans. The plight of your nationals and diplomatic people world over is pathetic and really nothing to compare… and it’s an impression created by USA that we can actually use them and kick them still will kick our behindsRecommend

  • S Imam

    It’s a private business, not a public hospital. There are many clubs who put certain restrictions and conditions to become their members! Our dogs should not be so sensitive that we start a campaign against a private business for its right to discriminate certain types of customers! Recommend

  • Zain Zaidi

    Hilarious. So a dual citizen like myself must be something other than Muslim right? Cause dual citizen Muslims don’t exist, hence non-halal food must be served in this restaurant.Recommend

  • Mrs Marshall

    Pakistanis are not allowed due to lack of manners.they need to learn mannersRecommend

  • Zia Imran
  • rashid zaidi

    Discrimination crap, the foreigners living in Pakistan have no place to go, its the most dangerous country in the world. Get it. Why cant they eat what they want in an exclusive place. What about serving non halal food, it’s their way.Recommend

  • Jamshed Ali

    In your India Muslims are facing difficulties even to find rent houses in cities like Mumbai, they have the highest poverty rate among minorities, they are expelled from their villages by Hindu mobs and forced to take shelter in sugarcane fields and you are here to claim that minorities aren’t being treated equal in Pakistan? Go clear your own mess first, ignorant Indian!Recommend

  • KikEmOut

    What a senseless argument. Is there no difference in becoming PM or President and dining at a restaurant? Secondly, it’s Pakistani land and we have the right to ban anyone. Recommend

  • Osama

    what a shame. The one who came up with this idea should be ashamed of himself. Pakistanis are considered low everywhere and now in pakistan too. Shame on you. Fear ALLAH, people like you disgrace pakistanis and then what can we say to the rest of the world !Recommend

  • Haroon Banatwalla

    almost no country treats its minorities equally, i have suffered abuse in USARecommend

  • Grow up kid.

    The 2 people you called out (Uttarsinghnain and Anshuman Tripathy) have not even voted for the comment. Furthermore, how do you know that all those who up voted that comment were Indians?

    Instead of ranting against Indians all the while it would be helpful if you occasionally made a point of your own hat relates o the new item or blog in question.

    As far as comments are concerned, it is upto ET moderators to decide if a comment if inappropriate and filter it. It is not up to you.Recommend