Popular Pakistani Pinstripers

By , Staff writer

Reporters on the Job: I discovered that lawyers are a humbler bunch here in South Asia. A stroll around the Islamabad district court revealed an adjacent “lawyers slum” of sorts, complete with photocopiers and DOS-era computers overflowing onto the narrow back alleys. Most offices were single rooms with plastic chairs – forget about red leather and brass buttons.

But what Pakistan’s lawyers lacked in accoutrements they made up for in the dignity that comes with fighting for a larger cause. Most wore a button on the lapels of their black suits bearing a photo of the former chief justice – the man at the center of their fight.

“I don’t think in the United States people would ever rally in the streets around a group of lawyers (read the Monitor's story here). Where I come from, lawyers aren’t very popular,” I told one advocate over a cup of tea. He laughed heartily, and said, “Even little children here are saying ‘independent judiciary.‘ “

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